Known as the "Iron Man" of Saint Mary's athletics, Robert Paradise was a centerfielder and pitcher on the school's baseball team for four years, captaining a MIAC championship squad with an earned-run average of 1.14 as a senior in 1966. His play was so impressive that the Boston Red Sox offered him a contract after his junior season - an opportunity Paradise elected to pass up in order to complete his education at Saint Mary's. That decision was wise because as good as Paradise was on the diamond, he was even better on the ice, earning All-MIAC honors in four consecutive seasons, first as a center and later as a defenseman.
His aggressive play on defense caught the eye of National Hockey League scouts, as well as the United States Olympic Team. Paradise joined the U.S. Olympic Team after graduation and competed in the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France before embarking on an eight-year NHL career. He originally signed with the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent before being traded to the Minnesota North Stars, with whom he made his professional debut in 1971. He went on to play with the Atlanta Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals before calling it a career in 1979.