It's official: Trevor Gretzky will not attend San Diego State University. Instead, he will pass "Go," collect much more than 200 dollars and start the long trek toward a spot with the Chicago Cubs.
According to the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliot (and subsequently by a number of other outlets), Wayne Gretzky's oldest son signed a professional baseball contract on Monday with the Chicago Cubs, who had drafted him in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB draft. While the terms of Gretzky's deal are still unknown, it's believed that he received a signing bonus of between $35,000 and $200,000 (Arizona first baseman Cole Frenzel's deal with the New York Mets is the highest bonus so far this year for a seventh-round pick, and he received a $200,000 bonus).
"I don't think money was a factor," San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn told the Sun. "Everyone has a dream to play pro ball."
The pro deal follows a striking senior season for the younger Gretzky, who recently graduated from Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High, where he was both a quarterback of the football team and star slugger of the baseball team. Gretzky famously signed a baseball scholarship with San Diego State shortly after he was deposed as the Thousand Oaks starting quarterback midway through the 2010 football season.
Success was much more steady in his final scholastic baseball season. In the course of Thousand Oaks' run to the regional playoff semifinals, Gretzky set a school record for RBIs in one game and later upstaged Steve Garvey's son -- USC-bound Ryan Garvey -- despite he and his teammates falling short of advancing to the regional finals.
The younger Gretzky's pro career will begin with some eerie similarities to his father's, albeit in completely opposite seasons and in a different country. Like Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, Trevor Gretzky's first professional contract was signed at the age of 17. Like Wayne, Trevor Gretzky will be expected to ride on minor league buses without complaint, all while producing on a timetable that only he and the Cubs will fully understand.
Still, Gwynn intimated that having his father in the background will only help Trevor Gretzky as he gets closer to the major league level.
"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. "The father is a nice guy. He totally gets it, understands the pro game. And the son is very mature."