L.A. Times: Chew is deeply ingrained in the culture of baseball

Mark derosa

Here’s a great story from the L.A. Times exploring the culture of chewing tobacco in baseball.

San Francisco recently banned chewing tobacco at all ballparks, including AT&T (to take effect next year), while both the city of L.A. and the state of California are considering similar bans.

The issue of chew in baseball has become more high-profile in the past year or so because of the death last year of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn from salivary gland cancer. On top of that, pitcher Curt Schilling battled oral cancer in the past year. Schilling blames chew for his cancer, as did Gwynn.

The Los Angeles Times focused on how, despite being banned by the NCAA, chewing tobacco remains persistently part of the game on the field.

From the article:

Coaches said they address tobacco with their players before every season.

“You also bring it up throughout the season,” UCLA Coach John Savage said, “but it’s not a daily reminder.”

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