"Baseball," writes the poet Donald Hall, "is fathers and sons playing catch." Indeed, no other sport seems to pass so easily from generation to generation. Sixty-seven sons (and one grandson) of former major leaguers are currently playing organized baseball. On the following pages, we take a look at a few of them.
Hoolie did more than toss around a medicine ball as the Cards' second baseman (1960-71). Stan is trying to catch on in the A's outfield.
THE OZZIE VIRGILS
Ozzie Sr., clowning at third for the New York Giants in '57, was one of the first Dominican big leaguers and now coaches in Seattle. Ozzie Jr. is Atlanta's starting catcher. They share another pastime—flying model airplanes.
THE DICK SCHOFIELDS
Ducky Sr. lasted 19 seasons as a utility infielder. Ducky Jr., entering his fourth year as the Angel shortstop, has already outhomered his dad, 28-21.
THE DAVID BELLS
Gus was a fine outfielder for the Reds. Buddy, a superb third baseman, plays for the same club. That means Cincy is the town for whom the Bells toil.
MEL AND TODD STOTTLEMYRE
The 1968 Yankees were only a fifth-place team, but they left a legacy to baseball: Five of their players have sons playing in major league farm systems. The fathers are Bill Robinson, Andy Kosco, Rocky Colavito, Tom Tresh and Mel Stottlemyre. Mel, now the pitching coach for the Mets, played 11 years for the Yankees and had three 20-win seasons. He has not one but two sons in the minors: Mel Jr., who is in the Astros' organization, and Todd, who put up Mel Sr.-type numbers for the Blue Jays' Class A Ventura, Calif. team last year (104 innings pitched, 104 strikeouts, a 2.43 ERA).
VERNON AND VANCE LAW
Vern (left) won 162 games for the Pirates from 1950 to '67, as well as two in the 1960 World Series. Vance (below) has been in the majors since 1980, but not until last year did the Expo second baseman truly follow in Dad's footsteps: He pitched three games in relief, allowing only one run in four innings.
MIKE, TOM AND MICKEY TRESH
There has never been a three-generation family in the majors. But Mike Tresh, a catcher with the White Sox (1938-48), begat Tom Tresh, a shortstop and outfielder for the Yankees (1961-69), and he begat Yankee infield prospect Mickey Tresh, who, incidentally, was named for Mickey Mantle.
CHUCK AND BRUCE TANNER
Milwaukee outfielder Chuck Tanner (embraced by pitcher Juan Pizarro, below) hit a home run in his first big league at bat in 1955. That may have been the high point of his playing career, but he has managed in the bigs for 17 years and won the World Series with the Pirates in 1979. Two years ago his son Bruce (embraced by pitcher Jose Rijo) made a debut with the White Sox that was nearly as auspicious as Chuck's: He allowed two runs in 6? innings to beat Seattle. "That was a bigger thrill than winning the Series," said his father. Chuck is again a Brave, while Bruce is now with the A's.
SAM AND JERRY HAIRSTON
When Sam was called up to the White Sox in 1951, he was already in a slump, so he jokingly rolled his pajamas around his sleeping bat. Jerry, who first came up to the Sox in '73, still packs a wallop as their pinch hitter. Oddly enough, Sam's manager in '51, Paul Richards, was Jerry's in '76.