Why Do Baseball Players Put Tobacco in Their Mouth?

Baseball is a beloved American pastime, and it has a long history of traditions and rituals that have been passed down through generations. One of these practices is the use of smokeless tobacco, more commonly known as dip or chew. For years, it has been a staple of the game, and many professional players use it as a way to relax and focus. But what exactly is the purpose of putting tobacco in your mouth?

The History of Smokeless Tobacco in Baseball

Smokeless tobacco has been a part of baseball for over a century. It was first introduced to the sport in the late 19th century, and was popularized by legendary players like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. The use of dip was thought to help players stay alert and focused during long games, as well as provide a way to pass the time in between innings. In the 1970s, the use of smokeless tobacco became even more widespread, and it is estimated that up to 50% of all baseball players used it at some point.

The Benefits of Smokeless Tobacco

There are several benefits to using smokeless tobacco. The nicotine in the tobacco can help to relax the player and improve concentration. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be a major factor in performing well during a game. Additionally, the tobacco helps to keep the player’s mouth moist, which can be important in a dry stadium or on a hot day.

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The Risks of Smokeless Tobacco

Despite the potential benefits, there are also some risks associated with using smokeless tobacco. The most significant risk is the potential for nicotine addiction. Additionally, there is an increased risk of mouth cancer and other oral health problems, as well as an increased risk for heart and lung diseases. Finally, the use of smokeless tobacco has been shown to lead to an increase in saliva production, which can be a nuisance for players and coaches alike.

The Debate Over Smokeless Tobacco in Baseball

The use of smokeless tobacco in baseball is a highly debated topic. On one side, some argue that it is a part of the game and should be allowed. Others argue that it is a dangerous habit and should be banned. In recent years, the league has taken steps to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco. In 2010, a rule was put in place that prohibits players from carrying tobacco in their uniforms or using it during interviews. Additionally, the league has put in place educational programs to discourage players from using the substance.

The Bottom Line

Smokeless tobacco has been a part of baseball for generations, but it is a controversial subject. While some players may find it helpful to relax and focus, the potential risks are significant. It is ultimately up to the individual player to decide whether or not to use smokeless tobacco, but it is important to consider the potential risks before making a decision.