As Father’s Day approaches later this week, naturally it‘s a good time to reflect on what our fathers have meant to us, how they’ve influenced our lives, and how much we appreciate them.
It’s only fitting in observance of Father’s Day that we have an all-star team comprised of Major League players who were fathers of Major League sons. It is my hope these fathers were “all-stars” off the field as well.
1B – Tony Perez, Hall of Famer, father of Eduardo Perez and Victor Perez (minor leaguer)
2B – Eddie Collins Sr., Hall of Famer, father of Eddie Collins Jr.
3B – Buddy Bell, five-time All-Star, father of David Bell, Mike Bell, and Ricky Bell (minor leaguer)
SS – Maury Wills, five-time All-Star, father of Bump Wills
OF – Pete Rose Sr., seventeen-time All-Star, father of Pete Rose Jr.
OF –Tony Gwynn, Hall of Famer, father of Anthony Gwynn Jr.
OF –Tim Raines Sr., seven-time All-Star, father of Tim Raines Jr.
C – Yogi Berra, Hall of Famer, father of Dale Berra and Larry Berra Jr. (minor leaguer)
SP – Ed Walsh, Hall of Famer, father of Ed Walsh Jr.
RP – Jeff Russell, two-time All-Star, father of James Russell
DH – Cecil Fielder, three-time All-Star, father of Prince Fielder
Manager–Felipe Alou, father of Moises Alou
Coach –Jose Cruz Sr., father of Jose Cruz Jr.
Coach – Sandy Alomar Sr., father of Sandy Alomar Jr. and Roberto Alomar
As with any all-star team, there are always a few worthy players who are left off because there just aren’t enough available spots. There are some pretty good baseball fathers among my group of reserves: George Sisler, Bobby Bonds, Ken Griffey Sr., Bob Boone, Mel Stottlemyre, and Pedro Borbon, Sr.
Baseball’s numerous family relationships are not limited to just the players. Practically every role in the business of baseball has been filled with examples of people who also had relatives in professional baseball.
Below are some baseball fathers, whose sons and grandsons followed them in the same baseball capacity:
Owner – William Wrigley Jr., father of Phil Wrigley and grandfather of Wiliam Wrigley III
Executive – Larry MacPhail, father of Lee MacPhail and grandfather of Andy MacPhail
Scout – Bob Fontaine Sr., father of Bob Fontaine Jr.
Umpire – Ed Runge, father of Paul Runge and grandfather of Brian Runge
Groundskeeper – Emeril Bossard, father of Gene Bossard and grandfather of Roger Bossard
Clubhouse Manager – Lou Cucuzza Sr., father of Rob Cucuzza and Lou Cucuzza Jr.
Broadcaster – Harry Caray, father of Skip Caray and grandfather of Chip Caray
All fathers should be honored as “all-stars” on Father’s Day, even if they didn’t play sports. My own father was an “all-star,” yet he never set foot on an athletic field. (As a farmer, his “fields” were filled with rows of cotton and soybeans.) However, Dad surely watched enough sports events in which my four siblings and I participated, and he tirelessly transported us back and forth to innumerable practices and games. That’s what made him an all-star to us!
The above baseball family relationships are just a few of the 3,500 relatives mentioned in my book, Family Ties: A Comprehensive Collection of Facts and Trivia About Baseball’s Relatives, which can be purchased at http://thetenthinning.com/store.html.
Contributing Writer: Richard Cuicchi