Who is Hobey Baker?

So as the Hobey Baker talk starts to heat up I thought I would write a small post about who the hell this guy is and what makes him so special.  I learned a lot just by writing it, so enjoy.

Hobey Baker

Hobey Baker was the manliest man a man could quite frankly wish to be.  He was the star captain for the Princeton hockey team AND the football team.  I wish I could give you statistics about exactly what kind of numbers he was putting up but no one really kept them back then.  Historians and Princeton athletic gurus (yeah, I went there) have estimated that Hobey Baker scored 120 goals and 100 assists in the 3 years he spent at Princeton.  Now, thats impressive right?  But keep in mind he was a star football player too, with estimations of around 180 points scored by him alone.

Hobey finished college being known as "the man who had done the most for Princeton".  Just think about the difficulty involved here; he triple majored in History, Economics, and politics, captained both the hockey and football teams while setting records for both, and managed to do this all while graduating with above average grades.  If you don't look up to this man already, I would request adding him to your role models.

Hobey Baker was an absolute natural on the ice.  He was known as the best hockey player of his era and the first greatest American hockey player.  He was one of the first nine players admitted into the hockey hall of fame, and is currently the only person in the world to be admitted in both the college football and hockey halls of fame.  The countless other achievements and awards he was given is literally to much to list off in a single blog post.  Just understand my point here, if Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, John Elway, and Hank Aaron could be mixed into one person, the output would be Mr. Hobey Baker.

Yes, Hobey was a great athlete, well great is an understatement but you get point.  But what many people don't know is that fact that Hobey was an excellent person.  Hobey was such an inspiration to his teammates and people around him that when he joined the Air Force in 1916, the entire starting lineup for the Princeton hockey team enlisted as well, canceling Princeton's hockey season that year!

As a natural in just about everything he did, flying an airplane was like passing a puck for Hobey.  He left for Europe in August, 1917 to join the fight and seek the "meaning of life" he had been looking for.    On December 29th, 1918 Hobey finally was ordered to come back home to the United States.  But Hobey had an adventurous mind.  He didn't want to leave France without one last test flight.  Although pouring rain, Hobey headed for his plane.  A mechanic stopped him as he was boarding and asked if he would test drive a plane that was just finished for repairs, which of course he obliged.  About a quarter mile off the runway, the plane's engine failed.  Hobey nose dove straight into the ground but was found alive and breathing when a group of men came and pulled him from the wreckage.  Hobey Baker died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

At the age of 26, America lost it's first great hockey player and the best skater of his time.

To be recognized with this prestigious award has got to be any college hockey player's dream, which is exactly why I believe last year's winner, Jack Connolly of Minnesota Duluth, broke down in tears when his name was called.  It's an achievement few will ever accomplish, and the ones that do, will never forget.

2012 Hobey Baker Winner Jack Connolly - Minnesota Duluth