The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
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Baseball's Family Ties Still Flourishing in 2022

I just completed the annual update of my Family Ties database for the 2022 season, and I’m happy to report family relationships remain noteworthy throughout the major and minor leagues.

My process for applying updates involves reading all the major-league media guides for the 2022 season to identify new players and “non-players” (e. g., managers, coaches, scouts, executives, front office personnel, broadcasters, etc.) who have relatives in professional baseball, as well as other sports. The other major source of inputs comes from daily Google alerts based on search criteria such as “family ties,” “father and son baseball relatives,” and “brother baseball relatives.”

This information is then entered into my database that now has over 8, 700 major-league and minor-league players and non-players, representing over 12,700 family relationships within professional baseball. The database contains entries going back to 1870, the beginning of professional baseball leagues.

I am not aware of another comprehensive compilation of this type of information in a digital format. Sure, there are subsets of baseball relatives information on various websites, mostly pertaining to major-league players. However, none have coverage that includes minor-league players, major-league non-players, or family relationships in addition to fathers, sons, and brothers. (My database also includes uncles, nephews, cousins, daughters, in-laws, grandsons, grandfathers and distant relatives.)

My Baseball Relatives website, which hosts the current season’s Family Ties Database, gets thousands of views and downloads each month. I believe my database has become the “go-to” on-line source of family ties information for many baseball researchers and followers.

For the 2022 season, there were 621 active players and 670 non-players with relatives in professional baseball. The numbers are similar to the 2021 season even though there were 25% fewer minor-league teams this year due to MLB’s restricting of the minor-league system. This was mostly offset by an increase in players in independent (unaffiliated) leagues.

Click here to view the Family Ties database for the 2022 season.

Following are some of the familial highlights from this season.

There are several current players with a large number of baseball family participants, such as the Hairstons, Roofs, Pacioreks, and Alous, covering several generations. One of the more recent families involves current Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. His grandfather, father, two brothers, and several cousins played in the minors. The Acunas are an example of multiple generations becoming more prevalent in the game.

In broadcasting, legendary announcer Harry Caray has two great-grandsons that made their debuts behind the mike in 2022. Twin brothers Stephan and Chris Caray (son of Chip Caray and grandson of Skip Caray), called games for a minor-league team in the Arizona Diamondback organizations. They’ll eventually make their way to major-league ballparks.

In the Minnesota Twins front office, Drew MacPhail is the fourth generation of his family of baseball executives. His father Andy was an executive with the Cubs, Twins, Orioles, and Phillies. His grandfather Lee MacPhail Jr. and great-grandfather Larry MacPhail are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame for their careers as baseball executives covering four decades.

Jake Boone, an infielder currently playing in the independent leagues, is the fourth generation of players in his family. His great-grandfather Ray Boone, grandfather Bob Boone, father Aaron Boone, and uncle Bret Boone were All-Stars at times in their respective careers. If Jake makes the majors, the Boone family would become the first in baseball history to have four generations of big-leaguers.

Kody Clemens, an infielder with the Detroit Tigers, is the first of three sons of former major-league pitcher Roger Clemens to reach the majors. Roger’s two older sons, Kobe and Kacy, didn’t make it out of the minors. Kody had a special moment this year when he followed in his father’s footsteps by pitching in relief for the Tigers in a blowout game, even recording a strikeout. Roger was a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, striking out 4,672 batters (third all-time) during his career.

Twin brothers Tyler and Taylor Rogers pitched in a game against each other this year. They are only the tenth set of twins to play in the majors.

Brothers William (Braves) and Willson Contreras (Cubs) started for the National League All-Star team this summer, becoming only the fifth set of siblings to start together in the Midsummer Classic.

Brothers Aaron and Austin Nola played against each other in the National League Division Series this Fall. Aaron pitched for the Phillies, while Austin was the Padres catcher. They became the first brothers to face each other as pitcher and batter in MLB post-season history.

Infielder Bobby Witt Jr. made his major-league debut with the Kansas City Royals in April. He was the Royals’ first-round pick (second overall) in 2019. His father Bobby Witt Sr., who pitched in the majors for 16 seasons, was the first-round pick (third overall) of the Texas Rangers in 1985.

Another dimension of my Family Ties Database is the identification of players and non-players that have relatives in another sport (football, basketball, hockey, softball, volleyball, track and field, etc.) or in another level of baseball (amateur, college, Negro Leagues, Foreign Leagues). In 2022, there were 419 such players and non-players. This demonstrates that pro baseball players do not always follow in the same sports footsteps as their fathers, mothers, brothers, or cousins.

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