Why Do Baseball Players Spit a Lot?

Baseball players have been spitting since the game’s inception, and it’s something that’s still widely seen today. While many people may find the habit unappealing, there are several reasons why baseball players spit a lot. In this article, we’ll look at the various reasons why baseball players spit, and how those reasons have changed over time.

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The History of Baseball Spitting

Spitting has been a part of baseball from the very beginning. In the 1800s, when the game was first gaining popularity, players would often chew on tobacco and then spit out the juice. This tobacco-spitting habit was so common that it was even mentioned in the rules of the game.

In the early 1900s, when chewing tobacco was outlawed, players had to find alternative ways to keep their mouths wet. This led to an increase in the amount of spitting seen on the field. While the tobacco-chewing habit had gone away, spitting was still seen as a necessary part of the game.

The Reasons for Spitting Today

Today, the reasons for spitting have changed. While in the past, players may have spat out of habit, today there are several rationales for why players still spit.


One of the main reasons why baseball players spit is to keep their mouths moist. This helps to keep their mouths from drying out, which can be especially important during the summer months when the heat can be oppressive. Spit also helps to keep the players’ mouths clean, as it washes away any debris that may have accumulated.

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Spitting is also used as a signal to other players. By spitting in a certain direction, a player can signal to his or her teammates that they should move in that direction. This can be especially useful when players are trying to set up a play or when a runner is trying to steal a base.

Psychological Benefits

Spitting can also have psychological benefits. For some players, spitting can be a way to relieve stress. It can also provide a sense of comfort, as it can be soothing and calming.

The Effects of Spitting

While spitting may have its benefits, it can also have some negative effects. Spitting can spread germs, which can lead to an increased risk of infection. It can also be unappealing to fans, as it can be seen as unsanitary and unprofessional.


Spitting has been a part of baseball for a long time, and it’s likely to remain so. While there are still some people who may find the habit unappealing, there are several reasons why baseball players spit a lot. From mouth-moistening to signaling to psychological benefits, spitting can be an important part of a player’s game. While it’s important to be aware of the potential negative effects of spitting, it is also important to recognize the various reasons why players may use this particular habit.