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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Goalie has hall of fame genes

Steven Sisler was meant to be an athlete, and he can thank his heritage.

However, judging from the Sisler bloodline, one would have thought he would be playing baseball instead of hockey.

Steven Sisler is the freshman goaltender for the Icecats. He earned the starting spot before the season began and in his first two games totaled 81 saves, but his great-grandfather, grandfather and great-uncle all played Major League Baseball.

Steven’s great-grandfather, George Sisler, played 15 years in the big leagues and ultimately became a legend. He played 13 seasons as a first baseman for the St. Louis Browns and registered 2,295 hits with the club.

In his sixth season there, George Sisler accomplished a feat that no one could conquer for 84 years. He set the single-season hits record at 257. It came close to being topped in 1929 and 1930 but from there stood strong until Ichiro Suzuki had 262 hits in 2004.

Currently, George Sisler still holds the No. 2 spot for hits in a single season. He won the American League MVP in 1922 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He was listed on The Sporting News Top 100 players in 1998.

George’s sons Dick Sisler and David Sisler also went on to play in the MLB.

Dick Sisler, Steven Sisler’s great-uncle, played eight seasons, mainly as a first baseman. He played for three different teams including three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He’s best remembered for what he did on the final day of the 1950 season. His three-run, walk-off home run in the 10th inning virtually ripped the National League pennant from the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field and brought it to Philadelphia for the first time since 1915.

David Sisler, Steven Sisler’s grandfather, was a pitcher for four different teams. He totaled 355 strikeouts in seven seasons and also threw a dozen complete games.

As for the most recent Sisler athlete, Steven Sisler has a very demanding schedule. Not only is he playing hockey, he’s also a pre-pharmacy major. However, he still tries to see his grandfather David Sisler a couple times a year and calls him at least once a month. Lately, Steven Sisler has wanted to see him more because he’s been sick.

“”The last time I saw him was just before I came to UA,”” Steven Sisler said. “”He’s been dealing with cancer recently, so I’ve been trying to see him a lot more.””

Steven Sisler’s father, David Sisler, made the transition from baseball to hockey. He was raised in Dallas and said that baseball wasn’t really a big part of his life.

“”My dad actually changed from baseball to hockey when he got older,”” Steven Sisler said. “”I didn’t really grow up around baseball. We went to Texas Rangers games and my dad told me about my grandparents and great-grandparents, but I was around hockey more than baseball.””

Like almost any other child, Steven Sisler grew up playing multiple sports, including soccer and baseball. He took a serious interest in hockey when he started high school.

“”My parents had me playing all sorts of sports when I was little,”” he said. “”I didn’t really have any interest in playing baseball because I was more into fast-paced sports like hockey and football.””

He feels that his ancestry gives him a slight advantage to most others. His size is a significant factor, as he’s 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds.

“”I think having athleticism in my family helps a lot,”” he said. “”Especially with hand-eye coordination, which is important.””

Steven Sisler is very modest and is surprised by how far he’s actually gotten. Before coming to the Icecats, he played prep and junior hockey. He’s not sure about his athletic future but is planning on being a pharmacist after he finishes school.

“”It’s every hockey player’s dream to play in the NHL but right now I’m focused on playing for the Icecats,”” he said. “”I just want to keep my spine as the No. 1 goalie.””

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