By Tony Saxon, Guelph Today
Hockey may be the first love of Guelph Storm defenceman Owen Lalonde, but baseball has never been too far behind.
Lalonde, 17, was a highly-touted hockey player growing up, eventually being drafted second overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection by the Sudbury Wolves before coming over to Guelph in an off-season trade.
But he was also a highly-regarded baseball player, good enough to garner interest from NCAA schools.
“I’ve always played baseball growing up, at one point I probably liked it as much as hockey,” Lalonde said.
While many hockey players in the past have played lacrosse as a summer sport, the whole notion of playing another sport in the summer has pretty much died.
For elite-level hockey players, summer training and organized summer hockey tournament teams have resulted in it being a year-round commitment that makes playing another sport almost impossible.
But that wasn’t always the case for Lalonde, a diehard Detroit Tigers fan.
“I’d play hockey all winter then jump right into baseball,” the 6’1″, 175-pound Lalonde said. “It was a bit hard, especially as I got older and there was more hockey training, but I found a way to do it. I love baseball.”
Lalonde, a shortstop/pitcher who batted left and threw right, played competitive baseball up until he was 15 with the strong Windsor Stars program.
That year he was picked up by a team from Mississauga and helped them win the Canadian 15 and under championship.