Hockey is back!
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:
|1931||Did not play in major leagues (Did Not Play)|
|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|
In the NHL:
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:
- Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Harvey played four seasons with Ottawa of the C-level Border League in the late 1940s.
- Babe Dye, one of the NHL’s best players during the 1920s and a Hall of Famer in the sport, also played minor league baseball in the 1920s and was actually pretty good.
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.
- Wayne Gretzky, who’s son Trevor now plays in the Cubs system, once 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.