MLB: All in the Family


With famous athletes we are bound to see their siblings playing the same sport or even another sport.  Melvin Upton Jr. and his little brother Justin are two brothers that come to mind in current baseball. Last week, Melvin hit a homerun with Justin on, which they have never done. So, let’s take a look at some brothers throughout major league baseball, now and in the past.

Since the NL started in 1876 and AL in 1901, there has been 137 seasons total. 112 of those seasons, there was at least 1 set of brothers playing. 1884 had the most sets at 6.  From 1911-1965, was the longest streak at 35 seasons. 1957-1965, there was at least 2 sets playing as teammates. The longest MLB went without having a set of brothers playing was 3, from 1899-1901 and 1949-1951.

Over the history of the MLB, there has been over 350 sets of brothers. Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou have the most games appeared in by brothers. That is a total of 5, 129 games. They all 3 played on the same team together, the San Francisco Giants. Lloyd and Paul Warner played 16 seasons together and both are in the Hall of Fame. The Lachemann brothers, Marcel and Rene, were both players and managers. George and Harry Wright are also both in the Hall of Fame.  Harry went in as a manager while George as a player. Their brother Sam also played baseball.

Three sets of brothers have played on three teams together. Arthur and John Irwin played for the Worcester Ruby Legs, Washington Senators and the Boston Red Stocking together. Roberto and Sandy Alomar are the next set. They both played for the Padres, Indians, and White Soxs. Lloyd and Paul Warner played most of their career together with the Pirates but the also played together with the Braves and Dodgers.

We all know players like Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr and Barry Bonds, but did you know they all had a brother to play in MLB. Hank’s brother Tommie actually played with him in Atlanta for 7 seasons. Ripken’s brother Billy played with him 7 seasons as well.  The Bond’s brothers, over their career, totaled over 1,000 home runs, with the lesser known Bobby Bonds hitting 332.

Another Hall of Famer had a brother play in the MLB as well. Greg Maddux’s brother Mike played as well. The actually both debuted in 1986 even though they had a 5 year age difference. Greg actually faced his brother in his first career start.

The Braves franchise has the most sets of brother to play for them at 10 sets. This includes the Upton brothers. The AL team with the most sets is the Oakland Athlete’s.

So, who could we say is the best? Is it a current set? Well, we think yes. The Upton brothers. They are the only set of brothers to go 1st and 2nd in the MLB draft. Melvin went 2nd in 2002 and Justin 1st in 2005. Justin was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks while Melvin went to the Tampa Bay Rays. They actually debuted on the same day, August 2, but 3 years apart.  On August 3, 2012, they both hit their 100 home run 30 minutes apart. They wasn’t playing each other though. From 2013-2014, they started their playing together career. They both signed with the Atlanta Braves in the 2013 off-season. On April 23, 2013, they became the first brothers since 1938 to homer back-to-back.  They now have the MLB record for brothers hitting a home run the same game. They have done in 5 times and set the record on August 8, 2014.  Before opening day of the 2015 season, both Uptons had become members of the San Diego Padres. They are also the first set of brothers to make the 20-20 club. That means they have both had a 20 home run season while stealing 20 bases in that same season.

We will never be able to see all the sets against each other so we may never have a clear answer on who is the best. The Upton brothers are making it hard not to chose them. Maybe in the future someone will come along better than them but we will have to wait and see.

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