Gary Matthews’ Family Still Promoting Baseball

Gary Matthews Sr.had an outstanding 16-year major league career from 1972 to 1987 with five different teams.  Nicknamed “Sarge,” he was Rookie of the Year with the San Francisco Giants in 1973 and was selected to an All-Star team with the Atlanta Braves in 1979.  In 1983, he was the NLCS MVP for the Philadelphia Phillies before they bowed out in the World Series against Baltimore.

Gary Matthews Jr. followed his father’s footsteps with his own 12-year big-league career from 1999 to 2010.  “Little Sarge” was an All-Star selection with the Texas Rangers in 2006.

Gary Sr.’s son Dustin was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 46th round of the 1998 MLB Draft, but did not sign to play professionally.

Delvon, the third son of Gary Sr. to play baseball, played one season in the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 2000.  He later worked in the Chicago White Sox organization front office under GM Kenny Williams.

Delvon is now working in the MLB’s Urban Youth Baseball program, overseeing operations in several cities across the nation and promoting diversity in the game.

Follow the link below from blavity.com about the Matthews family’s background and role in professional baseball:

http://blavity.com/black-baseball-matthews-family-business

 

 

Dusty Baker’s Son to Pursue College Baseball Career

You might recall in the 2002 World Series when San Francisco Giants base-runner J. T. Snow, who had just scored a run, snatched the Giants’ batboy from the jaws of injury when he picked up the young boy who was attempting to retrieve a bat near home plate.  But, there was a play still going on, with another Giants runner having rounded third and was headed toward a close play at home plate, including a possible collision with the Anaheim Angels catcher. Snow’s quick reaction likely saved the batboy from being injured.

Well, that young batboy 14 years ago, Darren Baker, is now about to start his college baseball career, having signed to play with the University of California.  He is the son of Dusty Baker, the current manager of the Washington Nationals.  Dusty was the manager of the Giants in 2002.

Read more about Darren Baker at the link below from espn.com:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/page/QTP_DustyBakerSonSignsCalBaseball/washington-nationals-manager-dusty-baker-son-signs-cal-baseball

Teen-Ager Ken Brett’s Improbable Emergence in the 1967 World Series

Contributed by Richard Cuicchi

Twenty-year-old Los Angeles Dodger Julio Urias made history in the NLCS by becoming the youngest pitcher to start a post-season game. The Dodgers hurler, who made his major-league debut in 2015, didn’t get past the fourth inning against his Chicago Cubs opponent, but it was still nonetheless a significant event for such a young, relatively inexperienced player.

Turning the calendar back almost fifty years, another young stud pitcher had an improbable post-season appearance. Ken Brett of the Boston Red Sox made two relief appearances in the 1967 World Series, when it was only 21 days after he had turned 19-years-old.  He had made his regular season major-league debut only eleven days earlier.  Most young, aspiring baseball players are still dreaming of being successful in professional baseball, much less actually playing in baseball’s biggest showcase.

Brett was a first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1966, shortly after his graduation from high school. He was called up by the Red Sox in September 1967 after winning 14 games and posting a 1.95 ERA in the minors.  A hard-throwing left-hander, he impressed veteran major leaguers who compared him to established fire-ballers of the day such as Sandy Koufax and Sam McDowell.  Brett made his major league debut on September 27 when he pitched two innings against the Cleveland Indians.

When Brett joined the Red Sox in 1967, they were embroiled in one of the most exciting pennant races ever. They wound up beating out Detroit and Minnesota by one game to win the American League title, but Brett hadn’t initially been expected to be on the World Series roster.  However, a spot opened up for Brett when a late-season arm injury sidelined Sparky Lyle, and Bill Landis was called up for military service.

The Red Sox faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, a repeat match of the two teams in 1946. With the Cardinals leading the Series 2-1, Brett saw his first action in Game Four, becoming the youngest pitcher to ever make a World Series appearance.  The Cardinals were holding a decisive 6-0 lead, when Brett entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the fifth Red Sox pitcher of the game.  He allowed only one baserunner in retiring the Cardinals with no runs.

The Red Sox evened the Series with victories in the next two games, setting up a showdown in Game Seven. However, the Cardinals took an early lead they never relinquished.  Brett got another appearance in the ninth inning when he came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs and induced a groundout to end the inning.

Brett appeared to be headed for a promising major-league career. However, two weeks after the Series, he began a six-month tour of duty in the Army, as the Vietnam War was well underway.  When he returned to baseball following his military service in 1968, he injured his elbow, perhaps trying to come back too soon after his layoff.  The injury plagued him for the rest of his career.

He never did reach his full potential, even though he played in fourteen major-league seasons. He finished his career with an 83-85 won-lost record and 3.93 ERA in 349 games.  He wound up playing for ten different major-league teams, with his best season coming in 1974 with Pittsburgh when he was selected for the National League All-Star Team.  Brett retired from baseball in 1981 at age 32.

Ken Brett was the older brother of George Brett, the Hall of Fame third baseman for the Kansas City Royals from 1973 to 1993. They had two brothers, John and Bobby, who played briefly in the minor leagues.

Here are a few more World Series trivia items regarding players’ ages. The youngest player ever to appear in a World Series was third baseman Freddie Lindstrom, who was 18 years, 10 months and 13 days, in 1924 with the New York Giants.  Andruw Jones was the Atlanta Braves’ starting centerfielder in the 1996 World Series at 19 years, 5 month, and 28 days.  He batted .400 and hit two home runs in his first Series.  Don Gullett was slightly older (19 years, 6 months, and 2 days) than Brett when he made his first of three World Series relief appearances in 1970 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Nolan Arenado has a Baseball Brother Waiting in the Wings

Nolan Arenado had another MVP-type season in 2016 with the Colorado Rockies. For the second straight season, he’s led the National League in home runs and RBI, while being selected for his second all-start team.  He’s also become a complete player with his defensive skills at third base.

Nolan has a younger brother, Jonah, who is a 21-year-old prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization. In his third professional season this year, Jonah’s hitting  is drawing comparisons to his brother’s.  He is likely to advance to the Double-A level next year and projects to eventually join his big brother in the big-leagues.

To read more about the Arenado brothers, follow the link below from Knuckleball:

Baseball Bloodlines: For Nolan Arenado, it’s a family affair

Pat Mahomes II Ultimately Chose Football Over Baseball

Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes II grew up in a baseball family, as his father, Pat Mahomes, was a major-league pitcher for eleven seasons during 1992 to 2003.

The younger Mahomes also played baseball in high school and was projected to be a high-round selection in the Major League Baseball draft.  He chose to attend Texas Tech where he initially played both sports.  However, after his success as a quarterback, he opted to concentrate solely on football.

To read more about the Mahomes father-son duo, see the link below from theet.com:

http://www.theet.com/sports/wvu/wvu-to-face-another-qb-with-baseball-upbringing/article_28720944-7c8c-5123-93d5-62156f177547.html

“Spaceman” Bill Lee Owes Part of his ML Career to AAGPBL

Former major-league pitcher Bill Lee’s aunt, Annabelle Lee, had a big influence on his love of baseball.  She was a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League over 70 years ago and started playing baseball with Lee when she finished her 11-year career.  He still wears Annabelle’s old glove while he still occasionally plays in a senior baseball league.

Lee gained notoriety as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox from 1969 to 1978, before finishing his career with the Montreal Expos in 1982.  He finished with a 119-90 record and 3.62 ERA in 416 career games.

Read more about Bill Lee by following the link below from the Bradenton Herald:

http://www.bradenton.com/sports/article109327567.html

Cal Quantrill Makes Bid to Follow in his Father’s Footsteps

Cal Quantrill was the first-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2016 MLB Draft despite not having pitched for his college team, Stanford University, this season.  He had Tommy John surgery in 2015 after pitching only a few games for Stanford.  However, his outstanding freshman campaign, in which he earned a spot on the Freshman All-American team, and his baseball bloodlines were enough for the Padres to take a chance on him.

Cal is the son of Paul Quantrill, who pitched for fourteen major-league seasons during 1992 to 2005.  He played for seven different clubs, including six seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.  He led his league in games pitched for four consecutive seasons, in 2001-2004.  He was an All-Star with Toronto in 2001.

Although Cal’s stats from his first minor-league season are not that impressive, the season is considered a success in his return from surgery and the long layoff.

To read more about Cal Quantrill, follow the link below from todaysknuckleball.com:

Baseball Bloodlines: Cal Quantrill working way back from Tommy John

Third-Generation Kessinger to Play for Ole Miss

Grae Kessinger was a top high school baseball prospect in 2016 and became the 26th round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2016 MLB Draft.  He has committed to play college baseball at the University of Mississippi, where his father, uncle and grandfather also played.

Grae’s grandfather is Don Kessinger, who signed out of Ole Miss with the Chicago Cubs in 1964.  He made his major-league debut that year and became the starting shortstop the next season.  He was a six-time All-Star with the Cubs for whom he played until 1975.  He briefly played for the St. Louis Cardinals and then finished his career as the player/manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1979.

Grae’s father, Kevin, was a 22nd pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1992 after playing at Ole Miss.  He made a brief minor-league appearance that year.

Grae’s uncle, Keith, was a draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 1989 and played eleven games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1994.  He finished his career in 1996 with the Cubs organization.

During the summer, Grae got the opportunity to play in the showcase Under Armor Game at Wrigley Field, where his grandfather once roamed.

Read more about the Kessinger family at the link below from Ole Miss Sports:

http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/100616aab.html?utm_source=social%20media&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BSB_100616_S

Bichette Brothers Play for Brazil in WBC Qualifier

Dante Jr. and Bo Bichette had never played baseball together in competition, until they recently appeared for Brazil in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier round in Brooklyn, NY.  They were eligible to represent Brazil because their mother is a native of the country.

They are the sons of Dante Bichette, Sr., who logged fourteen seasons in the major-leagues with 355 HRs, 1078 RBIs, and a .299 batting average.  He was a four-time All-Star and runner-up for National League MVP in 1995.

Dante Jr. was a first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2011, and he played at Double-A Trenton in 2016, where he posted 9 HRs and 49 RBIs to go along with a .243 average.

Bo was a second-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays this year.  He played rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League, where he excelled with 4 HRs, 36 RBIs and an amazing .427 batting average in 22 games.

Read more about the Bichette family at the link below from Hardball Scoop:

http://www.scout.com/mlb/rumors/story/1710943-bichette-family-forges-baseball-legacy

These Sons of Major Leaguers Chose Football

Major League Baseball has had over 200 father-son combinations who both played in the big-leagues.  But the sons of major-leaguers don’t always choose their father’s sport. Sometimes they don’t want the pressure of having to follow in their father’s baseball footsteps.  Sometimes they want to make a name for themselves by trying to excel another sport.

This year’s college football season features several prominent sons of former major leaguers.  Not surprising, they play in offensive skill positions on the gridiron. Below is a list of the more notable of these college players, their current teams, their father’s names and their father’s years in major-league baseball.

Shane Buechele, University of Texas QB, son of Steve Buechele (1985-1995)

Torii Hunter Jr., University of Notre Dame WR, son of Torii Hunter Sr. (1997-2015)

Trey Griffey, University of Arizona WR, son of Ken Griffey Jr. (1989-2010)

Pat Mahomes II, University of Texas Tech QB, son of Pat Mahomes Sr. (1992-2003)

Dante Pettis, University of Washington WR/KR, son of Gary Pettis (1982-1992)

Kenny Hill, Texas Christian University QB, son of Ken Hill (1988-2001)

Derek McLemore, University of Houston WR, son of Mark McLemore (1986-2004)

Brandon Johnson, University of Tennessee WR, son of Charles Johnson (1994 – 2005)

To read more about these football players, see the link below from bignewsnetwork.com:

http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/247723667/mlb-fathers-rooting-for-college-football-sonsetwork.com: