Quitting Tobacco - Sunflower Seeds are the Healthy Choice

Posted by Kyle Southerling on

“Why Pinch It when you can Grab It!”

Tobacco use in professional sports today may be less obvious but, contrary to what we want to believe, it is firmly embedded into our athletic culture: As many as 54% of High School athletes have used smokeless tobacco in the last 12 months.  In particular, the Baseball Tobacco Culture is healthy.  Yes, pun intended.  While attempts are made to curtail its use the reality is that it remains a constant temptation to our up and coming ballplayers.  Who can blame them?  When a badass ballplayer is dropping bombs and packing a lip at the same time it’s hard to ignore.  And hard to resist.  We’ve all seen the images of the big baseball grins with a handful of “Red Man” packed into the lip with a few strands hanging out just for the theatre of it.  Perfect advertising.

We are reminded every day that this problem is not going away soon. 

1.  52% of college baseball players use smokeless tobacco.
2.  Half a million boys begin using smokeless tobacco between the ages of 12-17.
3.  Baseball has the highest level of smokeless tobacco use in all major sports.
4.  Tony Gwynn died from mouth cancer at age 54 as a result of smokeless tobacco.

The same colleges that have banned the use of tobacco have coaches and trainers walking around using.  It doesn’t stop there.  The National Scouting events that host 300 teams a week (roughly 6,000 players) are showcases for teenage ballplayers to exhibit their talents.  The sad reality is that it also is a forum for scouts to showcase their tobacco use.  We’re not judging here… most of these scouts / coaches have been entrenched in the baseball culture for many years and have grown up using tobacco. It’s a Right of Passage.  Yeah, Welcome to the Bigs.

The efforts to limit, or ban, tobacco use are worthy endeavors and should continue. But it’s not as simple as colleges or the pros having strict guidelines. Think about it: there are 1,200 players in the MLB at any given time but over 4 million Little League participants, 500,000 High School players, adult leagues, travel academy teams, American Legion teams, the list goes on and on.  The vast majority of ballplayers will never play on a college diamond let alone a major league field.  And they play anything from stick ball to half ball.  They play on the local neighborhood fields or playgrounds as a way to continue the dream and reenact a Barry Bonds Home Run or Pete Rose head first slide.  These are the players that we are trying to reach.  The grass roots players who aren’t looking for glory: Just a pickup game to earn a few bragging rights.

sunflower seeds versus chewing tobacco for little leaguers

The question becomes, how do you reach this group?  How do you change behavior?  One way is to offer an equally appealing alternative.  Something just as kickass.  Think back:  You’re playing stickball, Johnny is pitching, bases loaded (although it’s just you and Johnny playing), 2 outs, game 7 of the World Series, and bottom of the ninth.  The game is tied. You step into the batter’s box as Johnny is getting his sign.  He spits off to the side of the mound as you adjust your figurative cup.  In other words, you “Grab Your Sack!”

Baseball’s Original Seed-Sack is a product that brings it all together.  From its construction to its authentic classic baseball look and feel, the Seed-Sack provides our ballplayers with a healthy alternative.  Sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrition with Vitamins B-1 & E and best of all it can be introduced to ballplayers of all ages.  Let’s change some habits and Grab Your Sack!

baseball sunflower seeds

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