Cuicchi: A look at baseball family ties through the cardboard hobby

From SABR member Richard Cuicchi at Sports Collectors Digest on October 12, 2018:

Baseball players with relatives in the game have been around since the beginning of the professional sport. If you count the National Association as the first major league, brothers Doug and Art Allison and George and Harry Wright played in the inaugural season in 1871. The first son of a major leaguer to also play in the majors was Jack Doscher in 1903. His father, Herm, had been a big leaguer from 1872 to 1882.

Fast forward to the beginning of the 2017 season, there had been almost 500 brother combinations and nearly 250 father-son combinations to have appeared in the majors. The number of players who are uncles, nephews, cousins, and in-laws of other major leaguers is prevalent as well.

Throughout the years, baseball cards have contributed to the recording of baseball history, which includes many of the occurrences of family ties in the sport.

However, early baseball cards didn’t typically feature more than one player per card. So while there were numerous instances of family ties in the early days of the sport, they weren’t depicted together on a single card. Furthermore, the individual player cards in those early years didn’t contain textual biographical information (like today) that might identify players as having a brother in baseball.

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Originally published: October 15, 2018. Last Updated: October 15, 2018.