Monday, July 15, 2013

The Gretzky's at the Ballpark

Trevor Gretzky taking a lead off first base.
I attended the Vancouver Canadians baseball game yesterday. This is one of the lower levels of minor league baseball, the short-season (70 game) Northwest League. I enjoy going to the ballpark a few times a year and grew up an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan, but the main reason for going to this game was to check out Gretzky. Gretzky the kid.

20 year-old Trevor Gretzky was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 7th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft after starring at Oaks Christian High School in Southern California. His Boise Hawks wer in town to take on the Blue Jays Single 'A' Canadians. At 6'4" he cuts a far larger figure than his old man ever did, but his weight of 190 lbs leaves him a bit on the lanky side. 

The organization projects him as a Left Fielder so he will have to develop one or the other of power or speed. As it is now, he's learning how to utilize both of these assets. As of today, in 49 games played including last season, he has a respectable .292 batting average but zero home runs, only 3 doubles and 4 stolen bases. Over the five games in Vancouver, Gretzky the younger collected at least one hit in each game to bat 6 for 17 with 3 runs scored.

Gretzky heading back to the dugout after a strikeout. 
Much to my delight, also enjoying the game yesterday was The Great One himself. He was in a semi-secure area of the park (secure enough from the likes of me anyways).  Wayner was with his wife Janet and intently followed the on-field action through the constant flow of autograph seekers and well-wishers. Even in the more exclusive "corporate" section of the ballpark not two minutes went by without someone approaching him. I have waited over 30 years and have yet to meet my childhood hero. This was close as I had ever been. (That sounds a bit on the creepy, stalker side no? Fine by me.)
I have had chances in the past to lineup for a Gretzky autograph at various events but have never wanted to go out of my way or force the issue. I have confidence that one day we shall cross paths.
...ok, now THAT sounds a little creepy.

One day Wayner, one day.

The Great One yucking it up with the grounds crew in between innings.

The lanky one at the dish.

Wayne and Janet chilling. I kind of like the signed jersey on the lady on the right.

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