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Chicago White Sox's Chris Sale credits Tony Gwynn for quitting chewing tobacco

By
The Sports Xchange
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (L). Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (L). Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Chicago White Sox star southpaw Chris Sale was so moved by the passing of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn that he quit chewing tobacco the day he died of salivary gland cancer in June 2014.

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.

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"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."

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"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.

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