Baseball Brothers and a Road Trip Wrap-up
Some brothers are famous for politics, like the Kennedys and the Bushes. Some brothers are accomplished actors, like the Baldwins. Others are known for musical ability or business acumen. Brothers getting involved in the same pursuits is fairly common, perhaps in no arena more than athletics.
The Manning brothers and Harbaugh brothers have been widely acclaimed recently for their success in the NFL. A number of brothers–such as Dominique and Gerald Wilkins and the Barry brothers–have played in the NBA.
Baseball Brothers: Big League Version
Baseball boasts more brothers than any other professional sport. A listing of all the baseball brothers consumes two entire web pages at Baseball Almanac. Three brothers, the Alous, actually played for the same team at the same time. The three Molina brothers were catchers on big league rosters at the same time in recent years.
The big league baseball brothers have rarely been equally successful. Lloyd and Paul Waner were notable exceptions; they both enjoyed Hall of Fame careers. Some of the others, though…well, not so much.
- Did you know that Hank Aaron, the non-asterisked home run king, had a brother named Tommie who played in the bigs?
- Most nominal baseball fans have heard of “The Yankee Clipper” Joe DiMaggio. But could you name his big-league brothers?
- I followed the career of recent Hall of Famer Eddie Murray as a kid. I never knew that his brother Rich also made The Show.
Still, how cool must it be to play in the big leagues with your brother(s)?
Baseball Brothers: Younger Version
My two boys are very different on the baseball field. Older Brother was primarily a first baseman in his youth league days before reinventing himself as a submarine-style relief pitcher in high school. The Little Fella pitches, too, but is a middle infielder and speedy lead-off type hitter. Their mental attributes are quite different, too. Older Brother has given up hitting altogether…well, maybe except for an at bat or two against an upcoming opponent who, shall we say, annually opens the door for such opportunities.
This week, though, we were all working together toward a successful spring break road trip. Older Brother was pitching for the team, and I was providing color commentary for seven games in five days. The Little Fella was the utility member of the broadcast crew. He fetched line-ups, served as “The Camera Kid,” even ran the scoreboard in the championship game. And helped me knock down some pre-game beignets.
Lewisburg won the Gulf Coast Classic with a 5-4, nine inning victory over Clarksville, Tennessee. Including a pair of games on the way to the coast, the Patriots went 7-0 on the trip. Older Brother picked up three pitching wins, including one in the championship game. The story, though, was the team. This is a group that played with heart, character, and desire. And Older Brother is a part of that team.
Older Brother and the Little Fella weren’t the only brother connection, not by far. My broadcast partner and I received a social media photo of one of our sophomore’s entire family watching the game; his brother was a key member of last year’s squad. And then there are the two sets of baseball brothers on the team…what incredible memories they made this week!
There’s a certain fraternal bond among baseball teammates already. When you combine that with a biological bond, that’s something special. Something special among a lot of something specials this week.
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About Al Ainsworth
Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.