Sale, the American League's starting pitcher for Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego, credited the San Diego Padres legend, nicknamed "Mr. Padre," with helping him reverse a seven-year-old habit.
"He actually made a very big impact in my life. I chewed tobacco from 2007 until the day he passed away," Sale told reporters during Monday's All-Star media day in San Diego (via ESPN.com).
Gwynn spent his entire 20-year career in San Diego, winning eight National League batting titles and earning 15 All-Star selections.
He had a lifetime .338 batting average and 3,141 career hits. Gwynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 before his death seven years later at age 54.
"He was a larger-than-life person," Sale said. "He was an inspiration to the game for many, many people for a lot of different reasons. But I quit that day, and I haven't touched it since."
"In a sense, I owe him a huge thank you for not only myself but for my family, and, you know, hopefully I can maybe sway somebody in the right direction as well like he did for me."
Sale, 27, is 14-3 with a 3.38 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 18 starts with the White Sox this season.