What are Baseball Players Chewing On?

Baseball players have a long-held tradition of chewing tobacco during games. Chewing tobacco, also known as “smokeless tobacco,” has been around since the 1800s. It’s a habit that has been passed down from generations of baseball players, and it’s something that many of today’s players are still doing. But what exactly are baseball players chewing on?

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History of Chewing Tobacco in Baseball

Chewing tobacco has been around since the early 19th century. It was first introduced by the Native American tribes of the Midwest, who chewed the leaves of the tobacco plant as a way to absorb its effects. As the sport of baseball became more popular, it wasn’t long before players began to incorporate the habit into their games.

By the late 19th century, chewing tobacco had become so popular among baseball players that the practice was even noted in the first edition of the Official Baseball Rules. The rulebook required “all players in the field to abstain from the use of tobacco during the progress of the game.” But despite this rule, it was still a common practice among players. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Major League Baseball (MLB) officially banned the use of smokeless tobacco during games.

Types of Chewing Tobacco

There are two main types of chewing tobacco: snuff and chewing tobacco. Snuff is a finely ground tobacco product that is usually taken orally. It is most often sold in small, airtight containers and consumed by placing a pinch of the product between the cheek and the gum. Chewing tobacco, on the other hand, is a shredded form of tobacco that is usually placed between the cheek and the gum. It is typically sold in larger pouches and is usually flavored.

The Health Risks of Chewing Tobacco

While chewing tobacco has been a part of baseball for generations, it is important to note that it is not without its health risks. Chewing tobacco contains high levels of nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. It is also linked to a variety of health issues such as oral cancer, heart disease, and gum disease.

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In addition to the health risks associated with chewing tobacco, it is also important to note that it is a banned substance in Major League Baseball. Players are not allowed to use chewing tobacco during games, and they can be fined or suspended if they are caught using it.

Alternatives to Chewing Tobacco

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the dangers of chewing tobacco, and as a result, many players have stopped using it. There are now a variety of alternatives available for players who want to kick the habit.

One of the most popular alternatives is sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack that provide a crunchy, salty flavor that can help satisfy cravings for chewing tobacco. They also provide a source of protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Another popular alternative is bubble gum. Chewing gum can provide a similar sensation to chewing tobacco, but without the harmful side effects. It can also help to keep the mouth moist and reduce dry mouth, which can make it easier to concentrate on the game.

Finally, some players have begun to use nicotine replacement products such as patches or gum. These products provide a safe and effective way to reduce nicotine cravings without the health risks associated with chewing tobacco.


Chewing tobacco has long been a part of the game of baseball, but it is important to note the health risks associated with this habit. Fortunately, there are now a variety of alternatives available for players who want to quit the habit. From sunflower seeds to nicotine replacement products, there are many options available for those who want to kick the habit.