Today is National Siblings Day in the U.S. A day to celebrate those of us who have brothers and sisters in our family. I am blessed to have eight of them: five sisters and three brothers. It’s a family size almost unheard of nowadays. I can safely say that “me time” was not a phrase used widely in our home growing up. Nowhere near as much as “get off me,” and “leave me alone!”
There are dozens of siblings throughout the annals of baseball history. Some have even played for the same team at the same time. The Alou brothers – Felipe, Matty, and Jesus – played in the same outfield for a few games back in 1963.
The Phillies had siblings play together a handful of times, but none more recently than Dave and Dennis Bennett in 1964. No, the Phillies history when dealing with brothers who played at the Major League level has almost always been The Wrong Brother: a player who was seriously overshadowed by his sibling’s exploits… with another team.
You have heard of Mike’s little brother Greg: 355 career wins, four consecutive Cy Young Awards, etc. Mike’s big-league career began with the Phillies in 1986, and ran through 2000. But he managed just 39 career wins, and lugged a career ERA a bit higher than four.
Vince had a decent career, making a couple of All-Star teams before playing his only full season in Phillies pinstripes in 1946. He led the team in homers (19) and RBI (84). That team went 46-108. Vince had two big-league brothers: Joe, the 3-time MVP and 1st-ballot Hall of Famer with the record 56-game hitting streak, and Dom, who himself made seven All-Star teams in an 11-year career with the Red Sox.
Ken, like Vince DiMaggio, spent just one full season with the Phillies. He won 13 games, tied for the team lead. And he actually hit a home run in four consecutive starts that season. But he struggled with arm trouble throughout his career, and retired at age 32 with an 83-85 record. His younger brother, George, ranks 18th all-time with 3,154 hits. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1999.
Jeremy was traded to the Phillies early in the 2002 season for John Mabry from the A's. He hit .244 with 12 home runs in 82 games before being traded following the season. His brother, Jason, won the AL MVP in 2000. He made five All-Star teams, and hit 440 homers in a 20-year career.
Mark played with the Phillies for two seasons, 1997 and 1998. He led the NL in losses his first season (17), but pitched better out of the bullpen his second season. His younger brother, Al, was a 2-time All-Star, who won 162 games in his career, and was a part of two World Series winners: the Blue Jays in 1993 (over the Phillies), and the Marlins in 1997.
Frank’s brother, Joe, made nine All-Star teams in an 18-year playing career. But far more know Joe from his time as the manager of the Yankees. He won six AL pennants, and four World Series in a span of five years. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. But big brother Frank didn’t exactly blaze a trail for Joe. He did hit two home runs to help the Milwaukee Braves win the 1957 World Series, but he was, at best, a reserve-level player with the Phillies, hitting .273 in exactly 200 games over two seasons.
Bill and his younger brother Carl were born six years apart. By the time Carl made his major league debut, at age 25, Bill’s career was already over. The elder Hubbell spent 5-plus seasons with the Phils, and went 36-55 with a 4.77 ERA. Carl Hubbell spent his entire 16-year career with the New York Giants. He went to nine All-Star games, won 20-plus games five seasons in a row, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947.