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.

Today’s exploratory mission started following a conversation between @NHLHistoryGirl and @Sean_Leahy about the following baseball card:

Wait, what?

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.)

Comments (7)

  1. Haha that’s good stuff, too bad he didn’t play baseball he might only average a concussion every 2 years.

  2. I’m just wondering who the “D.J.” is that they’re referring to…

  3. And what about Vsevolod Bobrov… he is by far the greatest two sport man ever… and yes d.j is a mystery

  4. DJ is DJ Dozier.

  5. I didn’t know that about Kirk McCaskill. The more famous example is probably Tom Glavine, a 1984 draftee of the LA Kings, who also chose pitching over hockey. McCaskill was better-established at that point, of course, but Glavine had just finished throwing 6 CG and 4 shutouts in ’89 (same as McCaskill), and was shortly to begin an impressive run (six top-3 Cy Young finishes in ten seasons) while McCaskill’s career was already cresting the hill.

    It would have been very interesting to see if Lindros could have made the bigs at age 19, replacing the declining Kelly Gruber at third base and facing off against Glavine in the 1992 World Series; or if he had given the team the ability to trade Ed Sprague for a player that could have helped them in the mid-90′s. Imagine Lindros and Clemens, two of the more polarizing sports figures of the day, on the same franchise!

    On top of this, Lindros is only 39 now, and could be helping some club as a DH and part-time first-baseman… while Tom Glavine cries on camera because his beloved Kings finally won the Cup shortly after he retired and had his #47 raised to the rafters.

  6. But would Lindros’ ego fit in the Rogers Centre?

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