All in the Family

This post will look at a sampling of players whose brothers played a different professional sport simultaneously.  Furthermore, I am focusing only on siblings that had cards issued in the same year.  Therefore, there may be a numerous sporting brothers, but they had to have simultaneous cards to fit the parameters of this post.  Finally, this is not a definitive list.  Think of this as a discussion opener, in which your examples will add to the body of knowledge.

The impetus for this post was the recent death of Pumpsie Green.  I was unaware until reading his obituary that Pumpsie’s brother-Cornell-played for the Dallas Cowboys.  The siblings only overlapped with cards in 1964.

Another set of baseball/football playing brothers were the Kellys-Pat and Leroy.  Leroy Kelly was a star running back for the Cleveland Browns in the last 1960s and early 1970s.  His younger brother, Pat, was an original Kansas City Royal in 1969 and forged a nice career as a journeyman.  The Kelly boys have seven years of dual cards (‘69-’74). Note that a similar cartoon appears on the backs of each brother’s card in 1970.

Contemporary with Pat and Leroy were the athletic duo of Alex Johnson and Ron Johnson.  The enigmatic Alex won the AL batting title in 1970, while Ron was an elite running back- twice topping the 1000 yard mark. for the Browns and Giants in the early 1970s.

Mark and Dan McGwire were another set of ‘balling” siblings.  The Seattle Seahawks took Dan in the first-round of the 1991 draft out of San Diego State.  Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, he was a total bust.  Of course, Mark’s supernova stardom quickly shrank into a brown dwarf-much like his post-PED physique.

Like Dan and Mike, I’m sure that Wayne and Terry Kirby tossed spirals and curve balls in the backyard growing up. Both had cards in the early 1990s.

A more recent pigskin and cowhide familial pairing is Matt and Jack Cassel.  A 2007 rookie combo card features Patriots quarterback Matt, while Jack’s brief major league career is depicted on a Padres rookie card.

Of course, brother athletes are not confined to baseball and football.  Jim Bibby was an excellent starting pitcher for several teams in the 1970s, while brother Henry was plying the hardwood for the Knicks.

As recently as 2017, Golden State Warriors star, Klay Thompson, had a  brother-Trayce-pitching for the Dodgers. The other Thompson brother, Mychel, plays in the NBA as well.

To keep you from dozing off, I will mix it up by closing with a brother and sister combination.  In 1977 Giants pitcher Randy Moffitt and his superstar sister, Billie Jean King, were featured on cards. Billie Jean shows up in the large format “Sportscaster” card set.

Undoubtedly, there are glaring omissions in this brotherly love-fest.  Just remember, the siblings must have cards from the same year. Tim and Dale Berra were not brothers at the same time. (Attempted “Yogism!”)

Author: Tim Jenkins

Sports memorablilia collector with Seattle teams emphasis. HOF autographs, baseball cards and much more. Teacher for over 30 years. Attended games at 35 different MLB parks.

17 thoughts on “All in the Family”

  1. Very nice., Tim. I wonder what brother/brother or sister combo stands out well beyond the trivia aspects of Hank and Tommy Aaron (most HRs) or the Mathewson brothers (most wins), realizing that we’d be looking at an apples and oranges kind of comparison. And is there another brother/sister combo aside from Moffett/King that anybody knows about?

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      1. Darrell Miller, Angels C-OF-1B-DH-3B from 1984-1988, is also the brother of Reggie and Cheryl. Darrell had cards from 1981-1990 if you include minor league sets, 1985-1989 if you only want to focus on MLB cards.

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  2. Oh man, I think I still have a Dan McGwire draft pick card around here somewhere.

    You hear about brother/sister athlete combos all the time, so there must be someone out there. I think I had two Cheryl Miller cards at one point – a 99 card of her as a WNBA coach, and an earlier SI for Kids insert of her on team USA I think, so there should be some cardboard overlap.

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  3. Ron Johnson? “Serviceable”? Ouch! Two time thousand yard rusher for the Giants in ’70 and ’72 when they played a mere 14 games and one of the few bright lights in a dark sea.

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  4. Regarding Andrew’s comment, my nominations for top siblings each break Tim’s rule of having cards in the same set (and different sports).

    Rube/Willie Foster were half brothers and arguably both among the Top Ten pitchers in the history of the Negro Leagues.

    Equally impressive were Jackie and his older brother Mack Robinson. Mack makes it onto some 1936 Olympics tobacco cards with Jesse Owens in German sets, but of course Jackie’s first card wouldn’t come for 9-10 more years.

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