Dusty Baker shares World Series victory with son Darren, who gained notoriety in 2002 World Series

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker finally got his first World Series ring after managing in the big leagues for 25 seasons. The likable skipper was cheered on by his players and the Astros fans in attaining the Astros’ second World Series title in six years. The victory was moment he shared with his now-23-year-old son Darren, who is currently a minor leaguer in the Washington Nationals system.

In Dusty’s first World Series appearance as a manager in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants, there was a now-famous moment involving his then-3-year-old son Darren, who was serving as a Giants batboy.

With the Giants playing the Angels in Game 5, the Giants’ Kenny Lofton tripled to score J. T. Snow and David Bell. Young Darren, barely more than a toddler, went to retrieve Lofton’s bat at the plate while the play was still going on. Snow had to grab Darren by the shirt collar to avoid a collision with Bell who was headed home after Snow.

Click here to read more on mlb.com about Darren’s celebration with his dad and the recollection of his first major-league exposure.

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Astros have new star shortstop in Jeremy Pena

Jeremy Pena‘s rookie season was pretty special. When the Astros’ previous all-star shortstop Carlos Correa opted not to re-sign with them after the 2021 season, Pena was the guy who backfilled Correa in 2022.

Pena exceeded the Astros’ front office expectations about his ability to perform at the big-league level. Coming out of spring training, 24-year-old Pena became the starting shortstop. He wound up with a slash line of .253/.289/.426 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs.

But it was in the post-season that we saw the best Pena brought to the Astros. He was MVP of the ALCS and World Series, the first time a rookie claimed those two titles in the same postseason. He was a consistent performer throughout the playoffs, helping the Astros claim their second World Series title in six years. He was the recipient of the NL Gold Glove Award for shortstops.

Pena is the son of Geronimo Pena, a seven-year major leaguer from 1990 to 1996 with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians.

Click here to read more about Jeremy Pena in the New York Times.

Chris Garagiola followed in his grandfather’s footsteps behind the microphone.

Chris Garagiola completed his first season as a pre-and-postgame radio host and play-by-play announcer for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022.

Yes, he is the grandson of Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola, who became famous for his tv and radio broadcasts for national baseball game audiences. Joe was also a major-league player during 1946 to 1954 for four teams.

Chris’s father is Joe Garagiola Jr., who was formerly the Diamondbacks’ first general manager.

Click here to read more about Chris Garagiola on mlb.com.

Bruce Bochy returns to dugout at Rangers manager

Bruce Bochy was named the new manager of the Texas Rangers for the 2023 season. This will be his third MLB team that he has managed, including 12 seasons with the Padres and 13 seasons with the Giants. He retired after he managed the Giants in 2019.

Bochy won three World Series titles with the Giants in 2010, 2012, and 2014. He has a career record of 2,023-2,029. He is currently 12th on the all-time list of managerial wins and 7th on the all-time list for games managed.

Bochy is the father of Brett Bochy, who pitched in the majors for his father’s Giants in 2014 and 2015.

Click here to read more about Bruce Bochy’s new assignment on nbcsports.com.

Oh, Brother! 2022 was a banner season for baseball siblings

Contributed by Richard Cuicchi

2022 was a good year for major-league brothers to share the baseball diamond. All too often they don’t get to play with or against each other when growing up or perhaps later in college, because they are separated by age or schools they attend. But once both brothers have signed major-league contracts, they begin to dream about eventually playing on the same field at the same time, whether as teammates or opponents.

Then when it actually happens, the brothers relish the moment because they realize it’s a rare occurrence. Their feat often comes with the notoriety of being part of a small group of players in baseball history who have done the same.

Below are highlights of brotherly activity during the 2022 season.

Identical twin brothers Taylor and Tyler Rogers played against each other on April 11, when Tyler’s San Francisco Giants opposed Taylor’s San Diego Padres. They are both pitchers and are mirror images of each other—Taylor pitches left-handed, while Tyler is right-handed. Tyler entered the game in the sixth inning with the score tied, 2-2. He gave up two hits and a run in his one-inning outing. Taylor pitched the ninth and recorded his third save of the season. Tyler was credited with the loss. The game was the first time they had shared a field since they were in high school. In 2019 they became only the tenth set of twins to play in the majors.

Brothers Aaron and Austin Nola faced other as batter-versus-pitcher for the first time in 2021. Phillies pitcher Aaron had the better day then, allowing Padres catcher Austin only a walk in three at-bats. On June 24, 2022, they battled against each again, but this time Austin knocked in the game-winning run off his brother with a single in the sixth inning. Aaron managed to strike out his brother once, in collecting 10 for the game, but he took the loss in the 1-0 game. The only other time they had ever faced each other was in a practice game while they were both at LSU.

In a rare occurrence in an MLB All-Star Game, Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and his brother, William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves, were in the starting lineup for the National League team. William started as the designated hitter and hit behind his brother in the batting order. Only four other sets of brothers have started in the same All-Star game. They include Mort and Walker Cooper, Dixie and Harry Walker, Joe and Dominic DiMaggio, and Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. The Contreras brothers are natives of Venezuela, where they used to dream about being big leaguers. Willson said, “Man, I think we’re blessed. I can say a lot of things, but there’s not a specific word to describe how I feel and how my family feels.”1

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz and his brother, Cincinnati Reds rookie reliever Alex Diaz, exchanged the lineup cards for their respective teams at home plate before their game on August 9 at Citi Field. However, neither of them appeared in the game. Mets manager Buck Showalter said, “That’s a great moment for their family. Can you imagine how proud they are?”2 Earlier in May, the Diaz brothers became only the third set of major-league brothers to record a save on the same day.

On September 8, brothers Jason and Scott Alexander exchanged the lineup cards for their teams (Brewers and Giants, respectively) before the first game of a doubleheader at American Family Field in Milwaukee. Scott pitched a scoreless inning for the Giants in the first game, but Jason didn’t get called on in either game. But it was a special moment for them in any case. “This will probably go down as one of my favorite moments in baseball,” said Jason, who is four years younger than Scott.3 It was the first time they had shared a field together at any level.

Bo Naylor made his major-league debut with the Cleveland Guardians on October 1, as he joined his brother Josh on the team. Josh was the starter at first base, while Bo entered the game in the sixth inning, replacing Luke Maile as catcher. Both brothers were hitless for the day as the Kansas City Royals won, 7-1. The brothers batted back-to-back in the lineup the next day in a Guardians win. Josh is playing his first full season in the majors after having made his own debut in 2019. Bo was a first-round pick of the Guardians in 2018.

On the last day of the season, Houston Astros reliever Phil Maton faced his brother Nick in the eighth inning of the Astros’ 3-2 win. It was the first time they had faced each other in a game at any level, since Phil was four years older than Nick. Nick got the best of his brother when he singled into right field off a 91-mph fastball. An infielder, Nick is in his second big-league season with the Philadelphia Phillies. Phil is the veteran of the brothers, pitching in his sixth major-league season. “It was super exciting,” Nick said about their confrontation. “I just wanted to treat it as another at-bat. Once I got up there, it definitely wasn’t like that. It felt like were in the backyard. Just seeing him out there was pretty fun.”4

On July 1, the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers featured a matchup of brothers–sort of. Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berrios faced his brother-in-law Javier Baez with the Tigers. Baez claimed bragging rights over Berrios that day by hitting an opposite field home run in the fourth inning. But it was the Tigers’ only run of the day, as Toronto won the game, 4-1. Berrios said, “When he hit the homer, I didn’t want to see his face because I didn’t want to be laughing, and that wouldn’t look good on the mound.”5 They had faced each other twice before, with Berrios having the edge by holding Baez hitless in five at-bats. The two Puerto Rican players are married to sisters.

This last set of brothers aren’t players, yet have a strong connection with the game, nonetheless. When someone mentions the name “Caray” it usually evokes the memory of the three generations of major-league broadcasters—Harry, Skip, and Chip. Now, the fourth generation is in the works for twin brothers Chris and Stefan Caray. They are the sons of current Braves broadcaster Chip Caray. They both broadcasted games in 2022 for the Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We want to create our own style,” Stefan said. “That way, we’re not Chip 2.0 or Skip 2.0 or Harry 2.0. We want to be independent of our family’s legacy while also continuing it in a way that is unique.”6 Perhaps one day they’ll be behind the mike together for a major-league team.

Notes

1 https://www.mlb.com/news/willson-contreras-reflects-on-2022-all-star-game-with-brother-william

2 https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/reds-mets-series-happy-reunion-daz-family-88172403

3 https://news.yahoo.com/two-sets-brothers-opposite-sides-222621002.html

4 https://www.mlb.com/news/nick-maton-base-hit-off-older-brother-phil-maton

5 https://www.mlb.com/tigers/news/javier-baez-hits-home-run-off-of-brother-in-law-jose-berrios

6 https://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-braves/caray-twins-put-fourth-generation-of-family-in-baseball-broadcast-booth/HJTP2LBMQVFKFA2XIUBUGBGMKI/

Naylor brothers bat back-to-back for Guardians

Bo Naylor was called up from the minors by the Cleveland Guardians on October 1. He joined his brother Josh, who has been with the Guardians since 2020.

The Guardians’ lineup card for their game against the Kansas City Royals had Josh hitting cleanup and playing first base, while Bo hit behind him as the designated hitter.

Bo is likely to be kept on the postseason roster for the Guardians as a backup catcher.

To read more about the Naylor brothers, click here.

Daulton Varsho turns in outstanding defensive season

Daulton Varsho got to the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a catcher, but now is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.

Varsho was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round out of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2017 as a catcher. He made his major-league debut with the D-backs in 2020 and played both catcher and outfield in his first two seasons.

This season Varsho has been the starting rightfielder for the D-backs and is tops in defensive runs saved among outfielders.

Varsho is the son of Gary Varsho, who played in the majors from 1988 to 1995 with the Cubs, Pirates, Reds and Phillies.

For more information about Daulton Varsho, click here.

Ruben Amaro Sr. inducted in Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame

Former major-league player, coach and scout Ruben Amaro Sr. was recently honored by the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. He is the 79th inductee of the organization.

Most of his career was spent with the Philadelphia Phillies organization, with whom he played during 1960 to 1965. He was a coach for the Phillies when they won the World Series in 1980.

His son, Ruben Amaro Jr., was a former player and front office executive for the Phillies.

Read more about Amaro Sr.’s career by clicking here.

Ruben Amaro Jr.: from batboy to player, to front office, to coach, and announcer

Ruben Amaro Jr. started his baseball career as a batboy for the Philadelphia Phillies, the team his father played for in six seasons.

He was drafted in the 11th round by the California Angels in 1987. After making his MLB debut with the Angels in 1991, he was traded to the Phillies for the 1992 season, followed by another season with them in 1993.

He played a second stint with the Phillies from 1996 to 1998. After retiring as a player, he went to work in the Phillies front office, where he eventually became the general manager.

After a stint as a base coach for the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, he returned to Philadelphia to work in the broadcast booth.

To read more about the career and family of Amaro, click here.

Ryan Ripken retires from professional baseball

Ryan Ripken, son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. announced he was retiring from pro baseball after seven minor-league seasons. He was originally selected out of high school by his father’s Orioles team in the 2012 MLB Draft but did not sign. He was selected in the 15th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals and signed with them.

The Baltimore Orioles organization picked Ryan up in 2017. He reached Triple-A Norfolk last year for 48 games, but otherwise spent most his time in the low minors. His career slash line was .234/.275/.322, with 20 home runs and 160 RBIs.

Click here to read more about Ryan Ripken from the Baltimore Sun.