Sunday, June 19, 2016

Phillies Father's Day Connections

To all of my fellow fathers out there, I would like to wish you a Happy Father's Day. 
In the history of the Phillies franchise, there have been a number of father-son combinations that have played in Major League Baseball.
One that immediately springs to mind for many modern-day Phils fans would be former GM Ruben Amaro Jr, who played for the Phillies in 1992-93, and then again in the 1996-98 seasons. HIs father, Ruben Amaro Sr, played with the club from 1960-65.
Jun 14, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Francona (17) watches batting practice before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Former Phillies manager Terry Francona, who guided the team from 1997-2000, was raised in the game by his dad, Tito Francona, who appeared briefly for the 1967 Phillies. Tito had a 15-year big league career from 1956-70, and the Phils were one of nine teams for whom he played.
All Phillies fans are well aware that Pete Rose was the catalyst to the franchise' first-ever World Series crown in 1980, and is MLB's all-time Hit King. His son, Pete Rose Jr, made 16 plate appearances over 11 games with the 1997 Cincinnati Reds.
Catcher Bob Boone is on the Phillies Wall of Fame, and called games for nearly every pitcher who donned the red pinstripes from 1973-81. His father, Ray Boone, played with six different organizations over 13 seasons from 1948-60.
As most know, it doesn't end there for the Boone clan
. Bob's sons Aaron Boone and Brett Boone, each had memorable big league careers, Aaron from 1997-2009, Brett from 1992-2005.


The Boone's aren't the only multi-generational family to have touched the Phillies. The club signed David Bell as a free agent, and he played 3rd base for the team from 2003-06. His brother Mike Bell appeared briefly in 2000 with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Bell boy's father was Buddy Bell, a 5x All-Star and 6x Gold Glover in the 1970's and 80's with Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. Their grandfather was Gus Bell, who hit 206 big league homers with four different teams between 1950-64.
Hall of Fame 1st baseman Tony Perez was a part of the Phillies 'Wheeze Kids' team that won the 1983 NL Pennant. His son is Eduardo Perez, who had a 13-year big league career between 1993-2006, and who is now a key TV analyst for ESPN.
George Sisler, one of the top players in the first half of the 20th century, would be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He had two sons reach The Show. Dave Sisler was a pitcher who fashioned a 38-44 career mark.
George's other son, Dick Sisler, was a 1B/OF with the Phillies from 1948-51. It was Dick's three-run, 10th inning home run that made the difference as the 'Whiz Kids' clinched the NL Pennant in Brooklyn on the 1950 season's final day.
Bobby Wine was the Phillies regular shortstop for almost the entirety of the 1960's, from 1960-68. His son, Robbie Wine, was a backup catcher with the Houston Astros in the 1986-87 seasons.


Ivan De Jesus Sr was the Phillies starting shortstop from 1982-84. His son, Ivan De Jesus Jr, is a 29-year old utility player with the Cincinnati Reds.
Relief pitcher Steve Bedrosian won the 1987 NL Cy Young Award while closing for the Phillies from 1986-88. His son, Cam Bedrosian, is also a reliever. The 24-year old is still trying to establish himself as a big league regular.
One of the current team's outfielders, Peter Bourjos, is on this list. His father, Chris Bourjos, made 24 plate appearances over 13 games as an outfielder with the 1980 San Francisco Giants.
James Russell is a pitcher with the Phillies' AAA Lehigh Valley affiliates who appeared with the big club for seven games earlier this season. His father, Jeff Russell, was the 1989 Rolaids Relief Man Award winner after leading AL in Saves that year. A 2x All-Star, Jeff was enshrined in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
Pitcher Jonathan Pettibone made 20 starts for the Phillies over the 2013-14 seasons before his career was derailed by injuries. His dad, Jay Pettibone, was also a pitcher. Jay went 0-4 in his four career big league appearances, all starts, with the 1983 Minnesota Twins.
A 2009-14 member of the Phillies, John Mayberry Jr had a dad, John Mayberry Sr, who blasted 255 big league home runs while playing mostly for the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays in the 1970's.
Tony Gwynn Jr appeared in 80 games for the 2014 Phillies, and was with the club two years ago this week when his Hall of Fame father, Tony Gwynn Sr, passed away.


With the ill-fated 1964 Phillies team, pitcher Dave Bennett made just one appearance on the mound, his lone big league appearance. His son, Erik Bennett, pitched for the California Angels and Minnesota Twins in 1995-96 respectively.
Left-hander Bruce Ruffin was a regular in the Phillies pitching rotation for most of the 1986-91 campaigns. His son, Chance Ruffin, was a reliever who appeared in 24 games split between the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners in 2011 and 2013.
One of the top outfielders of the 1990's, Andy Van Slyke finished his career by playing most of the 1995 season with the Phils. His son, Scott Van Slyke, is a bench player with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
These are just some of the many Major League Baseball father-son combinations who have been members of the Phillies organization. 
Many boys are influenced by their father's choice of career when making their own choice, and baseball players are no different in many cases.

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