Recently, a controversial trend has taken place in different cities effecting the use of chewing tobacco in MLB stadiums. Cites such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston have all passed laws banning the use of chew by players and spectators in their team’s stadiums. This move brings up some questions, is chewing tobacco apart of baseball’s history and how? Is this law fair for those affected by it?
Going way back to the 19th century, when chewing tobacco was used by almost every American man, baseball players found specific uses of it. They found that it keeps their mouths salivated and moist, in what can be at times a dusty and dry field. When the use of gloves became popular, the spit from the tobacco was used to moisten the leather that was used to make the gloves. The spit from the tobacco was even used to throw the famous “spit-ball” that was later banned from the MLB.
These players found that using chewing tobacco was an alternative to smoking, in which at the time team doctors thought caused fatigue and even hitting droughts. As the game grew, and time passed, tobacco was found to keep players calm, and kept them active and moving throughout the game. Because of these things one can say that chew played a role in the history of baseball, so is it okay for these cites to ban the use of it? Once the world became educated about the effects of chewing tobacco, and how it can cause numerous health issues it started to become frowned upon.
When MLB legend Tony Gwynn passed away from what is thought to be the direct effects of chew, the MLB started to discuss the possible ban of it entirely. Obviously we know that nothing has been changed, until now that is, with those few cities banning it. Is this just the start? In my opinion, if you want to chew go ahead and do it. It’s a personal decision and you know what the risks are. No one should be able to take away that right to do it, but if the MLB thinks banning it will be a positive change for baseball, I’m curious to see what’s going to happen. But for now, sit back, relax and pack a fatty and get ready to watch some major league ball, if you aren’t from the cities that already banned it that is.