Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum? Know the 5 Reasons Now

why do baseball players chew gum

While watching a match, have you ever seen and wondered to yourself, Why do Baseball players chew gum? Most of us, if not all, have noticed this habit of the players from time to time. So is it like a “Style statement” or a necessity for some unknown reason?

Let us dive deep into this topic and find out the actual reason for “Why do Baseball Players Chew Gum in a match? There is no single reason for Baseball players to chew gum during a game. Some chew it to deal with anxiety and get rid of the tension, while others might do it to prevent their mouths from drying up.

The Five Reasons to Answer: Why do Baseball players Chew Gum

Below we have listed the five possible reasons which we believe could be the answer to the most obvious question, “Why do Baseball Players chew gum?”

1. A Substitute

This particular reason has its roots in the History of Baseball. In the “1920s,” the baseball players chew Tobacco as a substitute for Cigarettes. At that time, it was allowed to chew Tobacco and was not considered to have any health hazard.

Players during that time believed that Tobacco would not affect their game-play but act as a”Healthy” substitute for cigarettes. This matter was finally brought under light, and the subject was reconsidered on permitting the players to allow chewing Tobacco. The after-effects of chewing this harmful narcotic were not considered primarily. Effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate can have severe consequences on a person’s health in the long run. And the worst part about Tobacco is that being a narcotic, it becomes a habit, and the person chewing it becomes addicted to the substance, which becomes very difficult to get rid of it later in life.

Players who have been renowned names in the Major League Baseball previously now suffer the deadly consequences of chewing Tobacco. Gradually the experts in the MLB started to understand the adverse effects and thought of banning it finally from chewing it.

After several arguments and debates, Tobacco was ultimately banned from College Baseball in 1990, and Minor league baseball banned it permanently in 1993. However, unfortunately, a lengthy discussion about excluding it from the MLB. Several steps have been taken to ban even smokeless Tobacco from the stadium in MLB.

All these reasons finally sum up to address one of the reasons on “why do Baseball players chew gum.” They use the “gum” as a substitute for this “Tobacco,” which was the cause of oral cancer.

You would be surprised to know that a small practice has now been started in the All-Star Games and World Series, which requires everyone in the stadium, from players to fans to the umpires, to hold a placard with the name of the person whom they have lost to cancer. This movement acts as a reminder to those still under the influence of Tobacco and other narcotics.

2. Relieve the Tension

Relieve the Tension baseball chew gum
Why do Baseball players Chew Gum? Relieve the Tension baseball chew gum

You know how different stress relief balls are available commercially for adults to deal with anxiety. That is the answer to the question, “Why do Baseball players chew gum during a match?”

Baseball is not like chess or billiard that acts very slowly. On the other hand, this is an extremely “FAST-PACED” game. It is not just those super fastballs at 90 mph that build up the tension. Other factors are there as well that build up anxiety in the players.

The players always need to be in the “ready position.” By this term, we mean there are balls coming towards them at 100 mph sometimes; if they are not ready, then it might result in a terrible reflex, which can negatively affect the team. All these things sum up for the reason to chew gums.

Maybe, in reality, Chewing gum does not help much, but it is like those stress relief balls. It acts as a method to channelize the anxiety and stay focused on the game.

3. Get rid of the Dirt

We all know what the base runners have to go through to get the bases. They are the ones who slide the most against the Dirt in the baseball matches. Sliding on the grounds to get the bases often results in a lot of Dirt getting inside their mouth. This can be really disturbing and disgusting at the same time to have Dirt in one’s mouth. So the solution? The third reason is “Why do Baseball players chew gum?” to keep the Dirt away. Chewing the gum constantly helps to keep the taste of Dirt away from the mouth.

4. Do not let the mouth dry up.

This is another self-evident reason for the question, Why do baseball players chew gum? Running in the field for a long time can often result in a “dry mouth.” It is most of the time the result of playing in the sun for such a long period. Players during a game may not get access to enough fluid, which also results in a dry mouth.

However, there is another reason, which causes the “dry mouth” in some of the baseball players, and that is the extreme pressure of the game. We all know from our past experiences in school and colleges when we felt like our mouth and throat is drying up during our result day. It is the same reaction that the players go through. So the solution is chewing gums.

Chewing the gums constantly helps to salivate and thus keeps the mouth from drying up. This helps the fielders the most who do not get to have any fluid until and unless they are in the dugout. These gums keep the mouth salivating for an extended period.

5. A Habit?

Can we say that chewing gum is the habit of Baseball players only? No, Right? Many of us also have developed this habit to keep chewing a piece of gum whenever we are going out. For some, it started as a Style Statement and changed into practice, while others began chewing it as an exercise of the facial muscles.

In the same way, this is the least probable reason for our question, “Why do Baseball players chew gum?” It has become a habit of theirs for some of them. Maybe some started chewing it as a method to deal with the anxiety, but then it became a habit.

why do baseball players chew gum sportsalizer
5 Reasons Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum

Additional info

If you are very interested to learn more about this topic, here are some additional interesting facts.

What kind of Gum do Baseball players chew?

The most popular gum among Baseball players is Dubble Bubble. Players in the dugout position are often seen to chew those. And you would be surprised to know that there is even an official brand of chewing gum, called the “Big League chew.”

Why do Baseball players chew gum and spit?

This is something you might have seen your favorite players do from time to time. So to answer the question, “Why do baseball players chew gum and spit?” there is a straightforward answer, and that is, it’s a Habit. These players primarily had the habit of chewing Tobacco leaves, which requires spitting. After years, when they had switched to a healthier habit of chewing gum, their practice remained, and thus, they continued to spit in between the games.

FAQs on Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum

Are there any alternatives to chewing gum for baseball players?

Yes, there is! And the most popular is the Sunflower Seeds. The likability of the players for these seeds is for two primary reasons: one, it has no gumminess, and two, they are pretty inexpensive.

Do the baseball players smoke Cigarettes?

Although it has pretty severe consequences on health, baseball players do smoke. However, according to some recent statistics, it has been found that the percentage of players smoking has decreased from 46% in the 1980s to 36% in 2015.

Should kids chew gum while playing baseball?

There is no harm for kids to chew gum during a Baseball game as it prevents the mouth from drying up. However, it is not advisable for very young players as they might swallow or choke on it as they get engrossed in the game.


We hope the long-standing question of the fans, “Why do Baseball players chew gum?” has been answered satisfactorily. Whatever may be the reason, we as fans are just happy that they do not use harmful Tobacco anymore.

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