If you've watched the Padres right-hander pitch, you may have noticed his inning-ending ritual is to toss his gum away.
"It's something I have done for I don't know how long now," Garland said when confronted with this behavior. "It just so happened that's where I chose to throw it out that game. Sometimes it might be in the dugout. But if I throw it out somewhere, usually the rest of the game, it's going to go in that same spot."
Garland said he chews gum to avoid a dry-mouth feeling and estimates that he has chewed a new piece of gum every inning since he started pitching in high school. So over the years, Garland's gum has really piled up. In his Major League career alone, he has pitched more than 1,900 innings. At 4.5 grams per piece, that equals more than 171 pounds of gum in the grass.
"I kind of feel bad when I do it because somebody does have to go out and clean it up," Garland said. "But at the moment, I'm not even thinking about that."
Matt Brown is one of those guys who will clean it up. A grounds crew intern from Ohio State, Brown combs the field for Garland's used gum.
"We have backpack blowers that suck it out of the grass," Brown said. "So no picking it up by hand or anything like that."
Normally, already-been-chewed gum would be worthless. But since it's from a major leaguer, it could have some value. In 2002, a piece of chewed gum from Luis Gonzalez, the Arizona Diamondbacks slugger, sold on eBay for $10,000.
"If anybody would like a piece of free Jon Garland-chewed gum, just let me know," Brown said.
Before the grounds crew can get to the pieces, the Padres players have to step carefully on their way in and out of the dugout.
"When he wins games like he does all the time, we have to walk out there and dodge all the land minds he puts out there when we shake hands," said Clayton Richard, a Padres' pitcher.
Glenn Hoffman, the Padres third base coach, said he has even been summoned by the umpires to do a quick sweep during the game.
As for the gum of choice, Garland said, "Just the sugarless bubble gum that we have in the dugout."
Sugarless, good for the teeth?
"Yeah, I try," Garland said with a smile.