Siblings often grow up as rivals, especially in playground sports. However, in the case of Sean and David Reid-Foley, the two professional baseball players looked to each other during spring training for support.
Sean plays in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, after having been drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft. The 20-year-old power pitcher is now playing for Lansing, a Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays.
Sean’s brother David is also a pitcher and plays in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
To read more about the Reid-Foley brothers, follow the link below from Sportsnet:
Bill DeWitt Jr., chairman/CEO/president of the St. Louis Cardinals, marked the 20th anniversary of his ownership in the team in 2016. During this stretch, the Cardinals have been one of the most successful teams in baseball.
Bill Jr.’s father, Bill DeWitt Sr., started out as a peanut vendor at baseball games in St. Louis over a hundred years ago and then worked his way thr0ugh the baseball ranks, ultimately becoming an executive in several big league organizations. He was a part-owner of the St. Louis Browns and owner of the Cincinnati Reds, before retiring from baseball in 1968.
Read more about the DeWitt family at the link below from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Bo Weiss is following in his father’s baseball footsteps as a high school prep star in Aurora, Colorado. One of the top-rated high school pitchers in Colorado, Bo is the son of Walt Weiss, currently the manager of the Colorado Rockies.
Bo’s brother, Brody, was selected by the Rockies in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft, but chose to attend college instead.
Bo is likely to get strong consideration from major league clubs during this year’s draft, but he also has his eyes set on attending his father’s alma mater, University of North Carolina to play baseball.
Read more about the Weiss family at the link below from the Denver Post:
Contributed by Richard Cuicchi
NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Jared Goff, forsakes baseball heritage
When the Los Angeles Rams selected Jared Goff as the overall first pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, perhaps more than anyone else his father, Jerry, was well aware of the impact of the occasion.
Jerry Goff had some prior experience with pro sports drafts himself, since he was the third-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 1986 Major League Baseball Draft. His career was comprised primarily of over 900 minor league games over twelve seasons, although he did manage to appear in 90 major league games with the Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Houston Astros. It’s likely that the biggest moment of his nondescript major league career came in his last game when he hit a home run. He toiled for a dozen years and never made the big bucks as a baseball player.
The younger Goff was a three-sport standout in high school, but wound up deciding on football when he went to the University of California at Berkeley to play quarterback. His career decision has now paid off, since he stands to sign for a substantial bonus and will likely be a starter within a couple of years.
In an interview on the MLB Radio Network, the elder Goff said he never pushed Jared towards baseball, although he was a standout shortstop through high school. Ultimately, Jared showed better skills in football, and Jerry fully supported his son’s pursuit of the sport at the college level.
The vast majority of relatives of professional baseball players pursue baseball rather than choosing another professional sport. As an indicator of this situation, over 800 professional baseball players, managers, and coaches in 2015 had a relative in pro baseball. When considering the relatively few number of major leaguers whose sons choose professional football as a career, Jared Goff is in select company as the NFL’s No. 1 pick this year.
A look at a few of Jared Goff’s predecessors
Prior to Goff, the most notable son of a former major league player to pursue professional football was Tom Mack. His father, Ray, had been a second baseman during nine major league seasons from 1938 to 1947. Ray primarily played for the Cleveland Indians which included an all-star season in 1940. Tom was the No. 2 overall pick of the 1966 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, and went on to an NFL Hall of Fame career as an offensive guard with the Rams for 13 seasons.
Ernie Koy Jr. was an 11th-round pick of the New York Giants in the 1965 NFL Draft. He had been a standout running back at the University of Texas and became a punter and halfback for the Giants from 1965 to 1970. Ernie’s father, Ernie Sr., had been an outfielder for four National League teams from 1938 to 1942, when he compiled a career .279 batting average in 558 games.
Lee Riley Sr. was in the major leagues for only a cup of coffee (four games) in 1944, when most of the regular players were in the military service during World War II. His son, Lee Jr., had a more substantial career in the NFL and AFL as a defensive back from 1955 to 1962 for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Detroit Lions and New York Titans. However, another son of Lee Sr. would become more recognizable. Pat Riley was the highly successful player and coach in the NBA.
New York Yankee immortal Yogi Berra also had sons who chose different paths in professional sports. Tim Berra was the 17th round draft pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1974, but played only one NFL season as a receiver/punt returner. Dale Berra played for eleven seasons in the major leagues, primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The shortstop/third baseman posted a .236 career batting average in 853 games. Yogi had another son, Laurence, who played sparingly for two seasons in the New York Mets organization.
Cory Harkey is the son of Mike Harkey, a former major league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs and four other teams during 1988 to 1997. Mike is currently the bullpen coach for the New York Yankees. Cory has been a tight end for the Los Angeles Rams for the past four seasons after attending UCLA.
A future in pro football?
There are several sons of former major leaguers who are currently playing football at the college level. Perhaps we’ll see a few of them in the NFL soon.
Trey Griffey may have the best baseball lineage of all time. He is the son of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and grandson of Ken Griffey Sr., a three-time all-star and owner of a .296 career batting average over 19 seasons. Yet Trey chose football as his primary sport. He is currently a senior wide receiver for the University of Arizona.
Torii Hunter Jr. was drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of high school in 2013, but chose to attend Notre Dame instead, where he currently plays both football and baseball for the Fighting Irish. The wide receiver will be a starting senior in the coming season, while he has been a back-up outfielder on the baseball team. Torii’s father, Torii Sr., was a five-time all-star and nine-time Gold Glove outfielder during his twenty years in the major leagues.
After leading his high school team to two state baseball championships, Patrick Mahomes chose to play football in college. He is currently one of the nation’s leading college quarterbacks at Texas Tech. In 2015 he completed his sophomore season with over 4,600 yards passing and 36 touchdowns. Patrick is the son of Pat Mahomes, who had an eleven-year career as a major league pitcher, primarily as a relief specialist, during 1992 to 2003.
Dante Pettis is currently a junior wide receiver and punt returner for the University of Washington. His father is Gary Pettis, a veteran of eleven major league years which included five Gold Glove awards as an outfielder. Gary is currently a coach for the Houston Astros.
A popular major league pitcher in the 1960s and 1970s, Luis Tiant was able to leave his home country of Cuba to play baseball in the US. He went on to win 224 career games over 19 seasons ending in 1982.
His father, Luis Tiant Sr., wasn’t so fortunate. He played baseball during the time when black baseball players weren’t allowed to play in the big leagues. Consequently, he spent most of his career playing in the Negro Leagues with the New York Cubans and in Cuban winter leagues. He once played against an all-star team organized by Babe Ruth and featuring the Babe himself. However, his career, which started in the 1920s had ended before the color barrier was broken by Jackie Robinson.
Read more about Luis Tiant at the link below from the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Spring is a tough time for Torii Hunter Jr., as he looks to balance his time between football and baseball at Notre Dame.
Torii is currently a junior, with two seasons under his belt on the Fighting Irish football team. He is in his second season on the baseball team, although he has played sparingly.
He is the son of Torii Hunter, who retired from Major League Baseball in 2015 after putting in 19 seasons, including five All-Star selections and nine Gold Glove awards.
Torii was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, but chose to attend Notre Dame.
Read more about Torii Hunter Jr. at the link below from the Chicago Tribune:
Jacob Gonzalez and Casey Candiotti are junior teammates at Scottsdale Chaparral High School, which was a pre-season No. 1 in Arizona.
They share a common bond in that their respective fathers were former major league players. Both young men showed an early passion for baseball, and thus their fathers steered them in the path of their former profession.
Jacob is the son of Luis Gonzalez, a 19-year major league veteran and five-time All-Star, who played on the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks.
Casey is the son of Tom Candiotti who played 16 seasons in the big leagues, winning 151 games. He was known for his knuckleball, which he has taught to Casey.
Casey and Jacob intend to continue their baseball careers at the college level.
Read more about Gonzalez and Candiotti at the link below from azcentral.com:
Neil Walker grew up in the Pittsburgh area and when he was drafted by the Pirates organization as a first round pick in 2004, it was a no-brainer that he would sign with the club.
Neil’s father, Tom, a former major league pitcher during 1972 to 1977, has lived in the Pittsburgh area for 41 years, so he and his extended family had grown accustomed to seeing Neil play regularly at home games
However, Neil was acquired by the New York Mets during the off-season and thus caused a disruption in the family gatherings at the ballpark.
Read more about Neil Walker at the link below from The Wall Street Journal:
Preston Tucker made his major league debut with the Houston Astros last year, sharing playing time in the outfield. He is one of a group of young Astros players making the team a favorite for the playoffs again in 2016.
Preston’s younger brother, Kyle, was a first-round pick of the Astros in the 2015 MLB Draft and is starting his first professional season this year.
The brothers are hoping to play in the outfield together one day with the Astros.
Read more about the Preston brothers at the link below from kristv.com:
Donnie Walton is currently in his fourth season as shortstop with Oklahoma State University, opting to return for his senior season after being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 23rd round in the 2015 MLB Draft.
His father, Rob Walton, is the pitching coach at OSU, having also played for the university in 1983-1986 when he pitched on four College World Series teams. Rob played three seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization before turning to coaching at the college level.
Read more about the Walton father-son combo at the link below from Baseball America: