Raines Sr. and Raines Jr. face off in Triple-A game for first ever father-son matchup

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Janey Murray

On Aug. 21, 2001, the name “Tim Raines” appeared on both sides of the box score of a doubleheader between the Ottawa Lynx and the Rochester Red Wings.

One Raines was listed as a designated hitter and the other a center fielder. But it was no misprint. The matchup between the two Triple-A International League teams pitted the rehabbing Tim Raines Sr. against his son, Tim Raines Jr., in the first known father-versus-son matchup in a regular season professional game.

Raines Jr., playing for Rochester, was a 21-year-old outfielder working his way through the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Raines Sr. was at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career, rehabbing from a shoulder injury with the Montreal Expos’ Triple-A affiliate.

“We set goals three or four years ago to do that,” Raines Sr. told the Associated Press. “We want to be the second father-son to play in the big leagues (at the same time, following the Griffeys). It looks like we’re going to have an opportunity next year.”

The father and son were set to play each other a day earlier, but the game was postponed due to rain and lightning.

Raines Sr. had been scheduled to return to the big league club on Aug. 21, but the organization allowed him to stay an extra day for the doubleheader reunion.

Father and son exchanged lineup cards for their teams before the first game and then proceeded to play two close contests. The Red Wings won game one 4-3, as Raines Jr. went 1-for-3 with a single and Raines Sr. went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Ottawa evened the series with a 5-4 extra-innings win in game two. Raines Jr. went 1-for-4 with a double, outdueling his father, who went 0-for-4 in the nightcap.

“It was a great day,” Raines Jr. said. “It was another learning experience. Every time he got up there, I was watching every little thing he was doing.”

While the game marked the first regular season matchup between the two, they had previously faced each other that year in Spring Training, when Raines Sr. had the better outing, collecting two run-scoring singles while his son had just one hit.

“I’ll let him take this one,” Raines Sr. told the Ottawa Citizen. “I got the first one (in Spring Training) and now we’re tied. We’ll decide it in the majors.”

But the two would never face each other in the big leagues. Instead, later that season, they played together, becoming the second father-son duo to play in the major leagues together after Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. did it for the Mariners in 1990 and 1991.

After Raines Sr. was traded to the Orioles on Oct. 3, the father and son both appeared in the starting lineup for the big league club the next day in a game against the Red Sox. Raines Jr. played center field, while Raines Sr. manned left field. The younger Raines went 1-for-4 with a single and a run scored, while his father went 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout.

Raines Jr. went on to play two more seasons in the big leagues for the Orioles in 2003 and 2004 while also spending time in the minor leagues and independent leagues.

Raines Sr. closed out his 23-year big league career with the Florida Marlins in 2002 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Janey Murray was the 2019 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development

To the top
To the top

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series