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Strasburg gives up dipping

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 24 2014 01:22:54 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 02:37:17 PM CDT
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals, 2013

Larry Downing/Reuters

The death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn last week made Stephen Strasburg decide to give up smokeless tobacco.

The Washington Nationals pitcher played at San Diego State when Gwynn was the coach there and said he made the decision to quit for his young daughter.

"I think it's a disgusting habit, looking back on it," Strasburg told MLB.com. "I was pretty naive when I started. Just doing it here and there, I didn't think it was going to be such an addiction.

"Bottom line is, I want to be around for my family. This is something that can affect people the rest of your life. (Chewing tobacco is) so prevalent in this game. It's something we all kind of grew up doing."

Gwynn died June 16. He was initially was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland in 2010 and attributed it to his use of smokeless tobacco during his 20-year playing career with the San Diego Padres.

Strasburg, who said he started using before he went to college, was surprised to learned that Gwynn dipped.

Arizona Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed, one of Strasburg's teammates at San Diego State, announced Saturday that he also was giving up smokeless tobacco.

"He was such an unbelievable person, human being," Strasburg said of Gwynn. "I mean he touched so many lives. Not only in the San Diego area, but all of baseball. ... Given a chance to know him on a personal level, you could see how could brighten everyone's day. When we weren't playing well, he always had a smile on his face."

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