The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Grae Kessinger's promotion to the Astros adds to the family's baseball legacy

The name Kessinger holds a lot of significance for baseball fans of Mississippi and especially those from Ole Miss. When Grae Kessinger was called up by the Houston Astros last week, it reminded those fans of two other generations of Kessingers who came through Ole Miss and played in the majors.

Don Kessinger was an all-American shortstop at Ole Miss in the early ‘1960s. He went on to have a 16-year major league career (1964-1979), including six seasons as an All-Star shortstop with the Chicago Cubs.

Kessinger’s two sons, Keith and Kevin, followed in his footsteps at the Ole Miss baseball program. In fact, the father served as head coach of his sons’ Rebels teams, after he had been retired.

Keith was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1989 and ended up playing 11 major-league games with the Cincinnati Reds in 1993.

Kevin was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1992 and played only two games in the minors before having to retire due to a back injury.

Grae, who is Kevin's son, continued the Ole Miss tradition as a three-year letterman at shortstop. During his junior season, Grae was a first-team All-SEC selection after batting .330 with seven homers, 50 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. His performance earned him a second-round pick of the Astros in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Grae is having the best season of his brief professional career in 2023. He is being called up because of a short-term injury to Jose Altuve. With the Astros’ young shortstop Jeremy Pena, last season’s MVP in the ALCS and World Series, already entrenched at shortstop, it’s not likely Grae will stick with the big-league Astros, unless further injuries occur.

The Kessingers are the latest family to have three generations play in the majors.

Similar to the Kessingers, the Schofield/Werth family had three generations, which was comprised of Jayson Werth (2002-2017), his grandfather John Richard (Ducky) Schofield (1953-1971), and his uncle Richard Craig (Dick) Schofield (1983-1996). Werth’s mother is the daughter of Ducky Schofield. His stepfather is former major-leaguer Dennis Werth (1979-1982).

However, the Bells (Gus, Buddy, and brothers David and Mike, during 1950 to 2006)), the Boones (Ray, Bob, and brothers Aaron and Bret, during 1948 to 2009), the Hairstons (Sam, brothers Johnny and Jerry, and brothers Jerry Jr. and Scott, during 1951 to 2014), and the Colemans (Joe Sr., Joe Jr. and Casey, during 1942 to 2014) are the only major-league families with a grandfather, son, and grandson as the three generations.

The Cruz family, with Jose Cruz and his son Jose Cruz Jr. having previously played in the majors, has a chance for a third generation. Tre Cruz (son of Jose Cruz Jr.), currently in the Detroit Tigers organization at the Double-A level, gives them a chance to become only the fifth family combo with three generations.

There has never been a four-generation family in the majors. The Boones had a chance for a fourth in the majors, when Bret’s son, Jake, played in the Washington Nationals minor-league organization in 2021, but the 24-year-old is now playing in an independent league.

1 comment | Add a New Comment
1. Richard | June 18, 2023 at 07:49 PM EDT

James: Thanks for the note and the correction.

Let's hope our respective alma maters can turn around their programs real quick.

Take care,


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