Ranking the 7 Greatest in-Game Brother Moments in MLB History

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

Ranking the 7 Greatest in-Game Brother Moments in MLB History

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    During the Braves vs. Rockies game on Tuesday night, brothers B.J. and Justin Upton hit back-to-back home runs.

    There have been some great brother/brother moments throughout baseball history, whether as teammates or opposing one another, and we could be in store for plenty more great Upton brother moments in the years ahead.

    For now, here is a look at the seven greatest in-game brother moments in MLB history, and where the Upton's back-to-back home runs rank among those top moments.

7. September 29, 1986: Rookies Greg Maddux vs. Mike Maddux

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    Brothers Greg and Mike Maddux had two very different major league careers.

    Greg won 355 games as one of the best starters in baseball history. Mike tallied just 39 wins and 20 saves while being used primarily as a reliever.

    The two both made their debuts in 1986, with Mike getting called up by the Phillies on June 3, and Greg joining the Cubs rotation on September 2.

    Then they squared off against one another in the final week of the season.

    The Cubs came away with an 8-3 victory. Greg went 7.2 innings, allowing 10 hits but just three runs to earn the win, while Mike lasted just three innings and gave up three runs to take the loss.

6. May 26, 1976: Joe Niekro Homers off of Brother Phil

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    Knuckleball-throwing brothers Phil and Joe Niekro were teammates on the Braves in 1973 and 1974, as well as on the Yankees down the stretch in 1985.

    They both had impressive big league careers, combining for 539 wins and 46 major league seasons. Phil was the better of the two, winning 318 games, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his fifth year on the ballot in 1997.

    Along with their time as teammates, they also squared off against each other nine times, with Joe going 5-4 in their series against one another.

    It was Joe's performance at the plate, though, that made for their most memorable moment against one another. He sent one of his brother's pitches deep in May of 1976 for his only home run in 973 career at-bats.

5. July 30, 1934: Wes and Rick Ferrell Battery Mates on First of 8 Shutouts

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    The most famous pitcher/catcher battery of brothers were Wes and Rick Ferrell.

    The two played together on the Red Sox from 1934-37, then were traded to the Senators together where they were teammates until Wes was released in August of 1938.

    Rick went on to have a Hall of Fame career, hitting .281/.378/.363 and making seven All-Star appearances in 18 big league seasons.

    Wes, though not a Hall of Famer, won 193 games in his 15-year career. He put together six 20-win seasons and led the league in innings pitched three times.

    Wes threw 17 shutouts in his career, and eight of them came with Wes doing his catching, the first of which was against the Senators.


    Other Ferrell/Ferrell Shutouts

    August 17, 1934 vs. Browns
    September 25, 1934 vs. Senators
    April 16, 1935 vs. Yankees (Opening Day)
    July 10, 1935 vs. White Sox
    July 27, 1935 vs. Athletics
    May 3, 1936 vs. Tigers
    June 21, 1936 vs. Browns

4. August 21, 1975: Rick and Paul Reuschel Combined on Shutout

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    Rick Reuschel won 214 games over his 19-year big league career, and for four of those seasons he was teammates with his brother Paul.

    On August 21 of 1975, Rick took the ball in a start against the Dodgers and he went 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk before turning the ball over to his brother in relief.

    Paul allowed just one hit in 2.2 scoreless innings to close things out. They became the first, and so far only, brothers to combined on a shutout.

3. September 15, 1938: Waner Brothers Go Back-to-Back

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    Brothers Paul and Lloyd Waner were teammates for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1926-40, and the duo combined for a .326 average and 5,611 hits in 38 total seasons in the big leagues

    And both are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Paul was inducted in 1952 in his sixth year on the ballot and Lloyd earned his induction in 1967 thanks to the Veteran's Committee.

    On September 15, 1938, they became the first brothers to hit back-to-back home runs, as they both took Giants starter Cliff Melton deep in a 7-2 Pirates victory.

2. April 23, 2013: Upton Brothers Go Back-to-Back

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    One of the biggest stories of the offseason was the Braves acquisition of the talented Upton brothers to man the outfield alongside Jason Heyward.

    The duo are as naturally talented as any players in the game, but neither has put it all together just yet and become the superstar they have the potential to be.

    With Jason Heyward sidelined, the Braves shuffled their lineup, slotting B.J. Upton in the No. 2 spot in the lineup ahead of his brother Justin.

    And on Tuesday they became just the second pair of brothers ever to homer back-to-back. It was the third time already this year they've homered in the same game.

1. September 15 & 22, 1963: All-Alou Outfield

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    Twice during the 1963 season, the San Francisco Giants trotted out an All-Alou outfield with brothers Felipe, Matty and Jesus taking the field together.

    Felipe was the star of the group, as he was the everyday right fielder and hit .281/.319/.474 with 20 home runs and 11 steals.

    Willie McCovey and Willie Mays were the team's other starting outfielders. 24-year-old Matty was still getting his footing in his fourth big league season and 21-year-old Jesus was in his rookie season.

    Still, having a trio of brothers share the outfield together on the same team is impressive, and ranks as the greatest brother moment in MLB history.