Tag Archives: Bill Haller

July 14-Sibling Rarity

1972 | DETROIT , MICHIGAN – There have been a number of baseball playing brother combinations; the Alou’s being the most famous. Three times in September of 1963 Matty, Felipe and Jesus Alou played all three outfield positions at the same time for the San Francisco Giants (according to the New York Timess it’s a myth that the Alou brothers ever started a game playing all three outfield positions.)

Here’s something even rarer.

Today in baseball history – July 14, 1972 – home plate umpire Bill Haller looked over the shoulder of his brother Tom Haller, the catcher for the Detroit Tigers in a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Tigers. It’s believed to be the first time in major league history brothers played and umpired the same game. It ended up being a very well played game with the Royals winning 1-0.

Did Tom Haller, the player, get rung up by Bill Haller, the umpire? The answer is no. A check of the box score from that day in July 1972 shows Tom going one for four, with a single. He did not strike out or walk.

Umpire-player sibling combinations are extremely rare, but not playing brothers. Here are some:

DiMaggio – Joe & Dominic
Boyer – Clete & Ken
Niekro – Phil & Joe
Aaron – Henry & Tommie
Perry – Gaylord & Jim
Brett – Ken & George
Maddux – Gregg & Mike
Giambi – Jason & Jeremy
May – Lee & Carlos
Drew – J.D. & Steve
Upton – B.J. & Justin
Young – Dimitri & Delmon
Patterson – Corey & Eric

There are some famous father & son combinations:
Alou – Matty (brother) , Felipe (brother/father), Jesus (brother) and Moises (son of Felipe)
Boone – Ray (grandfather), Bob (father), Brett (son) and Aaron (son)
Bell – Gus (grandfather), Buddy (son), David (grandson), Mike (grandson)
Ripken – Cal Sr. (father), Cal Jr. (son) & Billy (son)
Griffey – Ken Sr. (father) & Ken Jr. (son)

Contributing Sources:
New York Times, November 3, 2011
July 14, 1972 Tigers/Royals box score/game stats