Baseball will always be a family game, many of my fondest childhood memories with my father were spent on a ball diamond somewhere in Northern Ontario. The same can be said for thousands of other kids all over the globe including many former major leaugers who have passed on their love for the game to their sons.
The Toronto Blue Jays organization is chalked full of baseball bloodlines on their current roster and in their minor league ranks. Here is a look at some of the family combos sprinkled throughout Blue Jay land including a couple with some serious clout on that baseball family tree
We will begin with the Blue Jays major league roster:
Jason Grilli and father Steve Grilli:
The elder Grilli spent parts of four seasons in the majors from 1975-79. His final season at the major league level was spent as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. Grilli made one appearance for the big league club tossing a scoreless 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. Steve would never make it back to the majors after that appearance with the Jays but did pitch with the Blue Jays affiliate in Syracuse from 1978-81 and was a teammate in the minors with Dave Stieb, Lloyd Moseby, Ernie Whitt and Willie Upshaw. Jason Grilli was a Blue Jays fan growing up because of his father’s affiliation with the Jays.
Joe Biagini and father Rob Biagini
Rob Biagini was a pitcher out of the University of Miami and signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1981. The 6’4” hurler spent two seasons with the Giants affiliate never eclipsing single-A (Fresno). He would finish his career with a 10-14 record compiling a 4.51 ERA in 47 professional appearances.
Ryan Goins and father Scott Goins
The father of the slick-fielding Ryan was also an infielder spending three seasons with the San Francisco Giants from 1987-89. The senior Goins was also a utility type player seeing work all over the infield and outfield during his 259 game professional career. He would finish up a career .229 hitter with 10 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 1028 plate appearances never surpassing single-A (San Jose).
Roberto Osuna and father Roberto Osuna Sr.
The smoke-throwing closer for the Jays may have his father to thank for his natural-given ability. Roberto Osuna Sr. was a pitcher for more than two decades in the Mexican League. His stat line is hard to come by but I would be willing to bet he had ice in his veins when on the bump as well. Roberto is also the nephew of Antonio Osuna who pitched in the majors for 11 years amassing 411 games in relief for the Dodgers, White Sox, Yankees, Padres and Nationals.
Melvin Upton and Brother Justin Upton
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Melvin is the older brother of slugger Justin Upton who has also spent time with the Diamondbacks and Padres before signing as a free agent with Detroit. The duo has slugged 385 home runs and swiped 424 bases respectively between them during their major league careers.
Dalton Pompey and brother Tristan Pompey
Dalton’s younger brother Tristan was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round, 920th overall in the 2015 amateur draft. The younger Pompey opted for an education at the University of Kentucky where he will attempt to improve his draft stock.
The minor league ranks also has their share of bloodlines including three heavy hitters from the 90’s.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and father Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is arguably the most tantalizing prospect in the Blue Jays farm system and his father needs no introduction. Vladdy Sr. was a fan favourite during his eight year stay in “la belle province” for the Montreal Expos. Guerrero also spent time with the Angels, Rangers and Orioles slugging 449 career home runs during his 16-year career. He is a lock for Cooperstown as early as next year after narrowly missing out on his first attempt.
Cavan Biggio and father Craig Biggio
Craig Biggio was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2015 after spending his entire 20-year career with the Houston Astros. The gritty Biggio hit .281 with 3060 hits and 291 home runs during his 2850 game career. If Cavan can have half the career his father did, Blue Jays fans should be excited.
Bo Bichette and father Dante Bichette
Dante Bichette spent 14 years in the majors and is best remembered for his time with the Colorado Rockies. In 1995 Bichette hit .340 and walloped 40 homers finishing second in the National League MVP voting to Barry Larkin by a slim margin. Bichette would finish his career just shy of the 300 homer plateau with 274 round trippers. Bo’s older brother Dante Jr. was a 1st round draft pick of the New York Yankees and spent last season in double-A (Trenton).
Dwight Smith Jr. and father Dwight Smith Sr.
The elder Smith enjoyed a steady eight-year major league career with the Chicago Cubs, Angels, Orioles and Braves. He would hang up his spikes with a respectable .275 average with 46 home runs to his name in 813 games.
Dickie Thon Jr. and father Dickie Thon Sr.
Dickie Thon Sr. enjoyed a 15-year career, spending seven of those seasons with the Houston Astros. In 1983 he hit .283 with 20 big flies and 34 steals earning his only All-Star berth and Silver Slugger award. The following season, Thon was struck in the face by a fastball breaking his orbital bone, the injury caused depth perception issues and Thon was never the same player again. He finished his career with a .264 average in 1387 games.
K.C. Hobson and father Butch Hobson
The power-hitting Hobson spent eight seasons in the majors including six with the Boston Red Sox. In 1977, Hobson slugged 30 home runs while leading the league in whiffs with 162 for the BoSox. He finished up his career with 98 home runs and later become the Red Sox manager for three seasons from 1992-94.