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Blue Jays' infield comes from solid stock

Toronto joins LA as only clubs with four MLB players' sons in starting lineup
@mattkellyMLB
July 24, 2020

The Blue Jays might have one of the Major Leagues’ youngest rosters, but Toronto’s Opening Day lineup featured a different kind of experience. Between shortstop Bo Bichette (son of three-time All-Star outfielder Dante), second baseman Cavan Biggio (son of Hall of Famer Craig), first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (son of

The Blue Jays might have one of the Major Leagues’ youngest rosters, but Toronto’s Opening Day lineup featured a different kind of experience.

Between shortstop Bo Bichette (son of three-time All-Star outfielder Dante), second baseman Cavan Biggio (son of Hall of Famer Craig), first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Sr.) and third baseman Travis Shaw (son of 12-year Major League pitcher Jeff), the Blue Jays’ entire starting infield for Friday’s Opening Day matchup against the Rays consisted of sons of former Major League players. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this marked only the second time that a club’s entire starting infield for a game held that distinction.

On June 1, 2012, the Dodgers trotted out an infield of third baseman Ivan DeJesus Jr. (son of 15-year big league infielder Ivan Sr.), second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. (son of 14-year big league outfielder Jerry Sr.), shortstop Dee Gordon (son of three-time All-Star reliever Tom) and first baseman Scott Van Slyke (son of three-time All-Star Andy). In fact, the Dodgers’ lineup against the Rockies that day also featured outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. in center field -- and Los Angeles featured a collection of seven big league sons at its Spring Training camp that year.

But Toronto’s quartet holds a separate distinction, as its four big league legacies occupied the top four spots in its batting order, too. Together, those four players’ fathers combined for 144 wins above replacement across their big league careers, according to Baseball-Reference.

Of course, legacy players aren’t a new phenomenon to the Blue Jays’ up-and-coming roster; Bichette, Biggio and Guerrero played many games together down the stretch last year after Bichette debuted in the Majors on July 29, 2019. Now, after signing Shaw last December, the ’20 Blue Jays’ Opening Day infield resides in an extremely exclusive historical class.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.