Most brothers grow up doing almost everything together. They go to school together, hang out in the same circle of friends, and often play the same sports with one another. Be it baseball, football or whatever sport under the sun, said brothers will usually go from little league, to high school, to maybe even collegiate ball playing with or against one another. Most however, can only dream of getting the chance to play with one another at the professional level; a far-fetched fantasy for most.
For a select few however, siblings have been able to play in the MLB be it on the same team, or on opposing sides. We have seen this with the Molina brothers, Jeff and Jared Weaver, and Rickie and Jemile Weeks to name a few. In recent memory, only two sets of brothers come to mind of those who have played both on the same team, and against one another and different points in the show. One is Andy and Adam LaRoche, which of whom only the latter is an active major league ball player. The other band of brothers, are both present in the current Mets vs. Dodgers series.
Scott and Jerry Hairston fill out the other duo. Coming from a long line of baseball in their family, stretching three generations dating back to 1951, the majors were calling these two since they were in diapers. They both answered that call in their own, very different ways, yet still somehow managed to find one another on the same team for the first time in their baseball lives in 2010 for the San Diego Padres.
Prior to one of his BP sessions, Hairston was kind enough to speak with me a while back about this very topic awhile back, and here’s what he had to say on the opportunity to play with his brother out West:
“It’s really special to both of us, that something we talked about growing up.” Said Hairston. ”[Jerry] is four years older than me so we never really got a chance to play on the same team growing up, so we knew that the only way that that would happen was in pro-ball. So for that to happen and for that dream to come true, it was really great, and to do it in San Diego was even better.”
Here is how he felt regarding playing against his brother Jerry as the two will do today against the Dodgers:
“It never gets old playing against him, I love playing against him when we’re in L.A.”
One can only imagine what it is like to even get the opportunity to play in the major leagues, let alone have a family member there playing next to or against you. The sheer odds are atronomical, and as you can see from what Scott had to say about his brother Jerry, they don’t take this very rare opportunity for granted and that they cherish every moment of these short lived moments they receive of playing against one another for two-four games at a time.
However, of course there is that burning question, the thought that often on the lips of seeing two relatives play: Who’s better?
“Oh man. That’s tough. We’re two completely different types of players.” Hairston said regarding whether he or his brother is the better player. ”He’s been around longer than I have and so he is able to play a lot of positions and I’m not, so he’s probably more valuable all around. So I’ll give him that one.”
Perhaps he was being a bit generous as Scott himself has played all three outfield positions and second base in his nine-year major league career; but hey, what’s wrong with showing his older brother a little respect. What I would love to hear is, if Jerry would feel the same way about Scott.
Anyway, it is always facinating to watch family members go to bat against one another and even moreso when they are on the same side. This time around the two may be looking forward to seeing the closure of this series as they are a combined 0-for-8 in the first two games of the four game set.