2014 Update of Family Ties

One of my special interests in the game of baseball has been the identification of the many family relationships that have existed throughout the history of the game. In 2012, I published Family Ties: A Comprehensive Collection of Facts and Trivia About Baseball’s Relatives that contained over 3,500 professional players, managers, coaches, scouts, executives, umpires, and broadcasters with relatives in professional baseball.

As the World Series winds down the 2014 season, it’s a good time to look back and assess the current level of family relationships (brothers, father-son, uncle-nephew, cousins, etc.) among the players, managers, and coaches in the game. I’ve compiled an updated list of the 2014 players, managers, and coaches that have current or past relatives in professional baseball. It’s safe to say the tradition of baseball’s family ties has continued at a very high level, with over 650 current family relationships existing in 2014, including over 170 players who had multiple relationships.

The entire 2014 list can be retrieved on my Family Ties 2014 Season site page on this website.

Following is a “By the Numbers” illustration of how prevalent baseball’s family trees were in 2014.

418 – number of major and minor league players in 2014 with a present or past relative in professional baseball (major, minor, and independent leagues). Admittedly, my list is not exhaustive for the minor league players with relatives, and I estimate my compilation could be low by as much as 20%.

84 – number of 2014 major league managers and coaches with a relative in professional baseball. Assuming each of the 30 MLB teams has a coaching staff of eight members, this number represents about a third of the coaching staff in the entire league.

100 – number of 2014 major league players with a relative that also played in the major leagues (present or past). Assuming an average of 50 players appearing on the roster for each of the 30 MLB teams throughout the season, the count for this season is consistent with my count in Family Ties that 7% of all major league players in history were either a father, son, brother, or grandfather.

52 – number of additional 2014 major league players with a relative in the minor leagues (present or past).

25 – number of 2014 major league players with a relative also playing in the major leagues in 2014.

14 – number of grandsons playing professionally in 2014 whose grandfathers formerly played in the major leagues; another 15 grandsons had grandfathers who previously played in the minor leagues.

73 – number of amateur players selected in the 2014 MLB Draft with current or past relatives in professional baseball; 13 of these amateur players had multiple relatives in professional baseball.

Some additional facts from information in the list include:

Included in the number of grandsons are last names which may sound familiar—Hall of Famers Yastrzemski, Ripken, and Killebrew. Current A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz is the great grandson of Garland Buckeye who played in the majors from 1919 to 1928.

40 of the drafted amateurs in 2014 have a relative who played in the majors. Some of the drafted players were relatives of prominent major leaguers: Mariano Rivera III (son of Mariano), Justus Sheffield (nephew of Gary), Nick Gordon (son of Tom and brother of Dee), Benito Santiago Jr. (son of Benito), and Ryan Ripken (son of Cal Jr. and grandson of Cal Sr.).

The Atlanta Braves led the league in selecting the most relatives in the 2014 MLB Draft with eight, while the Cincinnati Reds drafted seven.

Veteran Scott Hairston is a three-generation player, one of only seven major leaguers in baseball history. Three players drafted in 2014, Ryan Ripken, Adam Law, and Jed Sprague , could add to this list if they eventually get to the big leagues.

In addition to Hairston’s father and grandfather playing in the big leagues, he had two uncles and two brothers who also played professionally.

Torii Hunter’s son was drafted in 2014, but he chose to attend college at Notre Dame to play football and baseball. The last father-son combo to play in the majors at the same time was Tim Raines and his son in 2001.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies teams each had five of their coaching staff with relatives in baseball.

Brett Bochy made his major league debut in 2014 for San Francisco and played for his father, Bruce, who was the manager.

Thirteen players who made their 2014 major league debuts had relatives that were former major leaguers.

Mike Guerrero, current coach for the Milwaukee Brewers, has four brothers in professional baseball capacities as player, scout, or coach. His father was a former major league scout.

These Griffeys Don’t Play Baseball

Trey and Taryn Griffey are the children of Ken Griffey Jr., but they didn’t exactly follow in their father and grandfather’s steps. The brother and sister are currently students at the University of Arizona, where Trey is playing football and Taryn is a member of the women’s basketball team.

Griffey Jr. and his father Ken Sr. are one of the most famous father-son duos in major league baseball history. Both of them were all-star caliber players, with Ken Jr. among the all-time home run leaders.

Trey was the batboy for Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, when his father was on the team, but chose football over baseball.

See related story about the Griffeys at the link below from The Daily Wildcat:

http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2014/10/family-weekend-all-in-the-family

Baseball Is Family Affair For Crons

C. J. Cron made his major league debut in 2014 for the Los Angeles Angels and wound up becoming a regular in the lineup. His baseball lineage includes his father Chris, who played twelve seasons in the minors and had a brief major league stint in 1991-1992. Chris is now a minor league hitting instructor in the Diamondbacks’ organization. Additionally, C. J.’s brother, Kevin, was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 14th round of this year’s MLB Draft.

See related story about C. J. Cron at the link below from mlb.com:

http://m.angels.mlb.com/news/article/96607700/baseball-is-a-family-affair-for-angels-cj-cron

Willy Aybar Paved Way for His Brother Erick

Erick Aybar, the shortstop for the Los Angeles Angels, made his first All-Star team. His older brother Willy paved the way for Erick to play professional baseball, as Willy broke in as a major leaguer in 2005 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and went on to play five seasons in the majors. Erick is now in his ninth season with the Angels and has one Gold Glove to his credit. They are two of seven children who grew up in some of the poorer parts of the Dominican Republic.

See related story about Erick Aybar at the link below from mlb.com:

http://m.angels.mlb.com/news/article/96604506/erick-aybar-followed-brothers-path-from-dominican-republic-to-major-league-baseball

Frazier Tandem Competes In Home Run Derby

Cincinnati Reds All-Star infielder Todd Frazier was a member of the National League’s team in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby contest. His brother, Charlie, a former minor league player, pitched to him in the contest.

Charlie was a 6th round selection out of high school by the Florida Marlins in the 1999 MLB Draft and played until 2004, never appearing in the big leagues.

Their brother, Jeff, appeared in the Major Leagues for one season with the Detroit Tigers before ending his professional career in 2012.

Todd is in his fourth major league season with the Reds.

See related story about Todd and Charlie Frazier at the link below from mlb.com:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/84728922/meggie-zahneis-frazier-brothers-relish-home-run-derby-experience

Jackie Robinson’s Brother Was An Olympic Medalist

Mack Robinson, older brother of Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, was quite an athlete himself. He won a silver medal in the 200 meters during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany.

In July, the City of Pasadena, CA honored both brothers with a ceremony at the Pasadena Robinson Memorial, where giant busts of the brothers were dedicated in 1997. Mack died in 2000.

Blosser Family Consisted Of Three State Champions

Brent Blosser started a family tradition when his Sarasota High School team won the Florida state championship in 1973. His son, Greg, was a member of the 1987 and 1989 title teams, while brother Doug played on the 1993 and 1994 championship teams.

Greg was a first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1989. He played parts of two seasons in the majors with the Red Sox. He played professionally for more than ten years.

Doug was a third-round pick of the Kansas City A’s in 1995, but his career was cut short when he died in a car accident at age 21 in 1998.

See related story about the Blossers at the link below from the Herald Tribune:

http://preps.heraldtribune.com/2014/07/20/baseball-tradition-blossers/

Seager Brothers May Be The Next High Impact Siblings

There are currently three Seager brothers in professional baseball, and based on their early results they could be the next high impact brothers in big league baseball, like the Uptons and Molinas.

Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners was a Major League All-Star this season. The oldest of the brothers at age 26, the third baseman seems to have found his spot on the Mariners roster and could be there for a long time.

Corey Seager is 20 years old and was a participant in the Futures Game during the All-Star Game weekend festivities. He is a highly prized prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Justin Seager, 22, also plays in the Mariners organization at the Class A level. He is in his second professional season after being drafted in 2013 out of college.

See related story about the Seager brothers at the link below from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/sports/baseball/seager-family-follows-kyle-in-the-majors-and-cory-and-justin-in-the-minors.html?_r=0

Reuschel Brothers Played Together In Collegiate League

Brothers Rick and Paul Resuchel, who both played in the Major Leagues, once played together in the Central Illinois Collegiate League with the Galesburg Pioneers in the late 1960s. Not only were they outstanding pitchers, their major league positions, but they were also noted for their bat in this summer league.

See related story about the Reuschel Brothers at the link below from The Register-Mail:

http://www.galesburg.com/article/20140722/NEWS/140729949

Dale Murphy’s Son Chooses Football

The son of former two-time MVP Dale Murphy has chosen football as his favorite sport. McKay Murphy played all the major sports growing up, but decided college football was for him. He currently plays defensive tackle for Weber State.

See related story about McKay Murphy at the link below from the Standard Examiner:

http://www.standard.net/Sports/2014/09/10/Dale-Murphy-s-son-McKay.html

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