Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum?

Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum?

Ever wondered why baseball players seem to carry a never-ending supply of gum in their pockets? Have you ever seen them all chomping away on mouthfuls of it before and even during the game? It turns out that there’s more going on with this habit than meets the eye. As you might expect, baseball players chew gum for many reasons. In this blog post, we’ll dig into those reasons and explore just why so much gum is chewed amongst the major leagues!

Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum?

1. Practical

Chewing gum helps keep the players’ mouths hydrated, which is essential for optimum performance in a dry baseball field environment. Additionally, gum can help keep a player’s breath fresh and improve their focus during the game.

2. Mental Benefits

Gum chewing has been scientifically proven to benefit mental performance in tasks that involve concentration and vigilance. Studies have indicated that chewing gum can improve alertness, reaction time, memory recall, and accuracy when completing tests or other tasks.

Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum?

3. Stress Relief

The pressure of competing in professional sports can be intense for athletes, especially during big games or tournaments. Chewing gum has been known to reduce stress levels by providing a calming effect on the body through rhythmic movements of the jaw muscles and the release of endorphins. [1]

4. Tradition

Carrying on the past traditions of baseball, many players choose to chew gum as part of their regular game-time routine. This can be a way for them to stay connected to previous generations of players who used chewing gum for practical and mental reasons during games. Baseball players also often use it as a form of superstition or good luck charm before or during games, believing that the action will bring them an edge over their opponents.

Chewing gum has become an iconic part of baseball culture and tradition, no matter the reason why players choose to do it.

What Kind Of Gum Do Baseball Players Chew?

Baseball players tend to prefer sugar-free gum due to its calorie-light and breath-freshening qualities. Popular brands like Big League Chew, Bazooka, Orbit and Trident are all preferred by baseball players for their tasty flavors and long lasting chewability. Some players go above and beyond the traditional brands, opting for nicotine gum or even bubblegum! Ultimately, it’s up to each individual player as to what kind of gum they choose to chew during games.

However, one thing is certain – chewing gum has been a part of the game ever since its inception!  So whether you’re a fan of fruity flavors or classic minty goodness, there’s no denying that baseball players have a deep love for gum. Chewing it helps them stay alert and focused, and also provides a way to keep their mouths from getting dry throughout the game. Whether you’re watching your favorite team from the stands or just enjoying a game on TV, remember to give a nod of appreciation for that ever-present wad of gum in each player’s mouth! [2]

What Is The Chewing Gum Controversy In Baseball?

Baseball is a game of tradition, and one of the most enduring traditions of the game has been to chew gum while playing. This practice has become so widespread that it’s almost become a part of baseball folklore. However, in recent years, the chewing gum controversy in baseball has grown increasingly contentious.

Many players and coaches claim that chewing gum can help them stay focused during games and improve their concentration. On the other hand, some believe that chewing gum can be distracting for players on the field or in the dugout—especially if they are too busy chatting with teammates or getting caught up in conversation. Furthermore, there is debate over whether or not bubble-blowing or excessive gum consumption could lead to an increased risk of choking or other health risks.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to chew gum while playing baseball is a personal one that must be made by each individual player and coach. Ultimately, it boils down to what works best for each individual—so players should experiment with different approaches to determine what works best for them.

What Is The Chewing Gum

History of Gum in Baseball

Gum in Baseball Cards

Gum has a long-standing history in baseball. The very first issue of trading cards was for a gum company, and the cards included players from different teams. As time went on, gum companies continued to produce cards featuring player images, stats and information about their career. Over time, these cards became collector’s items – especially sought after by fans who wanted to show support for their favorite teams.

Players Chewing Gum

The tradition of baseball players chewing gum goes back nearly as far as the trading cards themselves. It is believed that players began chewing gum during games to help keep their mouths moist during warm days in the stadium or while playing in hot weather climates. Players could also focus better while they had something else to occupy their mouths during games. The habit became so commonplace that, at one point, chewing gum even earned players a modest salary from the gum companies sponsoring them! [3]

Today’s Chewers

These days, while many players still chew gum with every game, it often serves a much more practical purpose than simply relieving boredom or keeping their mouths moist. Many players have switched to sugarless gum which helps reduce tooth decay and other dental issues that can be caused by sugary snacks. Additionally, some athletes believe that chewing gum can help increase focus and concentration – something vital for top-level athletes!

In the end, chewing gum in baseball is likely here to stay – no matter what the reason may be. Whether it is to help stay focused, reduce tooth decay, or simply pass the time during a game – there is no denying that baseball and gum go hand-in-hand.  And while it may be impossible to say how much longer this tradition will last, one thing is certain – it has been part of the game for decades, and there’s no telling when it might end.

A Bigger Trend

Chewing gum in baseball has spread far beyond just the players on the field. Fans have taken up the trend as well, with many bringing their favorite flavors of chewing gum to games. This has become even more popular in recent years with many major league teams now offering ranges of flavor options at their stadium stores. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you can still enjoy the tradition of chewing gum while watching the game.  So, whether you are at a professional game or playing catch in your backyard – don’t forget to bring some gum! You never know when it might help you hit that home run.

Chewing gum is an integral part of the baseball culture – from players and fans to cards and stadiums – it has been around for decades and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Not only does it provide an extra layer of focus for athletes, but it also helps to keep their mouths moist during intense games. Plus with sugarless options becoming more popular, its appeal is even higher among those looking for healthier alternatives. Whether you are a die-hard baseball fan or just like to watch for fun, don’t forget to bring some gum the next time you go to catch a game! [4]

A Bigger Trend

Alternatives to Chewing Gum in Baseball

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a popular snack amongst baseball players, as they provide an accessible and tasty option between innings. The shells also act as a kind of fidget toy for the players, which helps them stay focused and relaxed during play.

Gum Alternatives

Sugarless gum options such as xylitol gum are becoming increasingly popular among baseball players. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that promotes oral health and does not contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners. Additionally, some players opt for mints instead of gum to help keep their breath fresh and alert on the field.

Stress Balls

Stress balls are another popular item used by baseball players between innings to help relax their minds and refocus before taking the field again. The flexibility of the ball allows players to play with it in their hands, which helps them stay calm and focused throughout a game.


Pistachios are another popular item amongst baseball players that provide a tasty snack and have multiple health benefits. The shells of pistachios act as a kind of fidget toy, similar to sunflower seeds, while their nutty flavor helps to keep players’ minds focused. Additionally, the nuts contain high levels of dietary fiber and protein which help baseball players stay energized throughout a game.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular among baseball players in order to give them an extra boost before they take the field again. Energy drinks help replenish electrolytes lost during exercise and can improve alertness and focus on the field. As with any other type of food or drink consumed by athletes, it is important to always consult a medical professional prior to consumption. [5]

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a popular snack among baseball players, as it provides a high level of protein that can help with muscle recovery and energy levels. Jerky also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for players on the field. However, beef jerky should be consumed in moderation due to its high sodium content.

In conclusion, there are many different options available for baseball players looking to stay focused and energized between innings. Sunflower seeds, gum alternatives such as xylitol gum, stress balls, pistachios, energy drinks and beef jerky are all popular choices that provide different benefits depending on what each player needs. Additionally, it is important to always consult a medical professional prior to consumption.

Beef Jerky

Do Baseball Players Spit?

That depends on the player. Some baseball players spit while others prefer to chew gum instead. The purpose of chewing gum is twofold: it helps baseball players stay hydrated and keeps their mouths moist so they can better articulate commands to their teammates. Chewing gum also acts as a way to relieve stress during high-pressure situations, which is especially important for those pitching and batting in crucial moments of the game. Additionally, some players find that by having something to occupy their mouth, they don’t need to seek out other distractions such as tobacco products or sunflower seeds, thus helping them stay focused on the game. 

By keeping the habit of chewing gum confined solely to games, many professional teams even encourage it as an effective tool for managing performance anxiety and nervousness. Even so, there are a few teams that have imposed penalties on players who spit during games, as it reflects poorly on the team and may even create a negative impression of the sport in general. With this in mind, chewing gum has become somewhat of an accepted alternative to spitting among baseball players in recent years. There’s no definitive answer to which is best-suited for all players.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what works best for each individual athlete.  While some rely on the physical act of spitting, others prefer the more socially acceptable habit of chewing gum while playing baseball. [6]


What do baseball players chew and spit out?

Baseball players chew and spit out chewing gum. Many players prefer sugar-free gum because it helps keep their mouths moist, which is beneficial for playing baseball in hot weather conditions. Chewing also has the potential to help a player focus on the game. Additionally, some players believe that chewing gum can improve performance by helping them stay relaxed and alert during a game.

What do baseball players chew and spit out?

Is there any evidence that chewing gum leads to better performance?

There is limited scientific research on whether or not chewing gum can have an effect on athletic performance. However, many athletes—from professional baseball players to weekend warriors—have reported improved concentration and focus while chewing gum during competition. Some studies have suggested that athletes who chew gum may even be able to reduce stress levels and improve reaction times.

Are there any risks associated with chewing gum?

If consumed in large amounts, sugar-free gum can lead to digestive issues like bloating, cramping, or irregular bowel movements. If you decide to chew gum while playing baseball, it’s important to be mindful of the amount of gum that is being chewed and spat out throughout the game. Additionally, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after consuming sugary or sugar-free gums. Overall, chewing gum is a popular habit among many baseball players as an aid for concentration and focus during the game.

Are professional baseball players allowed to chew?

Yes, professional baseball players are allowed to chew gum while playing. In fact, many of them do. Chewing helps players concentrate and focus on controlling their breathing and relaxation techniques during stressful times. The act of chewing also helps the player’s mouth produce saliva, which can help prevent dehydration – an important factor in long games played in hot weather. Fans observing a game may notice that some players like to keep their gum in their mouths or even put it on their hats as they make catch-balls between innings. Keeping a piece of gum handy is essential for baseball players looking to stay focused throughout the course of the game.

What is baseball gum called?

Baseball gum is often referred to as “Big League Chew,” a popular brand of bubblegum shaped into small, shredded pieces. It is flavored with fruit and mint and comes in bright colors. Big League Chew was invented in 1980 by former professional baseball players Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton, who wanted to create a fun way for kids to enjoy the game just like their favorite major league players. The brand has since become a staple among professional players, offering them an easy way to stay focused during long games without resorting to unhealthy snacks or caffeine drinks. Chewing gum can also help athletes keep their mouths moist while playing, enabling them to maintain optimal performance throughout the entire game.

What are some of the benefits of chewing gum for baseball players?

Chewing gum has been an integral part of the game since it was first introduced to professional baseball in the 1930s. Some of the benefits include increased alertness, improved concentration and focus, enhanced performance during games, and reduced stress or anxiety levels before or while playing. Gum acts as a distraction from any negative thoughts that could lead to poor performance. Additionally, chewing gum increases saliva production which helps keep a player’s throat moist while they are on the field in hot weather conditions. Lastly, chewing gum can help improve hand-eye coordination by stimulating the jaw muscles and allowing players to focus on making quick decisions with their hands.

What percent of MLB players chew?

Studies have found that roughly 85% of Major League Baseball players chew gum while playing. This is higher than the number of players in any other professional sport who chew gum, making baseball one of the most “gum-friendly” sports. Chewing gum is not only allowed but also encouraged by coaches and players alike as it has been proven to help improve performance on the field. All in all, chewing gum can be beneficial for baseball players due to its ability to increase alertness and concentration levels, reduce stress or anxiety before or during a game, and keep throat moist in hot weather conditions.

Are baseball players allowed to eat during games?

Though it is not encouraged by coaches or players, yes, some baseball players are allowed to eat during games. However, the food has to be light and easy to digest so that they can still perform at their best. Eating while playing should also be done in moderation as eating too much can lead to cramping or a sense of sluggishness on the field. Common foods eaten by baseball players include energy bars, pretzels, fruit snacks, and granola bars. Additionally, many players drink electrolyte-infused water to stay hydrated throughout a game.

Useful Video: 5 Shocking Things About why baseball players chew gum


Chewing gum is a common habit among baseball players, and there are many possible explanations for why they do it. Some of the most popular theories include increasing focus and concentration, soothing anxiety, improving mental alertness, and even as a way to keep their mouths moist while on the field. Regardless of the reasons why players chew gum, this tradition has become an integral part of the game in many countries across the world. As long as teams remain willing to allow it in their stadiums, chewing gum will likely remain a common sight at professional baseball games for years to come. So grab some bubblegum and join in on the fun!


  1. https://www.baseballbible.net/why-do-baseball-players-chew-gum/
  2. https://www.scottfujita.com/bubble-gum-baseball/
  3. https://sportsfanfocus.com/why-do-baseball-players-chew-gum/
  4. https://make-shots.com/baseball-players-chew-gum/
  5. https://tbonesbaseball.com/a-brief-history-of-baseball-players-gum-chewing-habits/
  6. https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/giants/history-chewing-gum-and-baseball