It's been a while since we've had an addition to our "On The Fly" series with the Stars, so let's get it going again. Senior staff writer Mike Heika talks to goalie Ben Bishop about his love of baseball, spirit animals and more.
Mike Heika: I saw you were wearing your Texas Rangers warm-up the other day. Are you a big baseball fan?
Ben Bishop: Yes, definitely. Growing up in St. Louis, I played all the way to high school.
Bishop: No, catcher. Actually, I played all positions, but I liked catcher the most. I like the fact you are always involved in the play.
Heika: That's interesting. So a catcher in baseball and a goalie in hockey -- there's some similarities there.
Bishop: Yeah, I'm selfish. I always want to be involved in every play (smiles). Actually, when I played doubles in tennis, I got in trouble because I tried to play every ball. They would always yell at me.
Video: Benn, Bishop, and Johns take BP with the Rangers
Heika: How did your love of baseball develop?
Bishop: Growing up in a baseball town in St. Louis, it's kind of in your blood.
Heika: Are you a big stats nerd? Do you really get into the game?
Bishop: No, I'm not a giant baseball nerd. I try to follow as much as possible, but that's not always easy with everything we're doing here. I played fantasy baseball a couple of summers, but we have a lot going on right now.
Heika: Are you a big Rangers fan? I know you were able to go out and take batting practice last summer. How was that experience?
Bishop: They're my No. 1 American League team, and obviously the Cardinals are No. 1 in the National League, so I think I can balance it out that way. I enjoyed going out there and meeting the players last summer when we had batting practice. It gives you more to root for when you're watching if you know the guys. So yeah, I really like watching the Rangers and cheering them on.
Heika: What's the difference watching baseball outdoors in St. Louis and watching it outdoors here in Texas?
Bishop: It's pretty equal, actually. Texas is a little hotter, but St. Louis is really humid. When you're talking about 95 or 100 (degrees), who really cares at that point. They're both hot.
Video: Ben Bishop tells his Sarah Palin story on BaD Radio
Heika: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
Bishop: Growing up, probably Ozzie Smith and Ray Lankford. Then (Albert) Pujols came along. Right now, my favorite player is (Cardinals catcher) Yadier Molina. He's the real deal. He's fun to watch. You see just how important he is not just as a catcher, but as a manager on the field. I really enjoy watching him, and from my position in hockey as a goalie, there's a lot there to appreciate. There's just so much there to take in, just all of it. I really like the mental side of it.
Heika: What's your spirit animal?
Bishop: I think I'm a tiger. I was born in '86, so I think that makes me a tiger (in the Chinese Calendar).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.