The All "Junior" All-Star Team Of Major League Baseball
He Was The Most Familiar Image In The Astrodome, Which Was Gone By The Time of Cruz Junior
Playing Catch In The Yard With Dad Really Paid Off For These Stars
Over the next few seasons, fans of America's pastime might appropriately refer to the sport as The Junior League. That nickname would be in no way a degradation, but just the result of the genealogy of baseball's current biggest young stars.
Among the top prospects on the verge of the Major League are many who share their names with their fathers, who themselves had worthy careers on the diamond. Fernando Tatis, the future shortstop of the San Diego Padres, has the same name as his father.
Senior was a perennial All-Star for the Montreal Expos, the New York Mets, and three other clubs in an eleven year career. He is perhaps best remembered for being the only player to hit two grand slams in the same inning, when he went deep twice with the bases loaded off of lefthander Hideo Nomo of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Two of the top prospects sharing names with their All-Star fathers play in the same organization, the Toronto Blue Jays. Dante Bichette is the son of the slugger who hit in the heart of the batting order of the Colorado Rockies in the Nineties, and Vladimir Guerrero's dad was a Most Valuable Player whose numbers make him worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Here is a roster of players who share names with their fathers, who had Big League careers in their own right.
First Base, John Mayberry, Jr.
He did not have the powerful swing his father flexed while with the Kansas City Royals, but the son did enjoy a respectable career playing first base and outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Second Base, Eric Young, Jr.
Having inherited the speed of his old man, the younger Young led the National League with 46 stolen bases as a regular on the Colorado Rockies.
Shortstop, Roy Smalley, Jr.
Because he was part of a very successful era of the Minnesota Twins, the second Smalley became more well-known than the first.
Third Base, Cal Ripken, Jr.
Obviously the Iron Man Hall Of Famer played in more games than Senior, who undoubtedly received much pleasure as a coach of his son's Baltimore Orioles.
Left Field, Garry Matthews, Jr.
Sarge was the Dad's nickname while he patrolled the outfield in San Francisco or Philadelphia or Wrigley Field, but the son had a quite lucrative tenure at baseball's highest level.
Center Field, Ken Griffey, Jr.
Senior was a great player who got to be Big Red Machine teammates with Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench, three guys who now share a space with Junior in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.o
Right Field, Jose Cruz, Jr.
A decade after the Houston Astros legend retired, his son became one of the hottest prospects in all of baseball. He fell short of the lofty expectations, while still enjoying a worthwhile career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.
Catcher, Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Younger brother Roberto reached Cooperstown, while the family namesake carved out an All-Star career as the catcher on several successful Cleveland Indians teams.