Jason Baird

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Jason Baird

Born: September 16, 1980 (Cayuga, Ontario)
Died: January 17, 2014 (Corpus Christi, Texas)

 

Jason Baird, a burly forward, spent seven seasons in the minor pros in the United States. His career ended after a lawnmower on which he was riding exploded, burning two-thirds of his body.

He died in hospital five years later of complications from pancreatitis, possibly brought on by medication to treat his burns and many subsequent surgeries.

ImageHe was working as a landscaper in Youngstown, Ohio, in the summer of 2008 when he suffered his injuries. He fought for his life in a burn unit at a hospital in Akron, and needed extensive grafts to his chest, back and arms. As he recovered, fund raisers were held for him in Ontario, where he was born, as well as in Texas, where he lived and spent four seasons as a player.

The 6-foot, 205-pound left winger played four seasons of junior hockey with the Erie (Pa.) Otters before turning pro with the Cincinnati Cyclones for the 2001-02 season.

He skated for the Indianapolis Ice for two seasons and was in his fourth season with the Corpus Christ (Texas) Rayz when traded to the Youngstown Steelhounds early in the 2007-08 season.

An agitator with enough skill to average better than a point a game, Baird was also a fan favourite, the kind of player beloved by teammates and disliked by opponents. In 375 pro games, he scored 132 goals with 239 assists. He served 1,018 penalty minutes.

Baird leaves his wife, two sons and a daughter. He was 33.

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One thought on “Jason Baird

  1. I 1st met Jason in the winter of 1997 when I contacted the Erie Otters about a player coming out to help me with a bunch of wide eyed major mites. Hoping to get one of the big stars…Tim Connolly…Tyler Rennette…Steve Montador….Steve Valiquette or future 2 time cup winner Mike Rupp, I get sent this 17 year old shy (at the stat) chubbed cheeked baby faced rookie hockey player. 2 hours later I felt I had another little brother. Through the next 3 years, when he could, he would show up and watch my kids play, take a few aside ruffle some hair and give back quietly to the kids that looked up to him and eventually idolized him, sometimes he would even show up and run the kids through some OHL drills. Not everything was roses and fruit punch with Jason during his stay in Erie and with 3 coaches in 3 years, thing weren’t always easy for Jason, but as usual he handled it with class. As a former player myself I just tried to get him to understand that even life is a game and we all had to learn to “play the game” and turn it to our advantage. We talked about school, girls, family and life after hockey In 2009 and again in 2010 he put his pain and suffering aside to call me and express his sympathy on the deaths of my Mom and Dad Who because of his dedication to giving back to “my boys” Jason was slowing becoming my Mom’s favorite player, and my Dad enjoyed the fact that Jason left it all on the ice. My heart bleeds for Jason’s family. I lost my own brother at a shocking similar young age so the pain I feel in losing Jason doubles my pain.

    My sympathy to Jason’s family and teammates…we lost a Class Act
    Reply

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