Sports 101

On Monday night, brothers Jason and Jeremy Giambi of the Oakland A's made history. They hit home runs in the same game and joined an elite list of a few brothers to accomplish such a rare feat.

Long before the Giambis came other famous brothers like Dizzy and Daffy Dean; Joe, Vince, and Dominic DiMaggio; and Felipe, Mateo, and Jesus Alou.

Brother combinations continue in the game today. Sandy and Roberto Alomar of the Cleveland Indians followed their father, Sandy, into the major leagues; and pitchers Pedro and Ramon Martinez are the first pair to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. "Ramon was my mom, was my dad, was my friend, was my brother," says star Pedro. "And a lot of the reason why I have so much success, it's him."

Q: Who were the first brothers to play on the same Major League Baseball team?

A: In 1869, Harry Wright, the son of a famous English cricket player, formed the first professional team after the Civil War. The first player he recruited for the Cincinnati Red Stockings was his brother George, a shortstop. Their team toured the country and won 56 games without a loss. Harry and George are in baseball's Hall of Fame.

Q: How many brother combinations have there been since the Wrights?

A: About 350 in the major leagues. Probably the most celebrated were the DiMaggios, Joe (New York Yankees), Dom (Boston Red Sox), and Vince (five teams). Joe and Dom were the first brothers to appear together in an All-Star Game (1941). Dizzy and Daffy Dean pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals in the '30s. Felipe, Mateo, and Jesus Alou played in the same outfield for the San Francisco Giants in 1963.

Q: Who played for the Red Sox first, Ramon or Pedro Martinez?

A: Little brother Pedro. The Montreal Expos traded him to Boston Nov. 18, 1997. Ramon was let go by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and joined his brother on the Red Sox staff in early 1999.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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