These sons are following dad to postseason
The kids have already taken over the game. But they’re about to get their first taste of October. Luckily, their dads were there first. A whole bunch of MLB’s next-generation rising stars — Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, even Cal Quantrill — are all about
The kids have already taken over the game. But they’re about to get their first taste of October. Luckily, their dads were there first.
A whole bunch of MLB’s next-generation rising stars — Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, even Cal Quantrill — are all about to play in the postseason for the first time. Their teams have either clinched a playoff spot already (Padres) or are in solid postseason position (Blue Jays, Indians).
Their ballplayer dads — Tatis Sr., Vlad Sr., Dante Bichette, Craig Biggio, Paul Quantrill — have all been there. And they were pretty good, too. Here’s a look at the playoff legacies of baseball’s famous fathers as their sons get ready to chase a World Series title for the first time.
Oh, one last thing: none of those dads, as great as they were, ever won a World Series. It would be pretty cool if their son brought home a ring.
Son: Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres SS)
Playoff appearances: 2000 Cardinals
Tatis Jr. is heading for his first playoffs as the potential 2020 National League MVP. Tatis Sr. has his claim to fame, too, as the only player in MLB history to hit two grand slams in one inning, but his lone postseason appearance in 2000 is more of a footnote of his 11-year career. Tatis didn’t play in the Cardinals’ NL Division Series win over the Braves, but he played all five games of their NL Championship Series loss to the Mets, starting three of the five at third base. He doubled in Games 2 and 3 and went 3-for-13 in the series.
Son: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays 1B/DH)
Playoff appearances: 2004-05, ’07-09 Angels; 2010 Rangers
Vlad Sr. made the postseason six times in seven seasons from 2004-10 — all once he left the Expos for Los Angeles — but a World Series ring proved elusive for the Hall of Famer. Vlad did provide a signature moment in his first playoff series: he crushed a game-tying grand slam against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Game 3 of the 2004 ALDS. But those were the Curse of the Bambino-shattering Red Sox, and they quickly eliminated the soon-to-be-AL-MVP Vlad’s Angels.
Guerrero’s best playoffs came in 2009, when he hit .400 in the Angels’ ALDS sweep of the Red Sox and .370 with a home run, three doubles and 10 total hits in their six-game ALCS loss to the eventual World Series champion Yankees. He came closest to winning a World Series late in his career with the 2010 Rangers, who fell to the even-year Giants in the Fall Classic. Maybe his slugging son can mash the Blue Jays one step further.
Son: Cavan Biggio (Blue Jays 2B/OF)
Playoff appearances: 1997-99, 2001, ’04-05 Astros
Craig and Cavan Biggio already have a nice piece of family history as the second father-son duo to hit for the cycle. How will their playoff careers compare? The elder Biggio, like fellow Hall of Fame dad Vlad, played in six postseasons. In his prime, though, he and the Killer B’s were thwarted by the Braves’ NL dynasty — the Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz-led Braves eliminated Biggio and the Astros three times in five years between 1997 and 2001.
As a veteran in his late 30s, Biggio contributed to Houston’s deepest playoff runs in 2004 and ’05, but they fell to the Cardinals in the epic seven-game 2004 NLCS — even after Biggio led off Game 7 with a home run — and to the powerhouse White Sox in the 2005 World Series. The 3,000-hit club member Biggio still finished his career with 39 postseason hits, including four in the only Fall Classic he played in.
Son: Bo Bichette (Blue Jays SS)
Playoff appearances: 1995 Rockies
Bo Bichette has been the most electric player so far of the Blue Jays’ Guerrero-Biggio-Bichette trio, living up to his dad’s legacy as a member of the Blake Street Bombers. Dante only got one postseason run in his MLB career, during the 1995 season, which was both the inaugural season for Coors Field and the Rockies’ first time making the playoffs as a franchise.
That year, Bichette led the NL with 40 homers and all of MLB with 128 RBIs, finishing as the MVP runner-up. He was equally incredible in the playoffs, even though the Rockies fell to the Braves in the NLDS. Bichette hit .588 with a .941 slugging percentage and a 1.552 OPS, going 10-for-17 with a home run and three doubles.
Son: Cal Quantrill (Indians RHP)
Playoff appearances: 2004 Yankees
Cal Quantrill doesn’t get all the shine of Tatis and the Blue Jays’ legacy trio, but the Indians’ 25-year-old southpaw (2.52 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 16 outings this season) was still a key piece in the Mike Clevinger trade and could play a bullpen role in October. Cal’s dad, Paul, did that himself, making six relief appearances for the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs. Quantrill pitched scoreless baseball in five of six outings, including picking up the win in extra innings of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins.
But it’s that sixth game that made Quantrill an unwilling part of postseason history: He’s the pitcher who gave up David Ortiz’s walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS that started Boston’s historic comeback from down three games to none.
Honorable mention: Clay Bellinger
Son: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers CF/1B)
Playoff appearances: 1999-2001 Yankees
Cody Bellinger isn’t in the same boat as these other MLB legacies, since he’s already become a postseason fixture with the Dodgers, playing in the 2017 and ’18 World Series and heading for his fourth straight playoffs to start his career. But we’ll give a shoutout to Clay anyway, since Clay was a part of the Yankees’ dynasty, playing in the postseason for the World Series champion Bronx Bombers teams of 1999 and 2000 (and the one that lost one of the greatest World Series ever played in 2001).
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.