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Major League Baseball Needs to Ban Chewing Tobacco

Photo by Bill Wechter/Getty Images

Like all baseball fans, Mark and Paul were saddened to hear about the passing of Tony Gwynn. Not only was he one of the best hitters in the history of the game, he seemed to be a down to earth guy who did everything the right way.  Although his passing is tragic, it could be the catalyst that Commissioner Bud Selig finally needs to permanently ban smokeless tobacco from all Major League Baseball dugouts.

It’s no secret that chewing tobacco contributed to Tony Gwynn’s death in some way. His battle with cancer began several years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer in his mouth and gums.  Like many players, especially those from his era, Tony took up chewing in order to fit in with the rest of his teammates.

It’s something that Paul knows all too well.  He grew up playing baseball and eventually made it to AA before injuries finally caught up with him.  Even in the minors, Paul was surrounded by teammates who chewed.  And there was a lot of peer pressure to fit in.

Baseball’s tradition is one of the many things that makes it so special.  But this is a tradition that should have gone away a long time ago.  You don’t see football players chewing tobacco on the sideline.  It’s time for Major League Baseball to finally step up and ban tobacco from the clubhouses and dugouts once and for all.  Not just for the sake of the players, but for the kids who grow up idolizing them.


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