Why Do Baseball Players Chew on Tobacco?

Baseball has been a beloved American pastime for generations, and while the game has changed over the years, one thing that has remained constant is the presence of tobacco in the dugouts. While most players have switched to smokeless tobacco, some still prefer to chew on tobacco during the game. But why is that? Here, we’ll explore why some ball players chew on tobacco, and what the consequences of this habit can be.

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A Deep-Rooted Tradition

One of the main reasons why some baseball players still chew on tobacco is because it has been a tradition for a long time. In fact, the use of tobacco dates back all the way to the 1800s and the earliest days of the sport. As the popularity of the game grew, so did the use of tobacco among players, coaches and fans.

At first, it was a way to keep players relaxed and focused during the game, as the stimulant effects of tobacco can have a calming effect. Over time, it became a habit that was associated with the sport, and one that many players felt was necessary in order to perform their best. Even today, there are those who believe that chewing on tobacco helps them focus and perform better, although there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim.

The Consequences of Chewing Tobacco

Despite the long-standing tradition, there are numerous risks associated with chewing tobacco, and some of these can be quite serious. The most common health risks include nicotine addiction, gum disease, cancer and other oral health problems. Chewing tobacco can also lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

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In addition to the health risks, there is also the potential for financial repercussions. Chewing tobacco is illegal in some states, and those caught using it can face hefty fines and even jail time in some cases. Furthermore, the cost of tobacco products can add up over time, and this can have a negative impact on a player’s budget.

The Alternatives to Chewing Tobacco

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chewing tobacco, and these can provide the same calming effects without the associated risks. For example, some players choose to use nicotine gum or patches, which can help them stay focused during the game without the health risks. Other alternatives include herbal supplements, tea and even meditation, which can all help to keep players relaxed and focused.


Chewing tobacco is a long-standing tradition in baseball, but it is also a habit that comes with numerous health risks. Players who choose to chew on tobacco should be aware of the potential consequences, and should consider the alternatives that can provide the same calming effects without the associated risks. While some players may still choose to chew on tobacco, they should do so with caution and be aware of the potential drawbacks.