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New smokeless tobacco ban will affect Busch Stadium

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A new ban will prohibit all smokeless tobacco products at sports venues in St. Louis, Koran Addo of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The bill was approved by the Board of Aldermen on Friday and is expected to take effect in all high school, college and professional stadiums within the city limits — including the Cardinals’ Busch Stadium.

Under the ban, players, staff and fans will not be able to use any smokeless tobacco products, including chew, snuff and dip. A $100 fine will be levied for a first offense, followed by $250 for a subsequent violation and $500+ for any violation after that.

The measure will make St. Louis the ninth U.S. city with such a ban and will make the Cardinals the 12th MLB team to prohibit smokeless tobacco products in their stadium. While the new Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that new players must abstain from smokeless tobacco, several cities have not yet enacted a ban that extends to everyone within their sports venues.

California is expected to enforce a similar law that was passed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2015. The statewide ban will take effect in Anaheim, Oakland and San Diego prior to the 2017 season.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.