The Lone Man to play in MLB and the NHL (and other MLB/NHL connections)

Hockey is back!

(Crickets)

Well, anyway, there have been far fewer two-sport athletes in baseball involving hockey than there are basketball or football. In fact, there has been a grand total of one player who has spent time in the Major Leagues and the NHL. That player is Jim Riley, who spent some brief time with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators in the 1920s and spent a brief time with the Chicago Black Hawks (note the space) and Detroit Cougars (not yet the Red Wings) in the 1926-1927 season. Here’s what his top league statistics looked like:

In MLB:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1921 26 SLB AL 4 12 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000 .083 .000 .083 -78 0 0 0 /4
1923 28 WSH AL 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .400 .000 .400 13 0 0 0 /3
1931 Did not play in major leagues (Did Not Play)
2 Yrs 6 17 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 .000 .176 .000 .176 -52 0 0 0
162 Game Avg. 162 459 378 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 81 81 .000 .176 .000 .176 -52 0 0 0
WSH (1 yr) 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .400 .000 .400 13 0 0 0
SLB (1 yr) 4 12 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000 .083 .000 .083 -78 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/14/2013.

In the NHL:

Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
1926-27 31 TOT NHL 9 0 2 2 1 14
1926-27 31 CBH NHL 3 0 0 0 0 0
1926-27 31 DTC NHL 6 0 2 2 1 14
Career NHL 9 0 2 2 1 14
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/14/2013.

Of course, Riley also played in the minor leagues in both sports. You can find his baseball minor league stats over at Baseball Reference, and you can find his hockey stats over at hockeydb.com.

Now, although Riley is the lone man to have played in both MLB and the NHL, he is not the only player who played both sports. Not even close. Take a look after the jump for other connections between America’s pastime and Canada’s pastime:

Great hockey players who played baseball:

Baseball players who played some hockey:

  • Tom Glavine was drafted in the fourth round of the 1984 NHL entry draft by the LA Kings. This was two rounds before Calgary drafted Brett Hull. Brett Hull is a Hall of Famer. Tom Glavine will one day be a Hall of Famer… in baseball.
  • Justin Morneau was briefly a third-string goalie for the Portland Winter Hawks of the junior Western Hockey League.

Other connections:

  • Wayne Gretzky, who’s son Trevor now plays in the Cubs system, onceĀ  bought a T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, one that is so famous that it now is sometimes called the “Gretzky T206″.
  • The Colorado Rockies was actually originally the name of a NHL team (they are now the New Jersey Devils).
  • Mike Illitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers, also owns the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Tropicana Field was once used as the home rink of the Tampa Bay Lightning- it was called the Thunderdome back then.
  • The NHL’s Winter Classic has been held at Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Citizens Bank Park.
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