Monday, October 24, 2011

Chaw ('50s Version)

It tastes horrible, it stains everything, it gives you cancer, and it makes you look stupid.   What’s not to like?

Hard to believe, but there was a time when sticking a soggy mass of carcinogenic glop in your cheek was as accepted as sunflower seeds are today.  Of course, pregnant women drank and smoked back then too.  Ah, the ‘50s.

So, here it is, a gallery of guys doing their best to look like intellectually-challenged chipmunks …

This straight-on shot shows how disfiguring even a little wad of chew can make you look. 

Poker-faced Jim here actually had a pretty good career.  Over a thousand games, mostly in the outfield for the Senators.  King hit 24 dingers for them one year, but could never really get that average up (.240 lifetime). 


It’s not easy to chew and smile at the same time. 

Billy Gardner looks like one of those scrappy little middle infielders, doesn’t he?  Man, I hate those guys.  Sure enough, Wikipedia has him pegged as “a scrappy, light-hitting second baseman.”  Oddly, however, he didn’t have any speed (10 SBs lifetime), and was nicknamed “Shotgun” for his rifle arm.  As for the latter, I’m 1) wondering what’s he doing at 2nd and 2) thinking shotguns are really not all that accurate.

Hey, Billy's still chewin' away in those wild and crazy '60s.

Even Hall of Famers got caught chewing.  Looks like ol’ Nellie’s managed to shoehorn a couple of bags in there.

Nellie Fox is another one of those light-hitting, good-fielding types who have made it into the Hall somehow over the years.  His is a great story, though, from getting signed at 16 by Connie Mack at a local tryout to dying heartbreakingly young from lymphatic cancer.  It’d make a great movie.

More Nellie right here, here, and here.

Between the poor illustration and the bulging ‘bacca jaw, Vic Raschi manages to looks like some kind of ‘50s comic book character.  Seeing as he’s a Yankee – especially a Yankee of the ‘50s – maybe comic book villain would be better.

He was known as the “Springfield Rifle.”  Because he was from Springfield, MA …  And they made rifles there …  (Wait, they made rifles there?)  And he threw really hard …  Like a rifle, I guess.  Nah, I don’t get it either.

And here's another one of Vic comin' right at ya.

* - author has this card

Sorry there are so few cards on this post.  I actually think chewing tobacco was something the card companies frowned upon in that incredibly innocent decade.  So, I guess these guys are real rebels to boot.  Don’t worry, though, we’ll have plenty of chewers in those rebellious ‘60s.


  1. Billie Gardiner looks like he's got a wad of tobacco on each side of his mouth!

  2. Vic Raschi surrendered Hank Aaron's first major league homer.