Let's start this article out by wishing all the dads in our BCB community, a most sincere Happy Father's Day!
I'd also like to send our best wishes to all the dads of our readers and contributors as well. One of the great aspects of baseball, if ultimately not the greatest, is throwing a baseball with our old man, or our children. My father was a very good ballplayer, and a lot of my earliest memories of time spent with him, was playing baseball in our backyard. Unfortunately for me and Tony Gwynn Jr., I suspect that baseball skills may in fact skip a generation.
At the end of the day, I suppose I can be content to be a place holder on the FtJ family-baseball-tree, as at least my son is able to demonstrate some of his grandfather's aptitude for the game. Still there is nothing better than playing catch with my son or father (except when they throw the ball too hard and it stings)
Today, I thought it would be fun to look at the history of "Baseball Dads" that played in Milwaukee, or had MLB dads that had sons that played in Milwaukee.
Let's start out with the Alomar family.
Sandy Alomar, started his long MLB career with the Milwaukee Braves
Sandy Alomar played a couple of seasons for the Braves, before getting traded to the Astros with HOFer Eddie Mathews. Alomar would find his way to the Angels where he would be their everyday 2nd baseman for a few years, playing in Nolan Ryan's first 2 no-hitters.
About 10 years after Alomar retired, his sons Sandy Jr. and Roberto begun their illustrious careers. Between Sandy and his sons, the Alomars amassed over 5000 MLB hits.
Interestingly, Alomar was teammates with former Brewer Clyde Wright, recording the final out in Wright's no-hitter in 1970. Alomar's son Sandy Jr. would eventually catch Wright's son Jaret for the Indians.
As a side note, John Braun is not related to our Ryan Braun, but John Braun was born in Madison back in 1939.
Felipe Alou spent 17 years in MLB. In 1964 the Milwaukee Braves traded Del Crandall to the SF Giants to acquire Alou, about 10 years later the Brewers acquired Alou from the Expos to make Alou one of three players to play for both the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers (Hank Aaron and Phil Roof being the others).
In 1990 Felipe's son Moises would make his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When Moises retired in 2009, he and his father accumulated over 500 MLB HRs between the both of them.
Remember this guy?
It's David Bell! His dad Buddy, and granddad Gus, both had substantial careers in MLB. Do you remember who the Brewers traded to acquire David Bell? -- Wilfrido Laureano -- I didn't remember that either. I am sure someone here claimed that he would have a high ceiling though. Moving on....
Ray Boone pictured below on a milk card, had a son (Bob) and 2 grandsons (Aaron, Brett) play MLB.
The Boones are the second three-generational family to be tied to Milwaukee. Ray Boone came over to the Braves when he was claimed off of waivers from the A's.
Tim Dillard who was recently DFA'd by the Brewers, and then sent to Nashville is the son of former Red Sox infielder and awesome mustache bearer Steve Dillard.
Dick Ellsworth who won 115 MLB games (mostly for the Cubs), ended his career with the upstart Brewers.
His son Steve, pitched for the Red Sox in the late 1980s. One other interesting factoid about Dick Ellsworth is that his 1966 card, shown below, is actually a photo of Ken Hubbs who died 2 years prior in a plane crash. Ken Hubbs had won the ROY award for the Cubs in 1962.
Next up are the Franconas, one of two father/son combos to both play for the Brewers.
Tito ended his 15 year career with the Brewers in 1971, here he is showing local delinquents how to properly wield a bat in a street fight.
Tito's son Terry also ended his career with the Brewers about 20 years later, even making an appearance as a pitcher. Here is picture of him playing 1b.
Tom Grieve's son Ben played with the Brewers. I didn't much care for him, so no picture.
Tony Gwynn Sr.'s son Tony Gwynn Jr. was one of the most touted Brewer prospects in the 2000's, the Brewers would later trade the light hitting outfielder to the Padres for Jody Gerut. I always find it interesting that the Padres didn't allow TGJ to wear dad's #19, instead settling for #18. Below is a picture of TGJ
Longtime Brewer coach and employee, Larry Haney ended his career with the Brewers in 1978. Check out this card,
Haney wasn't a LH catcher of course -- however Topps just reversed the image from his 1968 card. Those lazy bastards.
Larry Haney's connection to the Orioles of the late 60's led by Harry Dalton was probably a big reason the aging catcher ended his career in Milwaukee. At any rate his LH'd son Chris, pitched for a number of years in MLB, eventually giving up Wade Bogg's 3000th hit.
Haney's teammate, Mike Hegan who had two stints with the Brewers, was also the son of a MLB player. Mike's dad Jim was probably one of the best defensive catchers to ever play the game. Jim Hegan caught the most 20 game winners in MLB history, anchoring the great Indian staffs of the early 50s.
Mike Hegan shown below, hit for the cycle as a Brewer, and also hit the first HR in Seattle Pilot history. He also held the record for most consecutive errorless games at 1b, until stupid Steve Garvey broke his record in 1984.
Hegan also spent a dozen or so years working for the Brewers as a color commentator.
Jason Kendall. Father Fred. -- Here Jason is pictured getting a much overdue and deserved beatdown.
Lew Krausse Jr. who started the first game in Brewers history, was the son of Lew Krausse who had a short career with the A's.
Krausse came over to the Brewers from Oakland after A's owner Charles Finley banished Krausse for "rowdiness".
One of the few Delawareans to be selected to the MLB AS game. Dave May came to the Brewers in 1970 and was traded to the Braves in 1974 for Hank Aaron. Dave May then, finished his career in Milwaukee in 1978.
Dave May's son Derrick, would end up playing for the Brewers for a few weeks in 1995, making them the second father/son combo to play for the Brewers.
Jim McAndrew pitched for the Miracle Mets in 1969, his son Jamie, was one of the few replacement players to make it to the big leagues after the 1995 player's strike.
Probably one of the more profound Brewer pitching sons would be Jamie Navarro, shown here doing his famous Fonzie impression.
Navarro had two stints with the Brewers, the first from 1989-1994 and the second in 2000. The Brewers acquired Navarro in 2000 from the White Sox in exchange for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin. Jamie's father, Julio Navarro played in the bigs from 1962-1970.
One of the oldest MLB son's to play in Milwaukee would have to be Chet Nichols Jr.
Chet's father, Chet Sr. was born in the 19th century, and played MLB from 1926-1932.
One of the original Brewers, John O'Donoghue, had a son John that played for the Orioles in 1993.
Dick Schofield, ended his long MLB career with the Brewers in 1971.
Dick's son, also named Dick, was a decent hitting shortstop in the 1980's for the California Angels, and Schofield's grandson, Jayson Werth is a current OF for the Phillies. Making the Schofields the 3rd three-generational familys to be tied to Milwaukee.
Roy Smalley played one year in Milwaukee for the Braves in 1954
Smalley was acquired by the Braves from the Cubs who needed to make room for some guy named Ernie Banks. In 1950 Smalley hit over 20 HRs playing SS, but he committed 50 errors, which makes him the last player to commit over 50 errors in a season.
Roy's son Roy Jr. was a good hitting all-star SS for the Twins/Yankees and other teams in his solid MLB career.
Ed Sprague was purchased by the Brewers from the Cardinals in 1973, and played with the Brewers until 1976.
Ed's son (also Ed) would be a standout 3b for the Blue Jays in the 1990's.
Ebba St. Claire caught for the Milwaukee Braves for one season before being traded to the SF Giants. His son Randy would later pitch for the Expos.
In 1955 Chuck Tanner made his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Braves. Long-time MLB fans, will remember Tanner as the long-time manager for both the White Sox and Pirates.
Tanner had a son Bruce, who would pitch for the White Sox in the mid-80s. Chuck Tanner was the first and only Milwaukee Brave to homer in his first at-bat. Tanner also had the distinction of being traded from the A's to the Pirates while he was managing the A's (He was traded for catcher Manny Sanguillen). Chuck Tanner also was employed by the Brewers as a bench-coach.
Clyde Wright was a 20 game winner for the Angels, and also pitched a no-hitter for them in 1970.
In 1974 he managed to lose 20 games for the Brewers. His son Jaret, would later make a couple of World Series starts for the 1997 Cleveland Indians.
Eric Young officially retired in 2008, one year later his son Eric Jr. made his debut for the Rockies.
In 2002 Eric Young had a forgettable, yet some how memorable stint with the Brewers.
I had initially intended this to be a Weekend Mug, however, it turns out that there were a lot more MLB dads that had ties to Milwaukee than I had recollected. Some pretty profound baseball families have made their way through Milwaukee, and I am sure that more will follow.
I hope everyone enjoyed this article, and had a wonderful Father's Day. Please remember if you do take dad out in the car for a ride to the market, to make sure you crack the window just a little so he doesn't overheat in the backseat.
Also, Prince Fielder.