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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 12, 2000

M A J O R _ L E A G U E _ B A S E B A L L

Diamond success:
It’s in the genes

Lots of second-generation and
some third-generation players
have shined in majors

By Dave Reardon


THE one key attribute for big-league baseball stardom is not power, speed or arm strength.

It's good genes.

Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds and Roberto Alomar -- arguably the three best all-around players of the past 10 years -- are the sons of former major-leaguers.

That's just the start. Roberto's brother, Sandy, is one of the best defensive catchers in the game, and Oakland outfielder Ben Grieve, son of Tom Grieve, was the 1998 American League Rookie of the Year.

The Big Red Machine -- the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s -- has produced six current or recent big-league players: Griffey, Brian McRae, Pete Rose Jr., Pedro Borbon Jr., Ed Sprague and Eduardo Perez.

Bret Boone, Aaron Boone and David Bell are third-generation major-leaguers.

There are more sons on the way, as Gary Matthews Jr. is breaking in with the Cubs and Tony Armas Jr. is off to a strong start on the mound for the Expos.

Tim Raines Jr. just missed an overlapping career with his dad.

Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. made baseball history Sept. 14, 1990, when they hit back-to-back home runs for the Seattle Mariners against the California Angels.

No other father-son combination has ever homered in the same game.

That one evening nearly 10 years ago, when generations briefly intersected in sweet serendipity, gave us pause to ponder -- will baseball's sons be better than their fathers were?

It's an even more intriguing question today.

There are now enough second-generation players to compose a complete 25-man team. So we did, as well as a team of dads.

(Sorry. "Pops" Stargell and "Kid" Nichols don't qualify.)

One thing to keep in mind when comparing: While the pitching sons have lousy ERAs, many of the fathers pitched in either the pre-Babe Ruth deadball era, or the second deadball era of the 1960s and early '70s.

Still, we say the dads win a seven-game series.

After all, Sunday is Father's Day.


Maury Wills (Bump) SS 586 stolen bases 1959-72
Pete Rose (Pete Jr.) 2B 4,256 hits 1963-86
George Sisler* (Dick) 1B .340 lifetime 1915-30
Tony Perez (Eduardo) 3B 1,652 RBIs 1964-86
Yogi Berra* (Dale) C Record 71 WS hits 1946-65
Bobby Bonds (Barry) CF 30-30 five times 1968-81
Hal McRae (Brian) DH Led AL in 2B twice 1968-87
Earl Averill* (Earl Jr.) LF .378 in '36 1929-41
Ken Griffey (Ken Jr.) RF .296, 200 SB 1973-91
Joe Wood (Joe Jr.) Ace 117-57, 2.03 1908-20

Bullet OTHER STARTERS: Mel Stottlemyre, 3-time 20-game winner (Todd and Mel Jr.); Jim Bagby, 127-89 lifetime (Jim Jr.); Paul Trout, 3.23 lifetime (Steve); Clyde Wright, 22-12 in '70 (Jaret).

Bullet BULLPEN: Pedro Borbon, 80 saves (Pedro Jr.); Jim McAndrew, 11-8, 2.80 in '72 (Jamie); Julio Navarro, 12 saves in '63 (Jamie); Diego Segui, league-leading 2.56 in '70 (David).

Bullet BENCH: Felipe Alou OF, led NL with 218 hits in '66 (Moises); Tony Armas OF, led AL with 43 homers in '84 (Tony Jr.); Gus Bell, 4-time all-star (Buddy, grandson David); Bob Boone C, .986 FA over 19 season (Aaron and Bret, dad Ray); Jose Cruz OF, league-leading 189 hits in '83 (Jose Jr.); Manny Mota PH, .304 lifetime (Andy, Jose); Chris Speier IF, 3-time all-star (Justin).

Manager: Connie Mack*, 3.731-3,948 (Earle).

*Hall-of-Fame inductee (Perez has been selected, but not yet inducted)


Roberto Alomar (Sandy) 2B .303 lifetime 1988
Bret Boone (Bob) DH 24 HRs in '98 1992
Ken Griffey (Ken) CF 400 HRs before 30 1989
Barry Bonds (Bobby) LF 3 MVPs 1986
Moises Alou (Felipe) RF 3-time all-star 1990
Ed Sprague (Ed) 3B 36 HRs in '96 1991
Sandy Alomar (Sandy) C .989 lifetime FA 1988
David Segui (Diego) 1B .309 in '95 1990
David Bell (Buddy) SS 21 HRs in '99 1995
Todd Stottlemyre (Mel) Ace 15-8 in '91 1988
Robb Nen (Dick) Closer 193 career saves 1993

Bullet OTHER STARTERS: Jaime Navarro, 17-11 in '92 (Julio); Jaret Wright, 8-3 in '97 (Clyde); Omar Olivares, 11-7 in '91 (Ed); Darren Oliver, 14-6 in '96 (Bob).

Bullet BULLPEN: Tony Armas Jr., 2.29 ERA through six starts in 2000 (Tony Sr.); Pedro Borbon, 3-0, 2.75 in '96 (Pedro Sr.); Chris Haney, 10-14 in '96 (Larry); T.J. Mathews, 3.54 career (Nelson); Justin Speier, 0.00 in 5 IP in '00 (Chris).

Bullet BENCH: Aaron Boone IF, .282 in '98, (Bob, grandfather Ray); Stan Javier OF, .988 FA over 15 seasons (Julian); Jason Kendall C, 26 SB in '98 (Fred); Brian McRae OF, career-high 21 HR in '98 (Hal); Scott Spiezio IF, led AL with .990 at 2B in '97 (Ed).

Manager: Terry Francona, who somehow manages to keep Phillies job (Tito).

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