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California trying to ban tobacco in baseball

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill in the hopes of banning tobacco products from all ballparks from little league to the major leagues.  Assemblyman Tony Thurmond cited Tony Gwynn when he introduced the bill last February.

California to MLB: Ditch the dip |

"This might be one additional piece to the legacy of a great player like Tony Gwynn," Thurmond said in February. "People can think that because of his advocacy and his honesty and his courage that we might prevent (chewing tobacco) from impacting future young people and athletes."

The interesting thing is that Tony Gwynn did not believe that chewing tobacco should be banned.  He thought that it should be the choice of the players.  He did however try to influence their choice when he made a video for active players prior to his passing urging them to reconsider their choice.

Tony Gwynn ready to smile all the while after battling cancer - 4/23/2011

Unlike Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig or former manager Bobby Valentine, who recently made public calls for smokeless tobacco to be banned in the majors, Gwynn stops shorts of a campaign.

"There's a lot of people who think I should be the guy leading the charge," he said. "Everybody has to make their own decision. I made mine. Obviously, it wasn't a good one. Now I have to live with the results of that."

Gwynn's family too has yet to support the proposed ban.  The Padres for their part will do whatever the MLB tells them to do but they approve of the spirit of the ban:

"The Padres stand with Major League Baseball in supporting the spirit of the ban, and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field and in our ballpark. At this point, it is too early to comment on enforcement, but we will work closely with MLB as it continues discussions with the Players Association to determine a course of action."