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Joseph "JoBa" Baker


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Rookie Profile: Joseph Baker

 

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Name: Joseph Baker

Position: Left Wing

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 198

College: University of Wisconsin Madison

 

Growing up in Canada, sports were a huge thing. Most men, with the exception of curling, partook in street hockey games as young children. There was nothing like a nice Mylec stick and Franklin rubber ball to get everyone excited. Joseph S. Baker was certainly one of those playful young children. HIs parents always made him come inside before the street lights came on, and Joseph would always toe the line with that rule. In his neighborhood, he made sure his friends and he would set up the net next to a couple of street lamps that were broken so just in case, he could use that as an excuse.

 

However, little Joe always desired something different. He didn't want to slap shot the ball as hard as he could. It was just the opposite in fact; he wanted to defend those 30 mile an hour shots. So when his friends and some of the other neighbor kids would set up a game, he always made sure to run in the net so no one else could beat him to it. Right off the bat, he was a natural. Albeit some black eyes and bloody noses, Baker would block everything that came at him, usually with his face because he didn't have the right equipment. Even the adults would come outside to watch the game, and some would even bet on how many times Baker would get hit in the face with the ball.

 

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As time progressed, Baker got more and more into the game. Once he got into high school, he got a job as a waiter. Being a waiter, he always had cash on hand, and after every shift, he would drive over to the sporting goods store to pick up new equipment for his friends and himself. He never joined an official league until his sophomore year in high school, when he tried out for his high school team: the John Rennie Rascalz. At age 16, Baker tried out, figuring he would make the junior varsity team. However, much to his surprise, the coach called out his name when he was selecting everyone that made the final cut for the varsity team. Last season's starting goaltender had just graduated and there was a spot available. Baker quickly made it his goal to win over the competition and he did just that.

 

After 3 years in high school, maintaining a 3.2 grade point average, and winning the County Championships once in those 3 years, Baker accepted a scholarship offer to the University of Wisconsin. I find it important to add that during his high school career, Baker ended up setting several school records with 1.97 goals against average, 72 career wins and 3 goals (most by a goalie in season).

 

During his collegiate career, Baker got into trouble several times, to the point where he almost got kicked off of the team. Drugs, alcohol and missing curfews would set the bar for Baker in his big league career to come. However, before that, Baker was an absolute stud in college. He wouldn't end up starting until his junior season because of the trouble he got into and a man by the name of Scott Gudmandson. In 2010, Gudmandson went 16-11-1 with a .921 save percentage, which was 2nd best in the Big Ten Conference. However, once he graduated (and did not make it into the NHL draft), Baker took over the reins. In 2 seasons, JoBa would go 29-7-4 and would make it to the Frozen Four both times. In his senior year, the Badgers would win it all beating UMASS-Lowell 3-0, Baker's final shutout of his collegiate career.

 

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Ironically, 2013 would be the NHL's final season ever. With their lockout lasting 453 days, a record in any professional sport, that would be the end. There was only one other professional hockey league that was being nationally televised and that was the Victory Hockey League. Baker received an e-mail from Commissioner Higgins. Their first season had just ended, and Baker had been scouted several times by Higgins and several other General Managers from the VHL. Baker would almost immediately accept the offer.

 

Season 2 came and went, and Baker was a top prospect. He started off as the reserve goaltender for his team and after a horrid start to the season; Baker would take over the starting job. Baker would finish his inaugural season 12-4-2 with a .937 save percentage and a 2.7 goal against average number. However, unknown to anyone else, this would be Baker's final season in the VHL.

 

Baker never stopped using opiates but because he had a prescription, he would always pass the team's drug tests. However, he would quickly go through his prescription and end up having to buy more off of the streets. His life had slowly but surely turned into hell because of that and his failing mental health. After several years of high school and college, the money would ultimately be the end of Joseph Baker. That is, until 34 seasons later.

 

Nearing the end of season 36 in the VHL, longtime friend and former competitor Sergey Brovolenko had called up Baker telling him he needed to come back home to the VHL. Just like when he got the e-mail from Commissioner Higgins, Baker just as quickly obliged and took Sergey's offer. However, this time, Baker would not be a goaltender. After scoring 3 goals in a season at his high school, Baker always remained with the itch to shoot. The thing that had separated him from the rest when he was playing street hockey in the city of Quebec, turned him into just the opposite.

 

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Baker would come back into the league and signing up as a left wing. Baker always loved watching Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings play. And after Datsyuk's career being ended by the NHL lockout and eventual closing, Baker wanted to pay homage to him. Over the years Baker had lost his weight that helped him be a goaltender, and was now the exact height and weight of Pavel when he played his last season for Detroit!

 

Baker is now being heavily scouted once again by VHL general managers, and many people, including Commissioner Higgins have already praised him for his immediate hard work. Only time will tell if Baker is for real this time. But after claiming he has been clean for quite a while, and now on medication for his anxiety and depression disorders, it seems like after tens of seasons later, Joseph "JoBa" Baker is back, and better than ever.

Edited by JoBa
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Hey JoBa, i was about to grade this, but i realized that ud be better suited to put this as a biography and just add the pros and cons so u can get your 10 TPE.. I would wait until u have finished ur first season to do the rookie profile.. if u know what i mean.. however if u still want me to grade this as a rookie profile, i can do that

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To be honest, I'd probably add on a pros and cons section and make this your biography. This is definitely a ton more about your life story than strictly hockey related. 

 

Here is the rubric for the bios. It's a couple more words, but it's also worth 2 more TPE.

 

This is a good read though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Content: 5/5 - Good read. Nice to see Baker back in the league even if it's a different position than before.

 

Grammar: 1/1 - Pretty good.

 

HIs parents = His parents

neighbor kids = neighborhood kids

 

Appearance: 1/1 - Solid.

 

Over 500 words?: 1/1 - Yup.

 

Overall: 8/8

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