Why Do Baseball Players Chew Gum?
Ballplayers have so much time on their hands during a season, a game, even an inning. Enter Bubble Gum. Now they can keep themselves occupied in-between groundouts.
| Read: 4 min
That is an amazingly good question. Ballplayers chew gum for a variety of reasons, both known and unknown. Some do it for the flavor. Some do it for the perceived benefits. Some Major League Baseball players do it to stay away from the more harmful things to chew such as tobacco.
Some players chew gum because they get bored, as the games are long, the road trips are long, and the season is also, you guessed it, long. And some, like a Little League Baseball Team, chew gum because it's all they got.
One of the things we found humorous is when you catch a pro blowing a bubble before a hit. Even better when it's a big hit, like a playoff home run. For example, checkout this homer off the baseball bat of Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs) in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That had to have earned a few replays from the folks controlling the broadcast in New York.
What kind of gum do baseball players chew?
The answer is all types of bubble gum. Little Leaguers chew one type, High Schoolers another, same with College and the Pros. Brands include:
- Big League Chew (obviously)
- Dubble Bubble
What is the best baseball gum?
Ballplayers are a superstitious lot. For example, if someone is chewing some Bazooka gum and they wear the Golden Sombrero that day (4 strikeouts in a game), you can rest assured that Bazooka will never be chewed again. Well, not until Bazooka comes back around it again. It's a cyclical process.
We're of the mindset that the best baseball gum is not in gumball form. We much prefer the shredded strands of Big League chew, or, the mini-brick of a Bazooka or Dubble Bubble.
That said, sometimes the best baseball gum is whatever your coach has in the dugout that day, even if it did come from a few scoops in the bulk candy aisle at the grocery store.
What kind of flavors are acceptable?
Ballplayers typically chew original flavor bubble gum. However, if one of your left-handed relief pitchers brings something out of left field (a baseball pun) that day, something like sour apple, watermelon or cotton candy, and you get a bunch of hits, then every game sour apple or watermelon bubble gum will be chewed.
Once again, ballplayers are an irrational lot.
Alternatives to Baseball Bubble Gum
Sunflower seeds are the primary alternative to gum. If you look, you'll see the floor of any baseball dugout will be littered with spit out seeds. Peanuts are another alternative, though a bit less common as you can only eat so many and there's a ballgame to be played!
As for tobacco, we do not recommend using it at any age. Further, it's illegal if you're under 21. This is a bit humorous to us though, as Big League Chew is modeled on chewing tobacco. From the shape of the gum to the pouch that it comes in, the parallels are strong.
- Sunflower Seeds
Baseball Bubble Gum FAQs
Does anyone besides baseball players chew gum?
Most likely not. A baseball game supports an all-star amount of sitting around. This is true whether players are in the field or dugout. Doubly true if you're talking about the bullpen, as relief pitchers can go days, sometimes weeks before seeing the field. Baseball is built for gum chewing.
Basketball, football and hockey players do not chew gum (for the most part). Do you really think that ol' Seven Rings Brady the G.O.A.T. could fire passes to his boy Gronk with a wad of Bazooka Joe in his mouth? Ok, you're right, he really could.
The legendary Tom Brady aside, non-baseball athletes chew gum far less frequently.
Is it Dubble Bubble or Double Bubble?
Dubble Bubble is correct. Though it might start getting called Double Bubble if a player goes on a hitting streak.
Interesting fact about Dubble Bubble - they make baseball gumballs. Yup. Dubble Bubble Gumballs are a pretty slick treat that are perfect for your Little League team (if you're a coach). They straight up have the original bubble gum flavor.
Do they still make Big League Chew?
OF COURSE they still make Big League Chew, it's an all-time best seller. You can buy it in convenience stores, supermarkets, and even on Amazon. Like rock & roll, Big League Chew Bubble Gum will never die. In fact, it's closing in on the 1 Billion Sold mark.
Who invented Big League Chew Bubble Gum?
A former professional pitcher, Rob Nelson. Rob topped out playing for the minor league Portland Mavericks. His bubble gum, however, was anything but minor league. Even Mr. Nelson respects the cultural impact that is his bubble gum, telling Esquire:
“I like to say that my arm’s not in the Hall of Fame, but my gum is,” Nelson told me. “It’s not the way I thought I’d get in, but I have no complaints.”
Big League Chew Flavors
- Curveball Cotton Candy
- Ground Ball Grape
- Outta' Here Original
- Swingin' Sour Apple
- Wild Pitch Watermelon