It’s a Family Affair at the ASG Home Run Derby

Some of baseball’s father-son and brother combos were in action this past Monday night at the Home Run Derby associated with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.  Four of the eight derby participants this year had a relative pitch to them during the contest.

Todd Frazier, the defending derby champion from last year, had his brother, Charlie, pitch to him, as he did last year.  Charlie is a former minor league player himself.

Robinson Cano’s father, Jose, did the honors for his son by pitching to him in his derby appearance.  Jose had previously pitched to Robinson when he captured the derby a few years ago.  Jose briefly played in the majors in 1969.

Making his first appearance in the home run derby was Corey Seager, and his father, Jeff, was his pitcher during the contest. Jeff’s baseball experience included a college career at Fairleigh Dickinson.

When Wil Myers regular Padres batting practice pitcher couldn’t attend the home derby contest, Wil selected his brother, Beau, to throw to him.  Beau just completed his freshman year at Appalachian State.

To read more about the family contestants in the Home Run Derby, see the links below:

Corey Seager’s father, Jeff, has a strategy for his son’s Home Run Derby success.

Home Run Derby Is A Family Affair For Wil Myers



Baseball Relatives Prominent in the Mid-Summer All-Star Classic

This year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 16 in New York will mark eighty years since the first mid-summer classic. In my book, Family Ties: A Comprehensive Collection of Facts and Trivia About Baseball’s Relatives, I noted that the All-Star Game is just one of many themes in understanding how baseball’s family relationships have permeated the game over the years. This year’s All-Star teams will be no exception.

Before I delve into the history of baseball’s relatives as participants in the All-Star Game, I’d like to quickly review the beginnings of this event in 1933. The game was initially conceived to be a one-time charity event in conjunction with the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933. It was suggested by Chicago Tribune sports editor, Arch Ward, not by the officials associated with Major League Baseball. From the very beginning, it was proposed that the fans be allowed to vote on the roster of players. Naturally, that idea caught on because the fans saw an opportunity to see a “dream team” collection of baseball’s star players of the day. However, some of the Major League owners were skeptical of the inaugural game, because they were concerned it would set a precedent of continuing to be a charity event, if the game was repeated as an annual occurrence.

Of course, the annual game did continue. With the exception of the war year 1945, there has been an All-Star game each year since 1933. During the years 1959-1961, there were actually two All-Star games played each year.

Eighty years ago, the first All-Star game included brothers Rick and Wes Ferrell. Other players on the All-Star squads, Bill Dickey, Paul Waner, and Tony Cuccinello, also had brothers who played in the big leagues. All-Star Earl Averill would have a son who was a major leaguer.

The 2013 All-Stars will likely include Robinson Cano, Yadier Molina, Prince Fielder, and Justin Upton, each of whom has a relative in Major League Baseball. In 2011, when Cano participated in the Home Run Derby competition prior to the All-Star game, his father Jose, a former Houston Astros player in 1969, pitched to his son. Fielder’s father, Cecil, had been an All-Star selection for three years in the early 1990s.

The three DiMaggio brothers (Joe, Dominic, and Vince) made twenty-two All-Star teams between them. From 1936 to 1952, at least one DiMaggio brother played on an All-Star team, except for 1945 when the game was cancelled due to travel restrictions during World War II. Joe and Dominic were teammates on All-Star teams on six occasions, but only once did they appear as starters in the same game.

In 1942, Mort and Walker Cooper were starting battery mates, the only such combination in All-Star history. They were both starters, representing the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1943 as well.

When Buddy Bell appeared in the 1973 All-Star Game for the American League, he and his father Gus became the first father-son combination to appear in the mid-summer classic.

In the 1990 All-Star Game, brothers Sandy and Roberto Alomar were selected to play, while their father Sandy , Sr. was named a coach for the American League. Sandy and Roberto Alomar are the only set of brothers to appear as both teammates and opponents in All-Star Game contests.

The only father-son combination to be named Most Valuable Player in the All-Star Game were Ken Griffey, Sr. (1980) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1992).

Family Ties can be purchased at

Robinson Cano and His Father Will Team Up Again

Robinson Cano and his father, Jose, will team up again at the Major League All-Star Game Home Run Derby competition this year. Jose, a former Major League player with the Astros, will pitch to his son in the contest, as he did in 2011 when Robinson won the title. Robinson says his father was his role model growing up and learned everything he knows about baseball from him.

See attached article from