Why do so many Baseball players spit on the floor? Every time I watch the game they spit on the floor nonstop. Why?

Expert Answers
ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several different explanations.  In 1847, when the rules of baseball were created, chewing tobacco was the most popular form of tobacco.  Many players chewed it in order to keep their mouths from getting dry on the dusty fields.  Peer pressure kept the practice going until the spitting part was linked to the disease Tuberculosis, after which chewing declined.

Beginning in the 1970's, many baseball players switched from smoking cigarettes to chewing tobacco because of the mistaken notion that it was safer, thus increasing its use in baseball.  Spitting on the ground, I suppose, is a lot easier than using a cup.

In addition, some players may operate under the impression that spitting is a "manly" thing to do.  They may also be using it as a commentary on the game or on particular calls. You are probably referring to the World Series games that are going on about now, and the increase in spitting may be a result of the stress that comes with being involved in such a high stakes contest...in short, the increase could be the result of a "nervous habit."

Sometimes the spitting is less disgusting than "chaw."  Many players have adopted the habit of chewing on Sunflower seeds during the game.  Spitting out the shells, I suppose, is an easy way to get rid of them.

So there you have it:  there are many different reasons why baseball players spit so much, and the disgusting habit is unlikely to go away.  If you have a hi-def TV I suppose you can identify what it is (if you were inclined.)  If it is clear, it's just saliva (maybe from chewing gum.)  If it's brown, it's tobacco.  If it is clear with little things in it, well, you've got seeds.  Good luck!