michinoku2001 asked in SportsHockey · 2 months ago

Was Hobey Baker just doing the done thing in his day when he declined to play pro hockey?

Update:

Surely there must have been teammates and opponents of Baker in student hockey that were good. After all, they belonged on the same ice as Baker. Did NHL teams just not bother to try to sign them because they knew they would be turned down?

Update 2:

I know this is essentially the pre-NHL period we are talking about here, my mistake. 

Update 3:

However, AFAIK the Habs wanted him and he turned them down. Anyway, the real point is that Baker was a star for Havard, but he does not seem to have been able to skate circles around his opponents. Therefore, there must have been other from his generation who chose not to play pro which would be unthinkable now, and then yes-there was the war. 

Update 4:

I see Cyclone Taylor made about three grand a year playing hockey, but I guess that would be not be much for a guy where Baker was coming from. 

1 Answer

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  • 2 months ago

    What pro hockey?  There was no major professional hockey team in the US until Boston in 1924, when Baker had been dead for six years.  He was a star at the collegiate level in hockey and football, but major professional football did not even exist.  What college-educated athlete was going to squander his education playing semi-pro sports?  Baker graduated from Princeton in 1914 and still competed with club teams until 1916 while beginning his career with JP Morgan in New York, before enlisting in the US Army in 1917 when the US entered the war. He was a captain leading an air squadron when he was killed in France while test-piloting an airplane.

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