Most of the stories we hear about the role Coca-Cola has played in someone’s life – a fond memory it’s created – are actually about Coke. But here’s one about the summer of 1961, the year Sprite was introduced in the United States.

It was 1961 and I was a paper boy in Tacoma, Washington. Our local paper was publishing the running accumulated homerun totals for Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle that year, as both were challenging Babe Ruth's home run record of 60. I remember picking up my papers at a gas station, and the paper drop-off was right next to a Coke machine. 

That summer, a funny green bottle with dimples and a tapered shape was introduced with a clear lemon-lime flavor. A new soft drink was rare in those days, so suddenly we were all Sprite drinkers. Local restaurants had summer specials of Sprite Strawberry Ice Cream floats for 25 cents. Green bottles were the rage. The frost on the bottle would produce little pools of water inside the dimple. 

We’d sit on the gas station stoop, get a bottle of Sprite, and read how many homeruns Roger and Mickey got the day before. It was hot that year in Washington State, but to this day, the Roger Maris record of 61 HR in 1961 still brings back memories of lazy summer days, baseball, and a new soft drink, Sprite.

Do you have a Coca-Cola (or Sprite or Fanta) Story?