To the right is a picture of a very young Wayne Gretzky. No doubt it looks odd, because for some reason he's wearing #20 instead of #99. Oh, and he's dressed in an WHA Indianapolis Racers uniform.
That's right, isn't it? Gretzky did start his professional career in Indiana of all places.
And you know what? So did Mark Messier!
The two teenagers played a total of 13 forgettable games in the state better known for auto racing, college hoops and NFL football. Most people have completely forgotten about this short chapter in their glorious hockey careers, and neither of them bring it up themselves ever.
So just how did the NHL's two all time leading scorers start their career in Indianapolis?
That is part of the focus of Timothy Gassen's new book, Red, White and Blues: a personal history of the Indianapolis Racers. I'm awaiting my review copy, but I've posted as much as I know, including direct-mail ordering instructions, at Hockey Book Reviews.com.