The Uptons do for the Braves what the Ripkens used to do for the Orioles
April 8, 2013
The Upton brothers made history this weekend by becoming the first pair of brothers to hit a game-tying and then a walk-off homer in the same inning. They did so in the ninth inning of the Atlanta Braves' 6-5 victory against the Cubs on Saturday. When it comes to homering in the same inning, however, Cal and Billy Ripken did it twice for the Orioles.
The Ripken brothers went deep in the same game in 1990 and again in 1996. Both times they did it not only in the same game, but also in the same inning. That has happened six times in major league history. The accomplishment is made even more impressive when you consider that Billy homered only twice in 1996 and three times in 1990.
On May 28, 1996, Cal homered three times, hitting a grand slam and a pair of two-run home runs. His final long ball came in the ninth inning, three batters before Billy followed suit and went yard himself. Both Ripkens homered off Scott Davison as part of a 12-8 victory against the Mariners in Seattle.
"Any time you see your bro hit one deep and then you get one yourself, it's a pretty special feeling,"Bill Ripken said.
Prior to the game, Orioles manager Davey Johnson talked with Cal about the possibility of the longtime shortstop moving to third base, a discussion that led to the issue being put "on the back burner."
"If I have to hack him off every night to get him to hit three home runs, I'll do it," Davey Johnson said. "Maybe I'll ask him to DH tomorrow."
For his part, Cal downplayed the "I'll show you" storyline.
"It'd be a nice story to say that having that weight off my shoulders about moving to third helped me accomplish what I did tonight," Cal Ripken said. "I'm not sure it's true."
Prior to 1996, Cal and Billy also homered for the Orioles on Sept. 15, 1990. Those solo shots came in the fifth inning off Toronto Blue Jays starter David Wells. Cal's long ball was his 214th career homer as a shortstop, moving him past Vern Stephens for the American League record.
However, the O's lost that September game 4-3 when Blue Jays third baseman Kelly Gruber hit a three-run, walk-off homer off then-reliever Curt Schilling. It was the second consecutive day that the Blue Jays mounted a three-run rally in the ninth inning to win the game.
Note: Saturday's game was reportedly the 25th time in major league history that brothers homered in the same game, and the first time since Baltimore's Ripken brothers did it on May 28, 1996. (Source: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoting David Vincent of SABR.) However, following the Ripkens' 1996 game, newspapers reported that it was the 16th time that brothers had homered in the same game.