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10/12/07 4:16 AM ET
Upton feeling brotherly love
Rays star at Chase Field to cheer on younger sibling
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Count Justin Upton's big brother among the D-backs faithful on Thursday for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. His brother, Devil Rays outfielder B.J. Upton, joined the Upton parents at Chase Field to cheer on Justin, just over two months after the younger Upton's big league callup. "A lot of players, they play their whole careers hoping to get to the playoffs and some never do," B.J. said, "and for him to be in his first two months up in the big leagues and have the chance to play in the postseason, I think it is great, and I want to be here to support him." Although B.J.'s Devil Rays didn't qualify for the postseason for the 10th straight time since entering the league with the D-backs during the '98 season, he still enjoyed a breakthrough year, hitting .300 to go with 24 home runs, 82 RBIs and 22 steals. B.J., 23, did not have much playoff-related advice for Justin, 20, being that he's never appeared in a postseason game. He instead told him just to play his game and let everything take care of itself. Having been the second overall pick in the 2002 First Year Player Draft, B.J. did have plenty of advice for his younger brother when the D-backs selected Justin No. 1 overall in 2005, making them the first brothers to be picked in the top two slots of separate Drafts. Although it did not take long for Justin to make his debut on Aug. 2 -- less than two years after being drafted -- B.J. told him "to be patient, always work hard, work out every day and just be ready all the time." Now, after Justin spent his childhood watching his older brother, B.J. is returning the favor with his kid brother on the stage he hopes to one day play on. "I think any time you play a Major League season, making the playoffs is the biggest goal," B.J. said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.