As the new baseball season opens this week, one long-time tradition of the game will be missing from some ballparks.
In Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and elsewhere, ballplayers will no longer be allowed to take the field with wads of chewing tobacco pressed inside their cheeks.
America’s three biggest cities have recently passed bans on chewing tobacco in ballparks — the substance remains completely legal everywhere else — and those bans will extend to not only the fans at Major League Baseball games, but the players on the field as well.
“It’s very important for the health of our players, and for the city as a whole,” New York mayor (and Nanny State regular) Bill de Blasio told ESPN last month when he signed the ban. “Young people look up to baseball players, and they look up to all athletes, and we want to protect everyone’s health.”
Yes, chewing tobacco is an…