As The City of Brotherly Love thankfully begins its winter hibernation, I decided to do a little historical exercise on MLB brothers. Using this list of brothers*, I went back and found every time one brother pitched to another in the Retrosheet Era, roughly the last 100 years, not including 2023, which won’t be published until December or so. As I wait for the fraternal recriminations in Philly, here’s what I found. (Note, the painting above depicts Cain’s only at-bat against Abel. Baseball was considerably different back then, and Abel never got to hit against Cain.)

Cain and Abel

No brother has ever hit his brother with a pitch.


Three MLB players have hit homers off their brothers. Having no brothers myself, I can’t really imagine the intrafamily bragging rights these blows caused.

July 19, 1933: Rick Ferrell off Wes Ferrell. The Ferrells were both pretty good players with long careers and hold the current record for brother-on-brother at-bats: 42. Hall of Famer Rick, who OPSed 0.742 for his career, OPSed 0.857 off his brother Wes in those 42 at bats, including the homer. Wes isn’t anywhere near the Hall of Fame despite having substantially out-WARed his brother 60-31.

May 29th, 1976: Joe Niekro off Phil Niekro. Phil had 19 at bats against Joe and Joe had 18 against Phil, including the only homer of his career, a 7th inning game-tying dinger. Despite this blast Phil OPSed much better against Joe, with a 0.737 OPS to Joe’s fairly putrid 0.444.

September 27th, 2021: Bradley Zimmer off Kyle Zimmer. Bradley owns Kyle. He also has a walk to go with two outs for a cool 2.667OPS.


None of these matchups have a lot of data, but I’m sure that doesn’t matter at Thanksgiving. The Bradley-Kyle 2.667 OPS leads the list, [No it doesn’t! Jon S. in the comments adds the Rasmus Brothers, who weren’t on the list above. And the double Colby hit off Cory in his only at bat is the OPS record!] but we also have:

Andy Benes off Alan Benes: 2 for 2, 2.000 OPS. Alan, by contrast made an out the only time he faced Andy.

Nick Maton off Phil Maton: One try, one single, 2.000 OPS

Alex Gaston off Milt Gaston: One for three, 1.333 OPS.


While some of the matchups were one-way (the Ferrells, George and Ken Brett, Johnny and Jimmy Cooney) most were pitchers who had the chance to get bragging rights but failed. Ramon Martinez never managed a hit off Pedro, and Pedro never got a hit off Ramon either, although Pedro did walk once off Ramon. Greg Maddux and Mike Maddux each had one single off the other, although it took Greg six tries compared to Mike’s three.

Here’s the complete list, sorted by OPS.

Colby RasmusCory Rasmus112001.00002.00001.00003.0000
Kyle ZimmerBradley Zimmer214110.50002.00000.66672.6667
Alan BenesAndy Benes222001.00001.00001.00002.0000
Phil MatonNick Maton111001.00001.00001.00002.0000
Milt GastonAlex Gaston313000.33331.00000.33331.3333
Wes FerrellRick Ferrell421219150.28570.45240.36170.8141
Virgil BarnesJesse Barnes833000.37500.37500.37500.7500
Mort CooperWalker Cooper412000.25000.50000.25000.7500
Joe NiekroPhil Niekro1968000.31580.42110.31580.7368
Ken BrettGeorge Brett2068000.30000.40000.30000.7000
Greg MadduxMike Maddux311000.33330.33330.33330.6667
Aaron NolaAustin Nola722010.28570.28570.37500.6607
Johnny CooneyJimmy Cooney2157000.23810.33330.23810.5714
Larry SherryNorm Sherry100010.00000.00000.50000.5000
Ruddy LugoJulio Lugo100010.00000.00000.50000.5000
Phil NiekroJoe Niekro1826100.11110.33330.11110.4444
Mike MadduxGreg Maddux611000.16670.16670.16670.3333
Ramon MartinezPedro Martinez200010.00000.00000.33330.3333
Claude JonnardBubber Jonnard100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Pedro MartinezRamon Martinez300000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Ken ForschBob Forsch200000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Brian MoranColin Moran100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Bob ForschKen Forsch100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Chet FalkBibb Falk100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Andy BenesAlan Benes100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Jered WeaverJeff Weaver100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Jeff WeaverJered Weaver100000.00000.00000.00000.0000
Jesse BarnesVirgil Barnes400000.00000.00000.00000.0000

* Shoutout to Baseball Almanac, who provided the list of brothers. When I emailed them to point out the absence of the Rasmus Brothers, they updated the website within a day and sent me a nice note of apology.