Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is March 30, 2023. While a number of philosophers have rapsidized about how the game touches man’s soul, Terrance Mann’s (James Earl Jones) beautifully encapsulates the game in “Field of Dreams”, “It’s only twenty dollars per person.” And they’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it, for it is money they have and peace they lack.
And they’ll walk off to the bleachers and sit in their short sleeves on a perfect afternoon. And find they have reserved seats somewhere along the baselines where they sat when they were children. And cheer their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.
While many baseball fans follow the action using scorecards, it would be equally appropriate using a family business tree. Similar to Hollywood’s nepo baby craze, baseball is truly a family business.
According to the Wall Street April 3, 2021, “there will be about 45 second-generation players on NFL teams, with their sprawling rosters, and 30 in the NBA…but baseball tops the list with 50.” This phenomenon is especially visible to Toronto Blue Jays fans. The Blue Jay’s 2023 roster includes three second-generation players Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Daulton Varsho. While this might seem like an impressive group of second-generation players, the Blue Jays opening day line up in 2020 included Travis Shaw so the first four hitters in the line-up were second-generation players.
Toronto Blue Jays, Friday, July 24, 2020
Brett Boone, a third-generation ballplayer who followed his father and grandfather to the majors continues in the Wall Street Journal, “Other sports are more about pure physical talent. Baseball’s physical, too: a hitter needs a certain level of fast-twitch muscle fibers; a pitcher had better throw 90. But it’s not as physical, and that lets other stuff in”.
The Baseball Almanac is an interactive baseball encyclopedia with 545,290 pages of in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research and baseball statistics not found anywhere else. The Baseball Almanac provides fascinating insight into the world of major league family baseball including listings of the following:
437 Set of Brothers Who Played MLB
256 Fathers & Sons Who Played MLB
4 Grandfather, Father, Son Who Played MLB
27 Grandfather & Grandsons Who Played MLB
107 Brothers Who Were Teammates in MLB
27 Instances of Brother Pitching Against Brother in MLB — The last time this occurred was on June 6, 2009 when Jeff Weaver of the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels 6 – 4.
2023 is another wonderful year for family baseball as shown below with 2023 Second-Generation All-Star Team. For those of you who play Fantasy Baseball, we have Bo Bichette listed as a middle infielder.
Finally, to kick-off the 2023 season, here’s a short Family Business Quiz. You may want to refer to the Baseball Almanac for some of the answers but that’s okay. PLAY BALL!!
Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.