Josephs thrilled to be together with O's

Caleb and Corban become first brothers to be on O's roster since Cal and Billy Ripken

June 19th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- and envisioned a day when they'd make it to the Majors together.

This wasn't one of those scenarios they expected.

The Orioles called up Caleb from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, meaning the catcher joined his younger brother, utility infielder Corban, on the 25-man roster. Caleb began the year with the Orioles but was demoted in May; Corban was called up Friday.

"The irony of just the way it's worked out is quite hilarious," Caleb said. "I've been up for four, five years and I go down and he comes up. You can't make this stuff up. It's pretty funny."

Both are now big league ballplayers together for the first time on a last-place Orioles squad searching to gain some footing amid roster turnover.

"I think there were probably times when we weren't sure if it was going to happen," Caleb said. "We had faith that we could both make it. What's the chances of it happening on the same team? I think the first goal was to get to the big leagues at the same time, and then to be on the same team, this is a storybook for our family. I'm sure there's a lot of people back home who are really excited and proud."

It's the first time two brothers have been on the same big league roster since and Melvin Upton Jr. both played on the 2015 Padres. The Josephs are the first Orioles to do it since Billy and Cal Ripken Jr., from 1987-1992.

"I think about their mom and dad," manager Buck Showalter said. "That's freaking cool. … There's been a lot of moments in their life where they're hoping they both can play at a high level, and to be playing at the highest level and on the same team. ... And both of them have earned it. It's nothing like we're keeping them here so they can have a moment together. They've earned it."

Caleb, who was drafted by the Orioles in 2008, was batting .182 with a .527 OPS in his 24 games before being sent down to Norfolk in late May. Corban, who was called up from Norfolk this past week, is making his first appearance in the Major Leagues since a two-game stint with the Yankees in 2013.

Caleb recalled a story of the two growing up, fighting like brothers only three years apart would expectedly do. In the middle of a fight around the house after Caleb slammed Corban's fingers in a doorway, Corban, the younger and smaller of the two, hopped over a staircase railing to surprise Caleb from behind, tackling him and biting him in the back for revenge.

"I knew, this kid is a fierce kid," Caleb said. "He's never going to give up, and by goodness, he didn't do it. He didn't give up. He's been that way his whole life. He's been a real fighter."

The Joseph brothers will have a small posse of family in Washington on Tuesday to witness the historic day, but should the duo remain on the roster by this weekend's series against the Braves in Atlanta, that's where the real party will be for the two Tennessee natives.

"That's where there could be half a stadium filled with orange and black jerseys with 'Joseph' on the back," Caleb said. "We've got quite a few family members who live in that southern region. It is exciting here; not wishing it to go away, but really looking forward to Atlanta, too."