Major League Baseball lost one of its all-time greats when Tony Gwynn died due to salivary gland cancer on Monday, but the cause of Gwynn’s death may help curb a common habit in baseball clubhouses.
Gwynn believed that years of using smokeless tobacco caused the cancer, and D-backs closer Addison Reed vowed to stop the habit as a result of his death, according to Steve Gilbert of Dbacks.com
Reed, who played for Gwynn at San Diego State, had used smokeless tobacco since he was a junior in high school.
Reed threw away seven cans from his locker before earlier this week, then threw away two more in his car as part of his effort to quit the habit.
“It’s one of those things where I’ve done it for so long it’s just become a habit, a really bad habit,” Reed said of using smokeless tobacco. “It was something I always told myself I would quit, like next month, and the next thing you know it’s been six or seven years.
“It started to get bad my first year in pro ball and it’s one of those things where I’ve always done it,” he said. “I’d come to the field and throw one in and have multiple ones. I’d have one on the ride home, one on the way to the field and it was one of those things where I always had one with me.”
Now that is no longer the case.
“These five days have been kind of rough, but I think it’s something that’s doable,” Reed said. “I don’t have any cans in my locker, so as long as I don’t go and buy any, I should be all right.”