Throughout the years, baseball has seen plenty of family members play at the same time. In the last century, it was brothers like the DiMaggios or the Alous. In more recent years, who could forget the Molina brothers, each one a better defensive catcher than the last? Or the Alomars, Sandy and Roberto, who played on so many great contenders in the ’90s?
One of the more recent and prominent brother combos are the Uptons, B.J. and Justin. Let’s take a closer look at both of their careers, how they’ve competed with each other, and what they’ve been able to earn over their time in baseball.
An overview of the Upton brothers’ MLB careers
The Tampa Bay Rays selected B.J. with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft. He played for Tampa Bay for eight seasons. He then spent two years in San Diego, two in Atlanta, and one in Toronto. Below are his career numbers:
- Wins Above Replacement (WAR) Level of 16.8
- 164 home runs
- 1,260 hits
- 586 RBI
- .243 batting average
- .321 on-base percentage
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Justin with the first overall pick in the first round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent his first six seasons in Arizona then followed that up with two in Atlanta, one in San Diego, two in Detroit, and the last three in Los Angeles with the Angels. Here’s what he’s been able to put up statistically during his career:
- Wins Above Replacement (WAR) Level of 34.4
- 298 home runs
- 1,651 hits
- 937 RBI
- .266 batting average
- .347 on-base percentage
The culmination of the Upton brothers rivalry
Like any brothers, the Uptons have had a friendly rivalry. They undoubtedly compare stats and try to one-up the other regularly. The date when their rivalry hit its true peak had to be August 3, 2012. That’s the date each brother hit the same milestone of 100 career home runs on the exact same night.
B.J. (real name Melvin, but short for his nickname of “Bossman Junior”) was still playing for the Rays while Justin was playing with the Diamondbacks. Justin started the proceedings with a home run off of the Phillies’ Kyle Kendrick.
Not to be outdone, later that evening B.J. tied them up with a shot off of Tommy Hunter of the Baltimore Orioles. Since then, Justin has hit 198 home runs while B.J. hit 64 additional dingers.
The Upton brothers career earnings and competitive nature
Combined in their careers, the Uptons have made over $232 million. B.J. has made nearly $96 million while Justin has made nearly $137 million. That’s quite a financial windfall for both and it’s a testament to their family’s talents on the diamond.
While both Uptons have played for several teams, they both got the opportunity to play together, albeit briefly, with Atlanta in 2013. One of the funnier moments of their time together in Braves’ uniforms came during an April 2014 game against the Phillies.
With Justin up at the plate and B.J. on base, Justin sent a liner foul down the third-base side. It was a real screamer — so fast, in fact, that it knocked B.J. to the ground as he led off of third. They also collided on an outfield catch in 2013.
These are both great examples of their brotherly competitive natures. B.J.’s last season was in 2016, and he hasn’t played in the bigs since. He made headlines last year by proclaiming that he was going back to his nickname of B.J. after going by Melvin since 2015. Justin, 31, is still active with the Los Angeles Angels.