Turgeon shone on the diamond as a kid

Kenn Oliver
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This year marks the first year of NHL Hall of Fame eligibility for former all-star Pierre Turgeon.

The gifted playmaker, who was the last to captain the Montreal Canadiens at the Montreal Forum, closed out his career in 2007, leaving himself 55th overall on the league's all-time scoring leaders with 1,327 points.

This year marks the first year of NHL Hall of Fame eligibility for former all-star Pierre Turgeon.

The gifted playmaker, who was the last to captain the Montreal Canadiens at the Montreal Forum, closed out his career in 2007, leaving himself 55th overall on the league's all-time scoring leaders with 1,327 points.

But should Turgeon fail to join the other former Habs in hockey's hallowed Hall, he can take solace in the fact he's already in another; the Little League World Series Hall of Fame.

From age seven to 12, Turgeon was a pitcher and shortstop for the Rouyn Rotary.

"It was a short period of time and went back to hockey after that," he says of his days on the diamond.

In 1982, Turgeon's team won five qualifying tournaments throughout Canada, earning the right to represent the country at the Little League World

Series, in Williamsport, Pa., where it finished fourth.

"It was pretty unbelievable to think we came from a town of 15,000 and went all the way to Williamsport. We felt like we were on top of the world," recalls Turgeon, who at that time was something of a physical anomaly, standing five-foot-11 and weighing in at 185 pounds, not much off his vital statistics as an NHLer.

Oddly enough, Turgeon wasn't the only future NHLer to play in the Little League World Series that year.

He was joined on the Rotary by another of Rouyn's native sons, Stephane Matteau.

"My mom and his mom were pregnant at the hospital at the same time and got to be very good friends. We were born five days apart so we grew up together," Turgeon says of his St. Louis Blues' teammate from the 1996-97 season.

"We're very good friends today."

koliver@the telegram.com

Organizations: Little League, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Forum St. Louis Blues

Geographic location: Canada, Williamsport, Pa., Williamsport Rouyn

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