SAN FRANCISCO -- At the start of the week, before his son's team had even qualified, Jack Snow fielded several questions from callers wondering whether he planned to root for the Cardinals or the Giants in the event they met in the National League Championship Series.
A former All-American at Notre Dame who played 11 seasons for the Rams, he now serves as a radio broadcaster for the NFL team. He also conducts a Monday call-in show on a St. Louis station. "I think it goes to show the kind of people who call in radio shows," observed J.T. Snow, the first baseman for the Giants, who won the first two games of the NLCS at Busch Stadium. "They're not the brightest people. My dad was just stunned they would ask."
San Francisco reliever Tim Worrell, who made his first appearance in an NLCS game Wednesday night, recalled how, 15 years ago, he watched his older brother Todd participate in an NLCS between the same two teams. Todd was the Cardinals' closer and Tim and some family members, wearing St. Louis regalia, sat in the upper deck at Candlestick Park. "We took a lot of grief," he recalled. As it turned out, they had the last laugh. The Cards won in seven games.
In 1963, six years before Robb Nen was born, his father was called up late in the season. He had seven at-bats in a Dodgers uniform before dividing the rest of his major-league career between the Washington Senators and Cubs. His only hit for the Dodgers, a home run, helped decide the National League pennant. It came at the expense of the Cardinals. "I know the story," the Giants' closer said Friday. "But we don't talk about it."
Robb Nen saved both games in St. Louis, and should the Giants oust the Cardinals in the series that resumes Saturday at Pac Bell Park, their demise most likely will be at his hands. Like father, like son.
An extraordinary set of circumstances links the generations in this series. Then again, there are reminders of the past in almost every contest in which the Giants engage. Not only did Barry Bonds' father precede him in the outfield of the Giants but Bobby Bonds also played for the Yankees, Angels, White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Cubs and, yes, even the Cardinals in 1980. David Bell, the San Francisco third baseman, is a third-generation major-leaguer. His grandfather, Gus Bell, was an original Met who al so played for the Pirates, Reds and Milwaukee Braves. Buddy Bell, David's father, wore the uniform of the Indians, Rangers, Reds and Astros.
"I watched a ton of my dad's games, either in person or on TV," the youngest Bell said. "I watched every move he made. When you're around a situation like that every day, it wasn't that big a deal. I probably didn't realize how big a deal it was until later on, when I got older and started playing myself."
For Tim Worrell, who is eight years younger than Todd, there was much to be gained from hanging around the clubhouse. "You see the way they prepare. It's just something you absorb," he said. "When I got to the big leagues, I knew how to handle myself. I was excited but I wasn't overwhelmed."
Robb Nen, a high school teammate of J.T. Snow's in baseball and football in Southern California, said his father offered no specific advice about playing in the big leagues. "He just said to be positive, respect the game, respect the fans."
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