The sports world was incredibly saddened by the passing of Tony Gwynn last week. The Hall of Fame outfielder lost his lengthy battle with cancer and left us too soon at just 54-years of age.
While there are never any easy answers when it comes to death, Gwynn apparently believed his long-term use of smokeless tobacco contributed to his, even though it was never medically confirmed. But when someone dies of mouth cancer after years and years of chewing, it doesn’t take a doctor to connect the dots.
Since Gwynn’s passing several MLB players, including Stephen Strasburg, have come out and said that they’re giving up chew. The use of smokeless tobacco in MLB is a topic that will continue to make headlines, and it definitely will after Gwynn’s posthumous message on not using it airs later this season.
The late HOF’er had previously taped a message where he spoke out against the use of tobacco, and he’ll now essentially pull a Yul Brynner, who taped a message about the dangers of smoking before his death.
It’s unclear exactly how MLB will present Gwynn’s message, or exactly what he said in the taped segment, but you know it will be powerful stuff. Hearing people ‘speak’ from beyond the grave is attention-getting, to say the least.
If there’s a positive that can be taken out of Gwynn’s passing, it’s that his message could save future lives. Chewing tobacco is proven to be destructive to the human body, and eventually, it catches up to nearly everyone who uses it.