Babe Dye

Cecil Dye was born on May 13, 1898 in Hamilton, Ontario. His father had passed away when Cecil was still an infant, but his mother made sure Cecil would develop into a fine athlete, teaching him everything he would know about both hockey and baseball.

And that is a lot. Cecil turned down a significant sum of cash to play major league baseball, choosing instead to excel at hockey in his hometown of Toronto, although he continued to play minor pro baseball in the hockey off season. Excel at hockey he did - he is an honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the first true great NHL player to play in beautiful city of Toronto.

Cecil, dubbed "Babe" by his teammates because of his love of baseball, an obvious reference to the great Babe Ruth, has been unceremoniously if not inevitably forgotten about over the course of time by hockey fans. He was one of the NHL's earliest scoring sensations He often jostled with the likes of Cy Denneny and Joe Malone for the scoring championship. Though considered to be a below average skater by most accounts, Dye won the scoring title twice, in 1922-23 and 1924-25, and led the league in goal scoring 3 times.

Most of Cecil's accomplishments came in Toronto, but not technically as a member of the Maple Leafs. When he starred in the league the Toronto team was still known as the St. Pats. It was not until Dye's brief comeback attempt in 1930 that he actually played with the Maple Leafs emblem on his chest, and that only lasted 8 games. Perhaps this is why "The Babe" is often forgotten about when discussing the greatest of all the great Toronto players.

Dye, who briefly played half back with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, was a dynamic hockey player during his career. During his eleven seasons as an NHL player Dye became known for his incredible stickhandling hard and accurate shot, which helped him become one of the NHL's snipers of his era. His best year on record was when Dye scored 38 goals (in 29 games) and 6 assists for 44 points in 1924-25.

Dye's St. Pat's were no league powerhouse in the 1920s. They were usually in the middle of things but usually came up short - except in 1921-22. Dye won his only Stanley Cup that season. In those days the NHL champion were challenged for the Stanley Cup championship. The Vancouver Millionaires earned the right to take on the St. Pats this year, and it was one of the all time great championship battles. The tilt went the full distance, with Toronto winning the decisive 5th game. Dye was the star of the series, scoring 9 goals in the championship!

The St. Pats felt Dye was starting to slow down in the summer of 1926, and sold their star asset to Chicago for a significant amount of money. Dye had one very good year in Chicago before a broken leg doomed his career. He tried to come back in 1928-29, and played in 42 games with the New York Americans, but was shadowed of his old self, scoring just 1 goal. He played minor league hockey in 1929-30 before his 8 game comeback with the renamed Toronto Maple Leafs in 1930.

There was no doubt that "hockey's Babe Ruth" was destined to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Unfortunately that didn't happen until 1970, 8 years after he passed away.


Anonymous,  6:07 PM  

who was he married to?

Anonymous,  10:22 AM  

what number did he wear?

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