LORELAI: Oh, now that kid’s a major drooler …
LUKE: Okay, that’s it, they have to go.
LORELAI: Luke, come on, it’s just spit. Pretend you’re at a baseball game.
Frequent spitting has been a tradition in baseball since the 1800s, with tobacco the first substance chewed in order to stimulate saliva. Chewing tobacco went on the decline during the 1970s, and has been banned in the sport since 2016 (but with a grandfather clause, so anyone who chewed tobacco before that is still doing it now). Sunflower seeds, slippery elm bark, peanut shells, and chewing gum became other popular ways to stimulate saliva flow. Spitting at baseball games was banned in 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but I think the ban got lifted or was never policed. I can’t find a reference to it since 2020. Anyone that knows baseball, fill us in!
The reason for the spitting? Tradition, habit, helping to pass the time, showing off, and basically, because they can! At least these are the reasons I have been given.