Two Brothers Share a Special Place in the Baseball Record Books.
By Scott A. Rowan
The 2013 season saw brothers B. J. and Justin Upton take the field together in the starting lineup for the Atlanta Braves. But as special as their feat was, they were just the latest in a long line of brothers who were also teammates; in fact, Major League Baseball lists nearly 100 sets of such siblings. But Chicago Cubs pitchers Paul and Rick “Big Daddy” Reuschel were the only two to pitch a shutout together.
On August 21, 1975, Cubs starting pitcher Rick Reuschel gave the Cubs a 5–0 lead against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, scattering five hits until he was pulled with one out in the seventh inning. His relief pitcher was his older brother, Paul, who gave up just one hit the rest of the game as the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 7–0. Only 8,377 fans witnessed the historic feat, in part because the game was on a Thursday afternoon. And of course the 1975 Cubs simply weren’t very good, finishing tied with the Montreal Expos for last place in the NL East (75–87). Despite how few people saw it actually happen, that was the only time in baseball history that two brothers combined to pitch a shutout.
“I didn`t even realize it until I saw it in the paper the next day,” said Paul, in a 1985 story with the Chicago Tribune story. “I figured with all the brother combinations that had pitched, that it had to have been done somewhere before.”
Actually, Dizzy and Paul Dean were the only brothers to achieve something close to (and some would say better than) the Reuschels—they won two games apiece to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1934 World Series.
According to MLB.com, the only other brothers to play on the same team for the Cubs organization were Larry and Mike Corcoran (1884, Chicago White Stockings), Jiggs and Tom Parrott (1893, Chicago Colts), and Danny and Hal Breeden (1971).
Born in Quincy, Illinois, the Reuschel brothers shared the special experience of playing for their favorite childhood team. Paul’s playing career lasted only six years, ending in 1979, while Rick’s lasted for 19 years (1972–91), during which time he was an All-Star three times, once for the Cubs and once each with Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
Paul was quite clear about where his loyalties stood, as both a brother and a Cubs fan. “When Rick [pitched] against the Cubs, I root against the Cubs until he’s out of the game. Then I root for the Cubs,” Paul said. “I always will be a Cubs fan. After 35 years, it’s hard to switch.”
“Brothers as teammates in MLB history,” MLB.com, January 24, 2013, http://mlb.mlb.com/ news/article.jspymd=20130124&content_id=41133556&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb.
Linda Young, “Paul Returns To His Roots And A Life In The Country,” Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1985, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-07-16/sports/8502160213_1_farm-prices- major-leagues-playground-accident/2.
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