Well, that escalated quickly. I wake up, turn on the the TV, and then, BOOM! Upton family reunion in Atlanta.
No, seriously, after seemingly endless rumors and innuendo over the last year or two, Justin Upton is finally leaving Arizona. The Diamondbacks aren’t exactly getting pennies back from the Braves, either, as they are receiving Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, and some minor leaguers from the ATL.
Now, of course, is an excuse to run a feature on the best brother combos in baseball. I don’t mean cases where two or more brothers both played baseball, I’m talking when brothers played on the same team. Y’know, like how the Uptons will starting this season.
The Waners: The baseball brothers by which all baseball brothers are judged, the only pair who are both in the Hall of Fame. Playing together with the Pirates from about 1927 to about 1940, Paul Waner (“Big Poison”) and Lloyd Waner (“Little Poison”), the two outfielders still hold the record for most hits by a pair of brothers (5,611), which is especially impressive when you consider that the Alous, the Molinas and DiMaggios had three brothers play and the Delahantys had five.
The Alous: Felipe Alou, Matty Alou and Jesus Alou did two things in 1963 that are unlikely to be ever done again. On September 10, the three of them all batted (and all went down without a hit) in the 8th inning. On September 15, they all shared the same outfield late in a game in Pittsburgh. They would do so twice again before they were broken up when Felipe was traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the season, although there would be two-man Alou teamups at other points in history. The Alous, it should be noted, are the family with the second most MLB players (tied with the Boones and Bells) in history, with four, behind the Delahantys and…
The Hairstons: Sam Hairston was a Negro League player who had a cup of coffee with the White Sox. His sons, Jerry Hairston Sr. and John Hairston, also played in the big leagues (Jerry for a lot longer than John). Jerry’s sons, Jerry Jr. and Scott Hairston, are the current generation of Hairstons. The current Hairston brothers have played together in World Baseball Classics (their mother is Mexican) and with the 2010 Padres.
The Ripkens: Perhaps the most famous double-play pair of brothers in recent memory, Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken played together from 1987-1992 and then briefly in 1996. When Bill was first called up in 1987, they became the first pair of brothers to be managed by their father.
The Boones: Bret Boone and Aaron Boone were the sons of Bob Boone and the grandsons of Ray Boone, and played together with the Reds in 1997 and 1998. In fact, the final game they played together, on September 27, 1998, was special for another reason: it was the only time in baseball history where the starting infield of a team was made up of a pair of brothers: the Boones and the Larkins (Barry’s brother, Stephen Larkin, play the only game of his career that day).
The Catching Molina Brothers: The Molina brothers (Yadier, Bengie and Jose) have joined forces on several occasions in various combinations. Bengie and Jose played together with the Angels for portions of four seasons in the early 2000s, and while Yadier has never played with them, he will be coached by Bengie starting this season, since Bengie has become a assistant hitting coach for the Cardinals.
The Weavers: Jeff Weaver and Jered Weaver never shared a field together, which makes sense, since they both were/are pitchers. However, they briefly were both in the same clubhouse in the 2006 Angels season… until Jered Weaver was called up again in late June, taking the place of… Jeff Weaver, who was designated for assignment. There no doubt was an awkward Thanksgiving dinner that year.
The Gonzalezes: Adrian Gonzalez played with his brother Edgar in 2008 and 2009 with the Padres. Wow, the Padres had a lot of brother tandems, haven’t they?
The Gwynns: Chris Gwynn, brother of Tony, was with the Padres (again!) in 1996.
The Aarons: Hank’s brother, Tommie Aaron, contributed 13 home runs to the brothers’ record 768 dingers. His entire MLB career came with his brother, first with the Milwaukee Braves and then later in Atlanta.
The Alomars: The Alomars (Sandy Jr. and Roberto) had stints together with the Padres (AGAIN!), Indians and White Sox. They also played in a few All-Star Games together.
And those are just some of the brother combos that have played baseball together. And, starting this year, we will be able to add the Uptons to that list.
Although, seriously, what’s with all of the brothers that were with the Padres?