Sharing a Name ... and an Outfield?

Sharing a Name ... and an Outfield?

There’s always a few sets of brothers kicking around Major League Baseball. The LaRoches back when Andy was able to make a 40-man, the extremely weird Giles brothers a bit before that; the Drews (J.D., Stephen, and Tim), the Aybars (Erick and Willy) and the Izturii (Cesar and Maicer) -- then back through history, the Cansecos, the Ripkens and the Roenickes, the DiMaggios, the Lieters, the Larkins and the Delahantys (there were actually five Delahanty boys in the pros, which is the most in one clutch by my count: Ed, Frank, Jim, Joe, and Tom). And this is hardly an exhaustive list. If you haven’t thought of at least two sets of brothers I’ve omitted already, I question your dedication to this life of useless trivia called baseball.

Note also that baseball’s hardly alone in this. It’s a trend observed throughout all the major professional sports. Even hockey god Wayne Gretzky had a brother, Brent, who made the NHL; the two of them are responsible for scoring the most points of any brother tandem in hockey history with 2861 -- Wayne with 2857, and Brent with four. The next time you hear a scout rave about bloodlines in between critiques of loft and laughing at you for not knowing the difference between control and command, that’s the reason for it: If the physical specifications of an elite athlete are genetic (and they are), then any close relative of theirs is at least worth a look.

Of all the brothers currently plying their trade in the majors, though, by far the most newsworthy, coveted, and all-around impressive are Justin and B.J. Upton.

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