May 18, 2015

Frank Bathgate

Andy Bathgate was a Hockey Hall of Fame superstar with the New York Rangers.

But did you know Andy had two brothers who also excelled at hockey?

Bernie Bathgate, older by nine years, never made it to the NHL. His service in World War II ended whatever slim chance he had at the big leagues. Afterwards he settled in British Columbia, playing for the old WHL Vancouver Canucks before settling in the beautiful Okanagan. He lived in Penticton forever.

Frank Bathgate was only a couple of years older than Andy. As a result they shared much of the same journey to the NHL. They both starred with the Guelph Biltmores, challenging for the Memorial Cup.

It was Frank that convinced - almost forced - Guelph to include Andy on the team. Team management thought Andy was too young and cut him from the roster. Frank threatened to leave the team if Andy was not kept. The team gave in, and did not regret it. The younger Andy grew comfortable with the team and joined his brother on the top line.

"Frank was a really good playmaker," recalled Andy. " He could really handle the puck. All I had to do was get into the opening and he'd feed it right to me and I got a lot of goals easy, basically. "

Because of the age difference the duo only played one season in Guelph together. Frank graduated and headed to Prince Edward Island, but they would be reunited again.

Both appeared with the New York Rangers during the 1952-53 season. Andy got into 18 games, but scored only one assist. Frank got into just two games, picking up a minor penalty.

That is where the similarity in their careers ends. Andy went on to become a Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer. Frank never returned to the NHL. He basically returned home to play senior hockey. He tasted championship success in 1960 when the Chatham Maroons won the Allan Cup.

Frank Bathgate remained very active in sports when his hockey days were done. He was a youth hockey and baseball coach and operated a driving range.

Frank Bathgate passed away on February 21st, 2015.

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