Wayne Gretzky wanted to be ‘shortstop for the Detroit Tigers’

Wayne Gretzky. (John Woods/CP)

Wayne Gretzky tops almost every list when ranking the best NHLers of all-time. He still has more assists than anyone has points and holds countless records he set during his career, which ended in 1999.

But he played other sports, too, when he was growing up in Canada and if it hadn’t been for his Dad Walter, Wayne may have pursued something else — specifically, he wanted to be a baseball player.

“My favourite sport, believe it or not, was baseball,” Gretzky said in an interview with Dan Patrick this week. “I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. I used to listen to Jack Buck on the radio because we got their station in my hometown and the great thing about the Cardinals was they were an hour behind so they came on at 8:30. So I usually went to bed around 7:30, 8:00 and I could listen to the Cardinal game on the radio and fall asleep. I wanted to be a baseball player.”

Gretzky talked about the many sports he played as a kid, including box lacrosse, and growing up dreaming about representing Canada at the Olympics in track and field.

“So I had all these aspirations and my dad kept kinda clipping me over the head saying ‘you’re a hockey player you know.'”

And while Gretzky is the most accomplished player by the statistics in NHL history (and it isn’t even close), if all things were equal, he said he would have chosen to be a baseball player over a hockey player.

“I would have taken baseball all day long. I would have loved to have been the shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. I grew up such a big Tiger fan,” he said.

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