Baseball is often considered a family sport. From the little leagues all the way to the major leagues, there are plenty of examples of brothers playing together.
This summer, that boyhood dream of playing together professionally came true for Jacob and Phillip Fabry.
The brothers are five and a half years apart – Jacob is 30 and Phillip is 25, so while they played baseball together in their backyard, they were never able to play organized baseball together… until this summer.
Growing up, the brothers were all about baseball and the thrill of competition. Whether they were outside trying to find something to do or inside playing video games, their plans always seemed to turn into something baseball related. From home run derbys, pick-up games or baseball video games, the two were always competing and having fun together.
Jacob, who has played independent baseball for eight seasons and is nearing the end of his career, was looking for a place to play for the 2017 season.
(Jacob Fabry. Photo Credit: Clinton Riddle)
He had already played in the Peach State League (2010), the Can-Am (2011), the Pecos League (2012 & 2013 – on the Trinidad Triggers featured on the Pecos League TV show), the United League (2014 – on the championship winning Rio Grande Valley White Wings), and the Empire League (2015 & 2016).
Phillip, who is a newcomer to the independent baseball scene, was just looking for a team that would let him get experience.
(Phillip Fabry. Photo Credit: Clinton Riddle)
He had gone to the North Country Baseball League (now the Empire League) spring training after college, but his team folded. After that, Phillip went to the Arizona Winter League.
But now, the team that they were looking for just happened to be the same one – The Mustangs in the Thoroughbred League.
The Mustangs manager, Scott Nathanson, had a huge hand in giving the brothers a chance to play together. Nathanson coached in the Arizona Winter League and was able to see that both of the Fabry’s just wanted to play baseball. He thought the Thoroughbred League would be the perfect fit for both.
While the league itself had some issues, it still offered the brothers that chance that they were dreaming about since childhood.
(Phillip and Jacob. Photo Credit: Clinton Riddle)
“Playing professionally with my brother truly feels like a dream,” Jacob said. “Anyone that knows me knows my heart. Whether I say it or not, you can see it in my eyes that baseball is my passion. Being able to share that same passion with my brother through the ups and downs, the glory and the mistakes… it is a blessing.
“I tried to give him more mentoring on how to carry yourself rather than coaching mechanics. I am a big mental guy, and I try to tell him everything I know throughout a regular routine day in the professional ranks. I am on my way out of baseball and he is fresh to it, so I still feel like I need to protect him more so than other teammates that are rookies.”
Jacob has been mentoring Phillip throughout their lives.
“It was always encouraging having him growing up because he helped me understand the game, how to get better, and what hard work looks like,” Phillip commented when asked what it was like growing up with Jacob.
“Honestly playing with him is a dream come true,” said Phillip. “He has always been my hero in the baseball world. He has done so much good, and I have wanted this since I was five. He has always been a huge inspiration when we were a part and now that we are together it’s even stronger. With us being five years a part we would only play together if it was professional so that’s very cool.”
(“How excited I was to play baseball with my brother for the first time.” – Phillip Fabry)
Even though it was a grind in the Thoroughbred League, the Mustangs went on to win the championship, and the Fabry’s lived out their dream by each other’s side. The experience and the chance to keep playing baseball is something they will cherish forever.
“At the end of the day it’s still a child’s game and I hope to keep that joy in my heart until the last time I untie my cleats” – Jacob Fabry.
(Photo credit: Sharon Cooksey)
It was fantastic meeting and getting to know you both! Thank you for all of your support. You guys know that I will always be one of your biggest supporters too!