White Sox pitcher Chris Sale cites Padres legend Tony Gwynn as the reason for why he stopped chewing tobacco.
Gwynn died on June 16, 2014 after battling salivary gland cancer. Gwynn was widely known for chewing tobacco, and his family recently sued the tobacco industry over his death.
It is unclear whether Gwynn's tobacco use was the cause for his cancer and ultimate death. Even so, Sale says he stopped chewing because of Gwynn.
“I quit that day [he died] and haven't touched it since,” Sale told reporters Monday. “In a sense, I owe him a huge thank you.”
Sale, who is the starting pitcher for the American League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, said he had been chewing tobacco since 2007 and stopped when Gwynn passed away.
Gwynn, who Sports Illustrated once described as the greatest hitter since Ted Williams, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.