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Five Issues Congress Should Worry About Before Tobacco 2

Posted on April 16, 2010 by Don Spieles
Tobacco has long been an engrained staple on the baseball diamond.

Tobacco has long been an engrained staple on the baseball diamond.

Many, many folks share the opinion that Congress should keeps its collective nose out of the area of professional sports all together.  A recent story from the Associated Press revealed that the new cause du jour for sports minded elected officials is chewing tobacco.

The use of chewing tobacco and snuff, or “dip”, is prevalent in Major League baseball.  While it is common knowledge that the use of these products is associated with largely increased instances of cancers of the mouth, throat, and stomach, and with the minor leagues having banned it’s game time use in 1993, its use is still common place in the big show.

“Good luck,” said Brandon Medders, San Francisco Giants pitcher, referring to trying to ban the use of tobacco. “Guys do what they do. We work outside. It’s been part of the game for 100 years.”

While not using the stuff is obviously a good idea, it will not be an easy sell.  Not to mention that it is far from the most pressing issue in professional sports.  Here are five better ways for Congress to focus their extra time.

5. Gambling

Gambling is one of the best kept non-secrets in the universe.  The one player who has been banned from professional baseball in the last half century, Pete Rose, was booted for gambling.  The “industry”, both legal and illegal versions, constitutes a multi-billion dollar cash sow for those raking in the dough.  Gambling has proven itself every bit as addictive to some individuals as tobacco or drugs, and the NBA was rocked by a scandal where referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison for being involved in a gambling scandal. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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