By Lauren Smith | McClatchy News Service
LOS ANGELES — It was a moment the Major League Baseball world, perhaps especially fans up and down the West Coast, has been waiting years for.
For the first time, Kyle and Corey Seager shared a stage, and later the field in the first of a four-game set between the Mariners and Dodgers.
That the first and obvious question in their joint media session — what would it mean for the brothers to finally play in the same game? — was met with a joke offered an amusing prelude to what the next four games could bring.
“A. Avocado,” Corey replied to the question.
Kyle chortled in the background. It was a peculiar response, to be sure, but it was planned, and won the youngest Seager brother a bet.
Justin, the middle brother of the three, and a former Mariners draft pick, was undoubtedly laughing from wherever he was, and now had a winner for his offered cash prize.
“I said avocado first, for the record,” Kyle fired back. “You guys might not have heard it, but I definitely said it first.”
“The rules were you needed to be recorded, and I don’t think it had started yet,” Corey said. “But, thank you Justin for my 20 bucks.”
Kyle joked, and Corey agreed, that Justin was probably having the most fun of the three brothers watching this all unfold. But, when the chuckling subsided, Kyle and Corey both spoke about the significance of the moment.
“For me personally, this is cool,” Kyle said. “This is a really cool day for me getting to play against Corey out here in LA. … Playing against Corey is something we’ve talked about for a long time, and I’m definitely really excited about it.”
Corey made sure to apologize for this day not coming sooner.
“He’s finding ways to dodge me,” Kyle joked.
Kyle, at 32 years old, will wrap up his first decade in the majors this season, and has been with the Mariners, a few hours up the I-5 corridor from Corey, since the beginning. Corey, 26, has been a major leaguer for about half that time, spending all of his seasons with the Dodgers.
There was a lot of fun to be had in Game 1. The Dodgers won the series opener, which featured a barrage of homers from both clubs, including both Seager brothers, 11-9. It’s tougher to say who won the first battle of the Seagers. Here’s what the score sheet looked like:
Kyle: 3 for 4, solo home run, walk, strikeout, two RBI, stolen base and more of the eye-popping defense Mariners fans have seen for years.
Corey: 2 for 4, three-run home run, walk, three RBI.
Corey said pregame he hoped Kyle would get four hits that night, but LA would still win. He was close.
“He’s still your brother,” Corey said. “You’re still rooting for him.”
The brothers smirked at each other when they rounded the bases, and it continued back-and-forth like this all night.
Kyle drove in another run with a single in the fourth, and later stole his third base of the season in the seventh. This was another point the Seagers joked about pregame. When asked what he would like to have from his older brother’s game, Corey deadpanned, “I’d take his speed.”
He looked over to Kyle and smiled. Kyle was quick with his response.
“How many stolen bases you got this year?”
“Zero,” Corey replied.
“Yeah, I’m beating you.”
The two have kept track of each other’s nightly numbers through the years and celebrated each other’s successes. When Kyle was an All-Star selection in 2014 and a Gold Glove Award winner, Corey played in the Futures Game. Corey won National League Rookie of the Year in 2016, and was an All-Star that year and the following. A few years ago for Players Weekend, Kyle debuted a jersey that read “Corey’s Brother.”
“I love looking at the box score and seeing him have good games,” Kyle said. “We’re trying to compete with each other, but at the same time, we’re rooting for each other.”
This season, both Seagers are off to an impressive start. Kyle is hitting .310/.388/.536 with seven doubles, four homers, the three stolen bases, and his 21 RBI through his first 24 games rank third in the American League and tied for fifth in the majors. Corey is hitting .306/.359/.611 in 18 games with four doubles, six homers and 16 RBI.
Each enjoys the success of the other, and though they have fun with their good-natured teasing, both acknowledged their appreciation for having the other to talk to and lean on during the course of each season.
“Fortunately for me coming through, I’ve had a brother who went through everything, experienced everything, gave his input on everything,” Corey said. “It gave you a different perspective. It gave you a little bit of an edge in front of people knowing what to expect, knowing how to expecting things to happen, and just throughout my career, it’s been incredible to have that person there, and you couldn’t be any more thankful for it.”