When the Giants called up Dereck Rodriquez, the son of Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez to its major league team, it was just the latest of father-son and even grandfather-father-son connections in major league baseball. Sure, the family name and heritage plays a role in all sports but when it happens in baseball, it brings back fond memories and marks the passage of time. Who among us hasn’t compared our own age to those of the players we enjoy watching on the field?
With names like Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero in the minors now, the trend will likely continue. When it comes to baseball royalty, what names stand above the rest? It is a subjective discussion both in terms of impact and numbers of family members involved but here are some considerations.
The Bonds. It is hard to argue against the impact both Bobby and Barry had on the game. It was only two generations, but they made the most of it.
The Bells. Gus begat Buddy and the line continued from there with David and Mike. These were all quality players and Buddy made a pretty good coach and manager.
The Boones. There’s something to be said about a baseball family that starts with the letter “B” as Ray, Bob, Bret and Aaron all made appearances in the big leagues. Four generations in the big leagues is a big deal and Brett’s son Jake is in the minors.
The Colemans. Younger fans may not recognize that Joe played in the bigs from 1942 to 1955, and son Joe Jr. pitched in the MLB from 1965 to 1982. Joe Jr.’s son, Joseph “Casey” Coleman has played with the Royals, Cubs and Mariners.
The Hairstons. Sammy Hairston played in the Negro Leagues and spent a part of a season with the White Sox. Son Jerry was a former major leaguer who had sons Jerry Jr. and Scott who played in the MLB. Johnny Hairston, Sammy’s son and brother of Jerry, in Field of Dreams fashion, spent less than a month in Major League baseball with the Chicago Cubs from September 6, 1969, to October 2, 1969. He went one for four three games played.
On and off the field, baseball is indeed a game to be shared generation to generation. The tradition continues as strong as ever.