Baseball and chewing tobacco have had a long and deadly relationship, illustrated by almost every movie about the sport. A player or a coach will have a huge wad of chew in their mouth while they’re reading their lines, then spray some spit for emphasis.
Aware of all the players whose tobacco use caused cancer of the mouth, the jaw, the saliva glands, Major League baseball has a new collective bargaining agreement with its players that will soon ban chewing tobacco. The ban has been in force in the minor leagues for years; now it’s moving up.
Effective in 2017, all new MLB players are forbidden from using chewing tobacco during games. It’s already banned in some parks. So only veteran players can chew, and spit, in some parks. That number will dwindle as years pass. Youngsters, who often follow the antics of their baseball heroes, will no longer be encouraged to try chewing tobacco.
It may seem minor, but it’s a great rule that will instead steer kids towards chewing Double Bubble and sunflower seeds, regardless of the sugar in the gum and the fat in the spits.