Why Baseball Players Need to Knock Chewing Tobacco Out of the Park

Written by T. McDonough on February 8, 2013

I’m sure that all you baseball fans have seen a major league game or two, and noticed the pros chewing tobacco. Although we’ve come a long way in how we view baseball in terms of safety: sliding pants, better cleats, catcher’s masks, and portable baseball umbrellas for fans who want to catch a break from the dangerous UV rays on the sidelines, and that’s just to name a few!  However, lately there’s a lot of players who can’t seem to ditch the harmful chew. You may ask yourself, what’s with this fad, and why can’t the pros realize how unhealthy this chewing habit is? Well, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this nasty habit can’t seem to be ruled out like the bad strike we know it is!

We’ve come a long way in how we view baseball in terms of safety, such as portable baseball umbrellas for fans who want to catch a break from the dangerous UV rays on the sidelines. So how come the pros still use chewing tobacco?

We’ve come a long way in how we view baseball in terms of safety, such as portable baseball umbrellas for fans who want to catch a break from the dangerous UV rays on the sidelines. So how come the pros still use chewing tobacco?

Ready for this graphic description? Chewing tobacco gets the saliva working in your mouth, which on a dusty baseball field has been historically helpful to fend off dry mouth. Having spit ready to help oil a baseball glove to make an infield catch is another benefit players have traditionally relied on for chew. Not to mention, if you have ever looked at old baseball footage from the early 1900’s you’ll notice there were some major loogies being hocked! Spitting was allowed in baseball until 1920, and many players took advantage of it to show off their salivary talents!

If you don’t think that was enough info on why baseball players have traditionally been drawn to chewing tobacco, here’s another interesting trivia fact. Chewing tobacco is considered as American of a past time as baseball! I know that’s hard to believe!  Baseball was created in the 1880’s, which was the same time chewing tobacco became fashionable in the United States. You might be wondering why exactly chewing tobacco even became so popular. During the time that baseball was created the British had just discovered snuff. As a way of stepping outside British traditions the U.S. decided to ditch the fancy box and created chewing tobacco. Oh yes,  just another expression of our independence!

Nowadays, players seem to be stuck in keeping up with the tradition. Baseball turned out to be the only sport that allowed chewing during play time. Do you think chewing tobacco will continue to be so popular with major league baseball players? Lately, there has been a large decrease in baseball players who chew, and there have been arguments in the media over whether it should be banned or not. Hopefully today’s players can focus on being better role models and remember how the greatest players, like Babe Ruth, unfortunately suffered from mouth cancer caused by chewing.

Here’s the real question for today. In 1993 the minor leagues decided to ban chewing tobacco from the field. Do you think it’s time to make the same changes for the major leagues? Leave a comment below and don’t be shy to state your opinion on a habit which has baseball fans all abuzz under their portable baseball umbrellas as they are watching the game!

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