An Open Letter To Nick Swisher From a Fan – Quit Dipping

Nick Swisher Indians JerseyDear Nick Swisher ~

Welcome to Cleveland!  As a huge Cleveland Indians fan I simply cannot tell you how jazzed I am to see you donning a Tribe jersey this season.  I was driving to work the other day and literally got goosebumps when I noticed a guy walking on the sidewalk wearing a #33 Swisher jersey.

Sadly, as an anti tobacco advocate, I’ve got to say that I’m not quite as happy.  Allow me to share a story with you.

I was watching the Opening Day game the other night where you and my beloved Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays and I received a text from a co-worker.

“Does Swisher have a big chew in?  Disappointing.”

The answer was unfortunately affirmative.  Now I’ve never been one of those anti-tobacco guys that thinks everyone HAS to quit.  I’ve also not been a huge proponent of dip, snuff and chew being “banned” from Major League Baseball.  I’ve always been more of a passive type making available resources for those who wanted to quit dipping and offering support when they finally made their decision to quit dipping.  Believe me… I know how hard it is to quit, and the last thing you want to hear one week into your first regular season is some blogger you’ve never heard of spouting off about how you should quit.  I get get it.

Quite frankly I’ve given up on going the official route and trying to contact Major League Baseball.  I’ve tried time and time again to contact the league or to contact specific teams offering help.  I’m not looking for an endorsement for  I’m offering help.  But those attempts have always been met with silence.  I get it.  However, after that text the other night, I received a follow up text which compelled me to put this post together.

“Kids all over look up to him.  [My son] just asked me… “What’s in his mouth?””

And that Nick is why I’m writing.  Please quit.  Quit for the kids of Cleveland and all around the league that look up to you.  Quit for the kids who try to emulate you on and off the field.  Quit because I know deep down that you want to.

I did some Googling for this piece.  If you go to Google Images and do a search for “Nick Swisher” you know what’s the first image that comes up?

Nick Swisher

Wanna see some others?  There are plenty.

I know what you’re saying… “Those are old images.  Show me something new!”  OK.  I can do that too.  How about the first picture that someone sees when they click on your player profile from the Official Cleveland Indians website:

Nick Swisher Batting

As I said before, I get it.  Quitting is hard.  In fact, I’m guessing it’s super difficult for you in your surroundings.  In doing some research, I find that sadly, my beloved Indians now have 3 of the Top 10 Most Obvious “Dippers” In Major League Baseball.

As I said before, I’m about the biggest Tribe fan you’ll ever run into.  I’ll be there on Monday afternoon watching you take the field in the home opener.  But please gentlemen… Please consider what you’re doing when you throw in your dip.  You’re affecting young Clevelanders who think you’re cool.

Let me say this.  If you or anyone on the team wants to quit, I will do everything in my power to help you.  I will never lie to you and tell you it will be easy.  It won’t.  But I will utilize every tool that I and the rest of the 15,000 members of have developed to help you.

Say the word and I can be down at Progressive Field within 20 minutes.  I can stop by on my lunch hour, before a game, after a game, on an off day, on the weekends, in the morning, etc.  I can meet you at a Starbucks.  We can grab a drink at the Winking Lizard.  You say the word and I’ll make myself available.  But not because you’re a celebrity.  Because you’re a quitter.  And while YOUR job is going yard… MY job is helping people quit.

Reach out… I’m not hard to find.  Email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  I’ll be waiting on your response.

Until then… GO TRIBE!!!

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  1. I’m always a fan of letting people do what they want. I was looking for biggest dippers in baseball and came across this article. I think you should tell your friend that he should tell his kid that it’s grown up gum, because eventually that kid will learn what chewing tobacco is and why people do it.
    Is chewing during a game that big of a deal? I don’t think so. But I completely agree that there should be a support system in baseball and sports in general that is available for players that want to kick the habit. But, outlawing it from the game is stupid. It’s kind of like running over the catcher. It’s part of the game. Wait, never mind, they got rid of that because of Buster Posey. The game is fine the way it is, let’s leave it be.

  2. Hey chewie. Kinda funny. I am a clevelander living in this dudes home town in WV. Dip is everywhere down here. I love coming home to Cleveland. Moving back actually. I was at the Arena Bowl last night so disappointed. Go CAVS and Tribe and my beloved browns. E.55 st is where my heart is haha

  3. Your point is well taken Matt. There are some out there that feel strongly about lots of topics. Some have strong feelings about them and say, how can I make a difference, I am one person and can’t make a difference. Some people feel opposite. Read carefully at the post. He’s not pushing anything. He’s offering. He’s not beating his chest saying Swisher is a douchebag for dipping. He’s offering help. Sure Nick is a grown man and makes his own decisions. I get that. But don’t you feel that if you really feel strongly about a position, that you have to say something? If you could reach out and help just one person wouldn’t that be worth it? Your kids asking you, whats in his mouth? Imagining himself one day with a bat in his hand and pinch between his cheek and gum just like Nick, Verlander, Alou and all the others.

    I know what its like to be hooked. I played ball for many years also, dipping was an essential piece of gear as important as my cleats and bat. Maybe Nick is scared to quit. Maybe he’s afraid his batting average will slip lower than normal (that could be another blogpost!). Ask Josh Hamilton about it while you’re at it.

    Now I know what freedom is like, why should I keep that feeling to myself? Don’t you think I want Nick to know about it?

  4. That is what I love about this site. People reaching out to people. Doesn’t matter who you are, doesn’t matter how you make a living. Quitting is tough for anyone, and damn near impossible without support from someone who has been there and done it. I have been quit 94 days after 25 years of dipping. Glad someone reached out to me, glad someone let me know it was possible. My 9 year old is a huge Tiger fan, I hate having to explain to him why Verlander is always sucking on a big wad of dirt.

  5. You can’t buy help like this. You just can’t. I have been quit for one thousand eight hundred and ninety days now. In no small part because of Chewie and his band of misfit quitters at KillTheCan. Sometimes fate finds you. Grab hold Nick. You will never regret it.

  6. Chewie, its funny you write this today. Yesterday my blood was boiling while reading Paul Hoynes (the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Indian beat writer) recap of their season opener. Terry Francona was talking about how nervous he was for the first game and in a joking manner states “I went through three tins of tobacco. My tongue is four sizes to big”. Hoynes notes “Players, coaches and managers aren’t supposed to chew tobacco in the dugout, Francona hides his with bubble gum”.

    It just bothers me that Francona makes this comment as a punchline to how nervous he was, and then Hoynes just brushes it off like “ah, what are you going to do”. MLB has new
    “rules” in place, but this just shows how much the players and managers are ignoring it. I am a huge Francona fan, but how can MLB not fine him after openly defying their new rules.

    1. Wow… I didn’t see that quote from Tito! That would have fired me up too. I sincerely hope that the Indians take me up on my offer. I know quite a few quitters here in the Cleveland area that would be more than willing to help.

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