Ever since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville has become a beloved figure in the Windy City. Thankfully he’s got the whole Stanley Cup thing going for him because becoming a Chicago night club crooner won’t soon be happening for the coach.
Last night, Quenneville was the guest of honor at the Chicago Cubs game against the Atlanta Braves to sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. At the very least we can say he’s certainly no Eddie Vedder. CSNChicago.com has the video you won’t soon forget. Remember your earplugs.
Picture, if you will, that you’re the general manager of the Chicago Cubs, Jim Hendry. You’ve drafted Wayne Gretzky’s son, Trevor and it’s time to work out a contract with the youngster to get him into minor league camp and start on the road to a potential career in Major League Baseball. You pick up the phone to dial up Gretzky’s agent and end up on the phone with one of the greatest players in NHL history to talk turkey about a deal.
Wayne Gretzky the player agent? That’s not intimidating at all. Gulp.
That’s just what the case was for Hendry as he signed Trevor Gretzky to a contract with the Cubs as CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney reports. The son of “The Great One” is slated to potentially be a big time player in baseball and given his athletic bloodlines, there’s every reason to think he’s capable of achieving big things.
At 6’4″ and 190 pounds, Trevor is bigger than his father but just as wiry. Considering that Gretzky is hoping to become a big time hitter in the major leagues, putting on a few more pounds wouldn’t hurt him. That said, having his old man negotiating his deal and helping him in signing on with the Cubs, a deal that includes a $375,000 signing bonus, clearly the Gretzky name is worth a lot of money in more than one sport these days.
The Great One has a son who may be trying to be The Next One—but it won’t be in hockey. Trevor Gretzky took the next step in his baseball career as he signed a professional contract with the Chicago Cubs. In June he was drafted in the 7th round (219th overall) by the Cubs, but was still verbally committed to attend San Diego State in the fall. Per NCAA guidelines, Gretzky had until August 15th to decide if he wanted to sign a professional contract with the team that drafted him or if he wanted to go the college route.
By signing with the Cubs, he loses his amateur status and will enter the Cubs minor league system this summer. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn shared something Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said to him about sports and added that he should have seen this decision coming:
“Wayne mentioned how he started his pro career as a 17-year-old, how if you work hard enough you can make it. The father is a nice guy. He totally gets it, understands the pro game. And the son is very mature.”
In high school at Oaks Christian in Thousand Oaks, CA, the younger Gretzky was a multi-sport athlete playing both baseball and quarterback with the football team. Much was made of the superstar bloodlines on the football team—but Nate Montana (yes, that Montana) and Trey Smith (son of Will Smith) also played on the football team at Oaks Christian. Eventually, Trevor himself had to choose between two sports—but hockey was never in the mix:
“I remember growing up in New York when my Dad was with the Rangers. I remember him taking me to a Yankees game and ever since then I’ve wanted to play. It’s been my dream to be in the Major Leagues ever since then. I just started football five years ago and kind of picked it up, but baseball has been my love ever since I’ve been little. I think that’s why I gravitate towards it.”
Now he’ll get to ride the buses and deal with the tough life that is a minor league baseball player. On the plus side, he won’t have nearly as much pressure on the diamond as he would have if he chose to pursue hockey in his youth. Growing up in a legend’s shadow can be tough enough—but when your father’s name is The Great One, the bar is set impossibly high.
Instead of trying to compete with his father’s lore, he’ll try to hit a curveball. We wish him the best of luck—the hockey world will still be watching.