Jun 8, 2011, 12:45 PM EDT
It’s unclear if he will actually sign with the Chicago Cubs rather than play for former MLB great Tony Gwynn at San Diego State, but either way, Trevor Gretzky can boast that he was more than just a famous hockey player’s son. He also happened to be a good enough baseball player to get drafted by the Cubs in the seventh round on Tuesday.
Gretzky generated some buzz – even if it revolved mostly around nepotism – by playing football at the same Oaks Christian High School as Joe Montana’s son Nick and Will Smith’s son Trey as well. Trevor is a first baseman who seems to generate most of his attention by thanks to his success as a hitter.
For many, it might be surprising that Trevor focused his athletic energies on baseball and football rather than hockey. Then again, it probably makes for a lower-stress lifestyle to earn mild attention because of his last name in different sports rather than trying to live up to the legacy of the most famous hockey player in history.
Avoiding that attention wasn’t really why Trevor focused on baseball, though. Apparently he simply fell in love with the sport first, as he told MLB.com.
“Being here in Southern California, I always said, ‘Play what you want to play, participate in whatever you want to participate in,’” said Gretzky. “But the reality is that in Southern California, as great a sport as hockey is, this is still a baseball community, football community, golf, tennis, lacrosse.
“I was lucky that all the kids took to sports and they played hockey for fun at a young age, but they really put a lot of time into sports that they had a passion for. So it’s great that Trevor’s on a really good high school baseball team. It’s great to watch the kid play. It’s a very well-coached team for a high school team, it’s really enjoyable seeing how he has progressed since being a freshman in high school.”
The younger Gretzky, who hit .341 with two home runs and 33 RBIs as a junior last year, fell in love with baseball at an early age.
“I was introduced to it in New York, when my dad was playing for the Rangers,” Trevor recalled. “I remember him taking me to a Yankee game, and ever since then I wanted to play and it’s been my dream to be in the Major Leagues since then.”
Becoming a seventh round pick doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Trevor will live that dream – especially since he might opt for NCAA baseball instead – but it shows that the dream is still alive. Maybe he won’t be a “Great One” in MLB history, yet that being said, even his famous father had his fair share of doubters as he approached the professional level.
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