There are currently six Dodgers whose fathers were once Major League players. They say “the apple does not fall far from the tree.” Baseball is passed down within the genes of these juniors. The Hairstons, the Gwynns, the Van Slykes, the Sellers, the Gordons, and the de Jesus family have all made baseball their family business.
Scott Van Slyke is son of former All-Star outfielder Andy Van Slyke. On Sunday Andy Van Slyke was in the stands at Dodger Stadium, and he watched his son hit his first big league homerun against the reigning World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. I’m sure the pinch hit three-run go ahead homerun made dad proud. Andy’s career spanned 13 years. He played for the Cardinals, Pirates, the Orioles, and the Phillies. He had a career .274 batting average with 164 homeruns.
in the baseball industry:
“We’ve got some really good ballplayers here who are the sons of former big leaguers. You just try to keep getting better every day, and I think that’s the mindset of everybody here. You hope it’s a trend we continue to see as long as baseball is around. … When you start hanging out with your father in the big leagues, it’s hard not to fall in love with the life.”
Mr. Padre played for San Diego for twenty years and 2,440 games. He had a career .338 batting average and 3,141 hits. If anyone has big shoes to fill it’s Tony Gwynn Jr.
Justin Sellers is son of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jeff Sellers. Jeff Sellers, right-hander, pitched for Boston from 1985-1988. He had a career record of 13-22 with a 4.97 ERA.
Dee Gordon is son of former reliever Tom Gordon. “Flash” Gordon was a right-handed pitcher whose career spanned 21 years and 8 teams in the Majors. He has a career ERA of 3.96 in 2,108 innings pitched.
Jerry Hairston Jr. is son of former Chicago White Sox infielder Jerry Hairston Sr. Jerry Jr. is also grandson to former Major Leaguer Sam Hairston, nephew of John Hairston, and brother to Scott Hairston. Baseball is really a family tradition for the Hairstons.
“My grandpa played in the Negro Leagues, and I remember him talking about Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell,” Hairston said. “Especially around Thanksgiving, I would hear those stories and my dad would tell stories about when he was playing. And, when I was a kid, I wanted to have stories of my own and experience what they experienced.”
Jerry Hairston Sr.’s MLB career was 14 years. The switch-hitter batted .258 over his career with 438 hits.
Jesus Sr. de Jesus Sr. played in the Majors for 15 years, and in his first three years from 1974-1976, he was a Dodger. He had a career batting average of .254 with 1,167 hits.
Most fathers and sons play catch together, but imagine being the son of a big leaguer? These Dodgers have lived the life of having a father on the road, and they had the experience of hanging out in the clubhouse. Will these juniors one day have sons of their own who play in the Majors to carry on the tradition? One always hopes that their children will follow in their footsteps. These footsteps just happen to be made by their fathers’ cleats.
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