Baseball has been a beloved sport for many years, and it has been linked to chewing tobacco since its inception. Despite the fact that 16 of the 30 MLB stadiums have banned the use of smokeless tobacco, it is still a part of the game. Major League Baseball (MLB) has taken steps to eliminate smokeless tobacco from the game, but progress has been slow. In 1993, MLB banned tobacco use in minor leagues, but the rule did not apply to major league players or employees due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement in place at the time.
Last May, MLB surveyed players and found that 33% still use smokeless tobacco. Recognizing the influence that major league players have on their young fans, MLB players agreed to a new contract that limits their use of chewing tobacco and their ability to carry it with their fans. The Twins are no strangers to smoking, and players can still be seen with a dip in their mouths. Despite this, MLB lobbied for a bargaining table ban in recent CBA talks.
College baseball banned smokeless tobacco in 1990 and the minor leagues quickly followed suit in 1993. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that an MLB survey found that smokeless tobacco use among players has dropped to 33 percent. Over the past 26 years, major league baseball has only made gradual changes to their chewing tobacco policies. The league ultimately banned Butler from chewing straws during games, saying it was a safety concern. Smokeless tobacco in baseball urged teens to buy its product using slogans such as May cause the need to act like a man.
With all that on their feet (and for many, seated), players often choose to let their minds wander with a little smokeless tobacco that rests on the lower lip or inside the cheek. Sandoval is the prototypical baseball player you never see actually inserting tobacco into his mouth, and yet he always seems to have something on his cheek or lip. Amid growing health problems, it's quite phenomenal that Beane spits in his cup as he rolls and deals at the helm of a relatively successful baseball organization. It's been more than a week and Gwynn's death continues to affect others around baseball, especially those who use smokeless tobacco or chew. For me, baseball is quite interesting without the constant use of tobacco and I hope it will not have any serious effect on any of the 10 gentlemen presented.