What if instead of exchanging the standard greeting cards with your dad on Father’s Day, you could trade your own baseball cards? The Texas Rangers have two players on their roster, Prince Fielder and Delino DeShields Jr., whose fathers played in the major leagues. On this special day, we rank the top 12 Rangers who grew up to work the same job as their fathers. Rankings are based on entire careers and — especially because it is Father’s Day — we had one clear-cut rule: no ties.
1. Buddy Bell
Father: Gus (OF, 1950-64)
With Rangers: 1979-85, ’89
In MLB: 1972-89
Bell ranks 10th on the Rangers’ all-time hits list, with 1,060 over his 7 1/2 seasons in Arlington. Four of his five All-Star appearances came as a Ranger, and few, if any, handled the hot corner as well as Bell — he was the AL’s Gold Glove winner at third base six consecutive seasons (1979-84). In 1979, he became the first Ranger to record a 200-hit season. Bell was part of the second class inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame, in 2004.
2. Prince Fielder
Father: Cecil (1B/DH, 1985-88, ’90-98)
With Rangers: 2014-present
In MLB: 2005-present
After an injury-shortened first season with the Rangers last year, Fielder is showing the offensive prowess he inherited from his power-hitting father and that made him a five-time All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers. Fielder entered this season with 288 home runs and 886 RBIs since being called up to Milwaukee during the 2005 season. This season, he is among the major league leaders in batting average and RBIs, and he leads the Rangers in homers.
3. Sandy Alomar Jr.
Father: Sandy (2B/SS, 1964-78)
With Rangers: 2005
In MLB: 1988-2007
The Alomars are one of two father-son duos who both played for the Rangers. (The Bacsiks are the other.) The younger Sandy’s one season with the Rangers came late in his 20-year career. In 1990, he became the first rookie catcher to start an All-Star Game, was named the AL’s Rookie of the Year and won a Gold Glove. Alomar was an All-Star from 1990-92 and again from 1996-98, all with the Cleveland Indians.
4. Robb Nen
Father: Dick (1B, 1963, ’65-68, ’70)
With Rangers: 1993
In MLB: 1993-2002
Nen made nine appearances, including three starts, as a rookie for the Rangers before being traded in mid-July with the club in the thick of a tight, five-team race in the AL West. Nen was shipped along with Kurt Miller to the Florida Marlins for starting pitcher Cris Carpenter. The Rangers wound up finishing second, eight games behind the Chicago White Sox. By 1994, Nen had become the Marlins’ closer, a position he held onto until being traded to the San Francisco Giants after the 1997 season. Nen made the NL All-Star team three times in his final five seasons. He saved 314 games during his career and pitched in two World Series.
5. David Segui
Father: Diego (P, 1962-75, ’77)
With Rangers: 2000
In MLB: 1990-2004
Segui, primarily a first baseman, played 15 seasons in the majors just like his father, Diego, who pitched for six teams. Segui came to the Rangers from the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2000 spring training as part of a three-team trade in which the Rangers sent Lee Stevens to the Montreal Expos. Segui hit .336 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs in 93 games with the Rangers before being traded to the Cleveland Indians in late July for Ricky Ledee. Segui, who played for seven teams, hit .291 for his career.
6. Darren Oliver
Father: Bob (1B/3B/OF, 1965, ’69-75)
With Rangers: 1993-98, 2000-01, ’10-11
In MLB: 1993-2004, ’06-11
Oliver played half of his 20-year career with the Rangers, mostly as a starting pitcher for the first part of his career before making the transition to become a reliable lefty out of the bullpen. He pitched in 16 postseason games for the Rangers in 2010-11. Oliver, now a member of the Rangers’ front office as a special assistant to Jon Daniels, finished his career with a 118-98 record.
7. Roy Smalley III
Father: Roy Jr. (SS, 1948-58)
With Rangers: 1975-76
In MLB: 1975-1987
The first-round draft pick of the Rangers in 1974 made his major league debut in late April 1975, and he hit .227 over 119 games before being traded in June 1976 in a six-player deal with the Minnesota Twins that brought Bert Blyleven to Texas. The switch-hitting shortstop played for the Twins in 10 of his 13 seasons. An All-Star in 1979 while playing for his uncle, Twins manager Gene Mauch, Smalley hit .257 for his career.
8. Todd Stottlemyre
Father: Mel (P, 1964-74)
With Rangers: 1998
In MLB: 1988-2002
Stottlemyre, a starting pitcher like his father, was a trade-deadline acquisition during the 1998 season, when the Rangers brought in Stottlemyre and shortstop Royce Clayton for Darren Oliver, Fernando Tatis and a played to be named later (Mark Little). Stottlemyre was 5-4 with a 4.33 ERA the rest of the regular season and started Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, giving up two runs in a complete-game loss. Stottlemyre retired with a 138-121 record and a 4.28 ERA. He and his father combined for 302 major league victories.
9. Gary Matthews Jr.
Father: Gary (OF, 1972-87)
With Rangers: 2004-06
In MLB: 1999-2010
Matthews had played five seasons when he signed as a free agent with the Rangers. He came up to the big club in late May 2004 and hit .275 in establishing himself as the Rangers’ center fielder. He hit .255 the next season, and followed that in 2006 by making his lone All-Star Game appearance and setting new career highs in batting average (.313), home runs (19), RBIs (79) and runs scored (102). He left after that season via free agency to sign a big contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
10. Jason Grilli
Father: Steve (P, 1975-77, ’79)
With Rangers: 2009
In MLB: 2000-01, ’04-09, ’11-current
The San Francisco Giants drafted Grilli with the fourth overall pick in 1997 and, despite starting his professional career as a top starting pitcher prospect, did not establish himself as a full-time major-leaguer until 2006, and he did that as a reliever. The Rangers purchased him from the Colorado Rockies, and in his only season in Texas, Grilli had a 4.78 ERA in 30 appearances. He did not pitch in the majors again until 2011 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he became the primary closer two seasons later. He saved 33 games that year and made the NL All-Star team. He joined the Atlanta Braves before this season — his 13th in the majors — and is closing in on 20 saves for the season.
11. Jerry Hairston Jr.
Father: Jerry (OF/DH/1B, 1973-77, ’81-89)
With Rangers: 2006-07
In MLB: 1998-2013
Hairston played in 136 games during his two years with the Rangers, hitting .194. Those seasons were not reflective of his 16-year career, during which he hit .257 and played in at least 100 games seven times. Despite playing seven years with the Baltimore Orioles, Hairston played for nine teams. His father played 14 seasons, and 13-plus came with one team, the Chicago White Sox.
12. Bump Wills
Father: Maury (SS/3B, 1959-72)
With Rangers: 1977-81
In MLB: 1977-82
A speedy infielder like his father, Elliott Taylor “Bump” Wills was a mainstay at second base during his five seasons with the Rangers. He finished third in voting for AL Rookie of the Year in 1977. A career .266 hitter, Wills led the Rangers in stolen bases five times. He left as the Rangers’ all-time leader in steals (161) and now ranks third behind Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. His 52 steals in 1978 remain the club single-season record.
Other Rangers whose fathers played in the majors: