Just as sons of lawyers, policeman, politicians and electricians follow in their fathers’ career footsteps, there have been quite a few sons who followed their baseball-playing fathers into the Majors.
The number of fathers, sons and brothers to play in the Majors is impressive and probably much more extensive than you might think:
• There are several well-known grandfather/father/grandson(s) Big League players…can you name them?
• The family names Griffey, Bonds and Alou come to mind, but did you know there are more than one hundred father/son/brother combos? Most fans aren’t aware of the names or have forgotten about them.
• The number of brothers who have been on the same roster, playing side by side, is simply astounding.
This article takes a look at the lineages that have played between the foul lines and some details that make them especially interesting. To start, here are some of the best father/son pairings. (Note: The player’s listed team is the one he’s most identified with or played for the longest.)
Remember the Alomars
Father: Sandy Alomar, SS/2B. Angels. ’64–’78. Played with six teams, All-Star.
Sons: Sandy Alomar Jr., Catcher. Indians. ’88–’07. Six-time All-Star, All-Star MVP, 1990 AL Rookie of the Year.
Roberto Alomar, 2B. Blue Jays. ’88–’04. .300 lifetime average, Hall of Fame (2001), 2-time World Series Champion (Toronto).
Father: Cecil Fielder, 1B. Tigers. ’85–’98. Hit 51 home runs and 132 RBIs in 1977. Averaged 37 homers and 114 RBIs over a seven-year stretch.
Son: Prince Fielder, 1B. Brewers. 2005–present. Hit 50 homers with Detroit in 2007.
Father: José Cruz, OF. Astros. ’70–’88. Lifetime .284 average. Number retired by the Astros.
Son: José Cruz Jr. OF. Blue Jays. ’97–’08. Had a 30-30 season in 2001 (34 HR/32 SB).
Which Alou Are You?
Father: Felipe Alou, OF. Giants. ’58–’74. In ’66 he hit .327, 31 HRs, and led the NL in hits.
Son: Moises Alou, OF. Expos. ’88–’07. Six-time All–Star, three 30+ HR seasons. Involved in the famous “Bartman Ball” incident with the Cubs in 2003.
Felipe, Matty and Jesús Alou (Giants, 1963) were the first all-brothers outfield in the Majors.
The Name Rings a Bell
Grandfather: Gus Bell, OF. Reds. ’50–’64. Four-time All–Star, four 100-RBI seasons.
Son: Buddy Bell, 3B. Indians. ’72–’89. Four-time All-Star, solid 18-year career.
Grandson: David Bell, 3B. Cardinals. ’95–’06. A steady, versatile utility player for six teams.
Grandson: Mike Bell, 3B. Reds. 2000.
Boone’s Farm System
Grandfather: Ray Boone, 3B/SS. Tigers. ’48–’60. Lifetime .275 average, two-time All-Star.
Son: Bob Boone, Catcher. Phillies. ’72–’90. Seven Gold Gloves behind the plate.
Grandson: Bret Boone, 2B. Mariners ’92–’05. Three-time All–Star, third in MVP voting in 2001.
Grandson: Aaron Boone, 3B/1B. Reds. ’97–’08. As a Yankee, hit the walk-off homer against Boston in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Every Hairston in Place
Grandfather: Sam Hairston, OF. White Sox. 1951. First black player on the White Sox.
Son: Jerry Hairston, 3B. Indians. ’73–’89. Played 14 seasons with the White Sox.
Son: John Hairston, Catcher. Cubs. 1969.
Grandson: Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B. Orioles. ’92–’05. A steady utility player for six teams.
Grandson: Scott Hairston, OF. Diamondbacks. ’04–’13. Hit .299 with 10 HRs in 2009.
Strong Family Bonds
Father: Bobby Bonds, OF. Giants. ’68–’81. Five 30-30 (HR/SB) seasons and the second player to join the “300-300” club: 322 HRs/461 SBs.
Son: Barry Bonds, OF. Giants. ’86–’07. All-time MLB home run leader (762), 14-time All-Star, and seven-time MVP.
Bobby and Barry Bonds have more combined home runs than any other related players, as well as more stolen bases and RBIs.
Father: Ken Griffey, OF. Reds. ’73–’91. Hit a team-best .336 in ’76. Lifetime .296 average.
Son: Ken Griffey Jr., OF. Mariners. ’89–’10. 630 career home runs. Led the AL four times in homers, .284 lifetime average, won 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards.
As teammates in Seattle in 1990, the Griffeys hit back-to-back home runs in a late-season game against the Angels. They would play 51 games together.
Other Famous Father/Son Players:
Yogi Berra/Dale Berra
Pedro Borbón/Pedro Borbón Jr.
Tony Gwynn/Tony Gwynn Jr.
Raúl Mondesí/Raúl Mondesí Jr.
Tim Raines/Tim Raines, Jr.
Cal Ripken/Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken
Steve Swisher/Nick Swisher
A Few Current Players who's Fathers Played:
Robinson Canó (José)
C.J. Cron (Chris)
Dee Gordon (Tom)
Jason Grilli (Steve)
Lance McCullers Jr. (Lance)
Joc Pederson (Stu)
Scott Van Slyke (Andy)
Will Venable (Max)
Neil Walker (Tom)
Jayson Werth (Jeff Gowan)
There has been an amazing number of baseball brothers to play on the same team, some for multiple seasons. BaseballAlmanac.com has a compiled list of more than 100 combinations of brothers who have been teammates. Here’s a short list of the more recognizable names:
Hank and Tommie Aaron
Dick and Hank Allen
Bengie, José and Yadier Molina
Felipe, Matty and Jesús Alou
Ken, Clete and Cloyd Boyer
Ken and George Brett
José and Ozzie Canseco
Dizzy and Paul Dean
Dominic, Joe and Vince DiMaggio
J.D. Drew and Tim Drew
Jason and Jeremy Giambi
Brian and Marcus Giles
Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero
Chris and Tony Gwynn
Adam and Andy LaRoche
Pedro and Ramón Martínez
Christy and Henry Mathewson
Joe and Phil Niekro
Gaylord and Jim Perry
Billy and Cal Ripken (Jr.)
Dave and Steve Sax
Joe and Luke Sewell
Larry and Norm Sherry
Frank and Joe Torre
Justin and Melvin Upton
Billy and Tony Conigliaro
Lloyd and Paul Waner
Jared and Jeff Weaver
Zack and Mack Wheat