That One Sports Show
About This Show
Two radio co-hosts reunite after college and discuss the sports world. A little irreverent from time to time, but friendly for all listeners. Quotes, history and stats you've never even thought to look up.
Most Recent Episode
#62.4 – Holy Spit – A Look at Tobacco in the MLB
< 1 day ago
Tobacco and baseball have an intriguing history and one that is like that of a scorned lover. At the end of 2016, the labor agreements are up for renewal, leading to a “will they or won’t they” situation. Will the MLB totally obliterate smokeless tobacco from baseball? Or will they stay out of it for the most part as long as players go dipless during interviews and autograph signings.
Raw Notes (updated post coming):
The chewing habit hit its high-water mark in 1890, when the average American gnawed through more than 3 pounds of tobacco.
German microbiologist Robert Koch showed that spitting contributed to the spread of tuberculosis.
While most Americans gave up tobacco for cigarettes, baseball players continued with it for a main reason that most things happen in baseball. Superstition. There were rumors that cigarettes could cause fatigue and lead to hitting slumps. All of which are quite possibly true. Smoking effects the lungs which could lead to poor hitting performances. This, of course, coming from a sport where players actively smoked during the game.
Smokeless tobacco had its benefits. Some accounts say that due to the dusty infields of the day, infielders would chew to keep their mouths from getting dry. So what, your mouth gets dry, no biggie. Actually, fairly big biggie. Gloves were and still are made out of leather. Players would spit their mouth juices into the mitts to keep them flexible during the game.
The use of dip or smokeless tobacco really took off in the 60s, but from the 20s to 40s any big baseball player was associated with different brands of cigarettes or cigars. Willie Hays, Babe Ruth saying “Now medical science! Proof Positive! No other leading cigarette is safer to smoke.” Back to the 60s, people finally realized, oh, these cancer sticks aren’t great for we who have to run around quite a bit for our job. MLB players were now prohibited from appearing in ads for cigarettes.
Honus Wagner – 1909 by American Tobacco Company
57 known to exist
Wagner didn’t want his face associated
with cigarettes and threatened to sue
company. They stopped making his card.
RESEARCH ON USAGE:
1986 WORLD SERIES
TV exposure – when America watches baseball
Game 5 – Mets vs. R