Grabia: Mr. Hockey at the bat

From SABR member Andy Grabia at YegBall on June 11, 2016:

Amidst all the stories about Gordie Howe the hockey player that were shared today, following his death at age 88, I was pleased to see some mention of Gordie Howe the baseball player. Howe began his career with the Detroit Red Wings on October 16, 1946, scoring the first of his 801 career goals in his first NHL game. But Howe also enjoyed baseball, and spent his summers from 1947-1953 playing semi-pro ball in Saskatchewan. 

1947-50: Saskatoon Legion, Saskatoon & District League
1951: Saskatoon 55s, Northern Saskatchewan League
1952-53: Saskatoon Gems, Saskatchewan League

Howe was not the only hockey player hitting the diamond during the summer. Many NHLers played baseball in western Canada during the offseason. Emile Francis, Bert Olmstead, Doug Bentley and Max Bentley are all members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and all of them played on baseball teams in Saskatchewan.

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Originally published: June 10, 2016. Last Updated: June 10, 2016.