While this was all just a cross-promotional sports stunt, Mr. Hockey could really play baseball. Howe, a natural athlete, was legendary ball player back home in Saskatchewan.
How good was he? The story goes that he hit the longest home run in the history Saskatchewan baseball. The ball landed in a train boxcar and who knows how far that ball travelled!
Legend has it a kid once asked Big Gordie for his autograph after a ball game. The curious boy thought so highly of Howe the ball player, he naively and innocently asked "Mr. Howe, what do you do in the winter time?"