GoFigure: From 240 MLB father-son combos, a Father's Day quiz

  • Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. kid around on the bench in Seattle during a 1990 game.

    Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. kid around on the bench in Seattle during a 1990 game. AP File Photo

 
By Matt Baron
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 6/26/2020 1:53 PM

For over a century, playing catch has been a bonding connection for countless fathers and their children, both daughters and sons alike.

In the baseball movie "Field of Dreams," one of the most memorable and moving scenes is that of Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) playing catch with a younger version of his father, John.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For those with dads who played Major League Baseball, how many "catch up" to their fathers by making it to the bigs? The vast majority do not, but it's hardly a rarity: 240 father-son combinations have played in the majors.

That list includes five three-generation marvels (the Boones were the first: Ray, Bob, and Bret) and the most accomplished pair: Bobby Bonds and his son, single-season and career home run leader Barry Bonds.

On this Father's Day, we explore some of the intriguing ways other multigenerational familial plots have played out.

Q1. When Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back home runs for the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 14, 1990, their opponent, the California Angels, had a shortstop whose father played in the Majors and a left fielder whose son broke into the Majors last year. Which of these players does not fit either description?

(Dick Schofield, Dante Bichette, Dave Winfield)

Q2. The all-time MLB leader with 4,256 hits, Pete Rose was in attendance when his son, Pete Jr., notched his first big league hit in September 1997. During his one-month stint on the Cincinnati Reds' roster, the younger Rose managed only one other hit.

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In his 14 at bats, how many times did the younger Rose strike out?

(0, 4, 9)

Q3. In 1993, the White Sox selected Carey Schueler, an all-state high school basketball player from California, in the 43rd round of the draft. The daughter of White Sox senior vice president Ron Schueler, she was the first female ever selected in the MLB draft.

She had most recently pitched as a sophomore for her high school boys' junior varsity baseball squad. In addition, she had already signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at DePaul University.

In what category is she ranked third all-time for the Blue Demon women's basketball program?

(Steals, Rebounds, Three-Point Shooting Percentage)

Q4. This White Sox player slugged 136 home runs between 2000 and 2004 -- a time when his son, Jesmuel, was going through grade school. In 2018, Jesmuel appeared in 46 games for the Philadelphia Phillies. Who is his father?

(Magglio Ordonez, Frank Thomas, Jose Valentin)

Q5. Father-son catching combos include the Cubs' Randy Hundley and his son, Todd, who also played for the North Siders. A Kansas City catching duo begins with a father who stole 36 bases one season and a son with an eye-popping .600 career batting average that is tempered by his having only five at bats. Who are they?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

(Darrell and Darrell Porter Jr., John and Dusty Wathan, Jim and Tim Sundberg)

Q6. After breaking into the Majors in 1990, these future Cub outfielders both played on team managed by their fathers for their first three, or more, full seasons. Combined, they tallied more than 3,400 career hits and 300 stolen bases. Which of these players is not part of this duo?

(Brian McRae, Moises Alou, Gary Matthews Jr.)

Q7. The one full season that he managed the Baltimore Orioles, 1987, Cal Ripken Sr. had one player whose father also played at the Major League level. Who was it?

(Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, Terry Kennedy)

Q8. Haywood Sullivan, a journeyman catcher-turned-baseball executive, drafted his own son, Marc, in the second round of the 1979 draft. Marc fell short of even journeyman status, batting .186 in 360 career at bats over five seasons -- though he did place third in the American League by throwing out 40 percent of base runners in 1987. What team did he play for?

(Mets, Red Sox, Reds)

Q9. After becoming a pitching coach in 1982 for Seattle, this former World Series-winning catcher was Tony LaRussa's pitching coach with the White Sox, A's, and Cardinals over the next 29 seasons.

One of his sons played for five of those seasons in St. Louis, and another son played for three American League teams during seven seasons. Can you name this longtime baseball figure?

(Steve Swisher, Dave Duncan, Tony Pena)

Answers

1. Dave Winfield; 2. 9; 3. Three-point shooting percentage; 4. Jose Valentin; 5. John and Dusty Wathan; 6. Gary Matthews Jr.; 7. Terry Kennedy; 8. Red Sox; 9. Dave Duncan

• Matt Baron is an Oak Park-based freelance writer. He supplements his baseball brainpower with Retrosheet.org for much of this research.

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