One of the fun things the off-season allows a blogger like myself to do is explore the game’s history a little bit more, given that the dog days of summer provide us with little-to-no real hockey news.
Yes, that’s Eric Lindros in full regalia, taking batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s the back of the card:
“Eric, a big, 17 year old power hitter, batted over .400 in high school, and will be given a tryout by the Toronto Blue Jays. ‘He’s an unknown quantity right now because he’s so inexperienced,’ said one scout ‘but he has all the tools to make it big.’”
How crazy is that?
I feel like hockey requires more athletic abilities than most other sports – you can’t just get huge, you have to be as strong as possible while still being able to be agile and have great hand-eye coordination, and that means a lot of good hockey players are probably good at other sports too (fun fact: both my Dad and Father-in-Law were drafted by Pat Gillick to the Houston Astros.)
Gotta love having your “baseball card” mention “Bo, Deion and D.J.” on the back.
Lindros then got drafted by the Montreal Expos, but then refused to play for them, and forced a trade to the Phillies.*
*Event may not have actually happened. (My understanding is that basically, Cito Gaston invited him to come take batting practice with the team, he did, and that was the end of it. At least he got a sweet card out of the deal.)