If Trevor Gretzky can handle a baseball bat with the same authoritative flair that his father did a hockey stick, records may one day be broken on the diamond.
The younger Gretzky, who was drafted in the seventh round (219th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in June, has signed a contract with the team. Financial terms of Gretzky's deal were not known.
The signing was confirmed Thursday by San Diego State baseball coach Tony Gwynn, who told the Toronto Sun that Gretzky inked his deal on Monday morning and, as a result, will forgo playing for the Aztecs.
According to NCAA regulations, Gretzky had until Aug. 15 to decide if he wanted to sign a professional contract with the team that drafted him or play collegiate baseball with San Diego State.
"Wayne mentioned how he started his pro career as a 17-year-old, how if you work hard enough you can make it," Gwynn said in a statement. "The father is a nice guy. He totally gets it, understands the pro game. And the son is very mature."
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound first baseman is rebounding from a shoulder injury suffered his senior season at Oaks Christian in Thousand Oaks, Cal. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school, playing both baseball and football.
We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.
— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff