New York City youth baseball organization lets players use dip..


July 17, 2009 - The Outsiders Baseball Association are an ever-expanding beacon of hope for youth baseball players in the Bronx,(New York City) an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the players, including their health and well-being.

So when you attend an Outsiders game and hear the inevitable "Who's got dip?" chorus, (dip = MST = moist snuff tobacco) it can be jarring.
But the truth is, tobacco use - especially "dipping" with snuff - has been synonymous with the Outsiders ever since they were founded in 2003. For an organization that prides itself on education, there seems to be a serious and disturbing lack of recognition of the dangers of smokeless tobacco. The preferred tobacco among Outsiders players is snuff, a moist form of tobacco sold in tins.

Outsiders organizers must be educated on what is important for improving the lives of players especially when it comes to their health and well-being: this information then should be passed on to all baseball players.

Of the 14 players polled on the 18-and-under Outsiders team, 11 of them say they have chewed tobacco. And not because it tastes good - most of the players interviewed say "dip" - or snuff - helps them focus and gives them extra energy, and that they do not view it in the same way as they do cigarettes.

Interestingly, on a team that sometimes struggles with mental lapses on the field, many of the players asked about smokeless tobacco mentioned how snuff gets their head in the game. Clean-up hitter Darlyn Gonzalez says that dip "relaxes me."

Chewing tobacco has long been part of the fabric of baseball in the U.S. The tobacco craze began in the 1900s, when baseball players would chew to keep their mouths moist, then would spit on the baseball in order to throw spitballs. Baseball legend Babe Ruth died during this age of heavy tobacco use at 52 from a cancerous tumor caused by chewing tobacco.

Today, according to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 40% of all Major League Baseball players and 30% of all minor league players chew tobacco on a daily basis. In addition, one ACS study found that 59% of major league players who chew smokeless tobacco already have lesions that may develop into cancer. Unfortunately, athletes provide the largest source of marketing for tobacco companies, and are often seen chewing tobacco during televised games. Big league players are the No. 1 influence on tobacco abuse by underage kids.

Read more: The Outsiders are an ever-expanding beacon of hope for youth baseball players in the Bronx, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the players, including their health and well-being.

So when you attend an Outsiders game and hear the inevitable "Who's got dip?" chorus, it can be jarring.

But the truth is, tobacco use - especially "dipping" with snuff - has been synonymous with the Outsiders ever since they were founded in 2003. For an organization that prides itself on education, there seems to be a serious and disturbing lack of recognition of the dangers of smokeless tobacco.

Of the 14 players polled on the 18-and-under Outsiders team, 11 of them say they have chewed tobacco. And not because it tastes good - most of the players interviewed say "dip" - or snuff - helps them focus and gives them extra energy, and that they do not view it in the same way as they do cigarettes.

Outsiders star catcher and team captain Victor Figueroa has been using snuff since he was 15. "Dip gives me energy," he says. "It puts me in my zone."

Fellow 18-year-old teammate Edison Montalvo says he dips only during baseball games, "to keep me hyped and focused."

Interestingly, on a team that sometimes struggles with mental lapses on the field, many of the players asked about smokeless tobacco mentioned how snuff gets their head in the game. Clean-up hitter Darlyn Gonzalez says that dip "relaxes me."

Chewing tobacco has long been part of the fabric of baseball in the U.S. The tobacco craze began in the 1900s, when baseball players would chew to keep their mouths moist, then would spit on the baseball in order to throw spitballs. Baseball legend Babe Ruth died during this age of heavy tobacco use at 52 from a cancerous tumor caused by chewing tobacco.

Today, according to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 40% of all Major League Baseball players and 30% of all minor league players chew tobacco on a daily basis.

In addition, one ACS study found that 59% of major league players who chew smokeless tobacco already have lesions that may develop into cancer. Unfortunately, athletes provide the largest source of marketing for tobacco companies, and are often seen chewing tobacco during televised games. Big league players are the No. 1 influence on tobacco abuse by underage kids.

Many young players mistakenly believe that smokeless tobacco is not as harmful as the tobacco found in cigarettes. However, an average serving of snuff delivers 3.6 milligrams of nicotine while one cigarette delivers only 1 mg, making dip three times as potent as cigarettes.

The Outsiders use of snuff is a microcosm of the much bigger issue of underage tobacco use in youth baseball. A CDC study reveals that 6% of adult males are current users of smokeless tobacco but that 13% of high school males and 4% of middle school males are current smokeless tobacco users. The startling data shows that the percentage of underage snuff users outnumber adult users 3 to 1. Unfortunately, the earlier a kid starts dipping, the more of a chance he or she will be addicted for life.

Reference: Chew on this: Outsiders not immune to troubling use of chewing tobacco among high school athletes by Kyle Finck, New York Daily News, 7/16/2009.
(spit, chew, chewing, dipping))
Click on image to enlarge; former baseball player.

1 comments:

  Kyle 'blankito' Finck

July 20, 2009 at 10:24 AM

As the writer of this orginal article, let me assure you that Outsiders organizers are indeed educated on the risks of smokeless tobacco.
Outsiders organizers are devoted to improving the long term lives of these players who are living in squalor as we speak. To think that snuff is the biggest threat to these young men's future is simply small-minded and wrong.
While the message this website is trying to convey is certainly the right one, in this instance, getting these "at risk" teens out of the bronx and into college is more important than quitting snuff.