During my first year in Little League, I was introduced to the sunflower seed as a snack. It made the long time spent on the bench enjoyable and fun. Then when my second season rolled around, we were told that eating sunflower seeds would no longer be tolerated because clean up of the discarded shells was becoming too much of a hassle. While at first this might have seemed like a good idea for the folks who took care of our park, the alternative was much worse. We switched to gum. A lot of gum.
Each player on the team probably consumed at least a piece an inning and instead of tossing the discarded piece into the trash, we would stick it on walls or on the fence. Even after being yelled at by our coach we continued the practice, just more surreptitiously. The weird thing is, they never banned gun and between each game the gum was scraped off the walls.
While I enjoyed the gum chewing, I really enjoyed working on a bag of seeds even more and to this day I still associate them with my earliest baseball memories.
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