Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and leftfielder Cody Bellinger just can’t stop hitting home runs. In the first 52 games of his MLB career, the 21-year-old has hit 22 home runs already. Bellinger is the son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger and Jennifer Bellinger.
Bellinger has broken two big records in the past two days. During the Dodgers’ 10-6 win over the New York Mets on June 19, he became the fastest player ever to reach 21 home runs, hitting that mark in just 51 games. Then during the Dodgers’ 12-0 win on June 20, Bellinger smashed another dinger, making him the first rookie ever to hit 10 home runs in a 10-game span. He’s also the first player ever to have five multi-home run games in less than 80 career games.
Here’s what you need to know about Bellinger’s parents and his family.
1. Cody’s Dad Is Former Yankee Player Clay Bellinger, Who’s Now an Arizona Firefighter
Bellinger’s father is 48-year-old Clay Bellinger, whose name should sound familiar to any Yankee fan. Although he only spent four years in the majors, Clay Bellinger won the World Series at the end of three of them. He was on the Yankees from 1999 to 2001. He then signed with the Anaheim Angels, playing in just two games in 2002, but that season also ended with his team winning a championship. (The 2001 season was the only season he played in that didn’t end in a World Series championship for his team, but the Yankees still went to the World Series that year.)
Clay’s best big league season was 2000, when he played in 98 games and hit .207, with six home runs and 21 RBIs. His career ended with the Baltimore Orioles in 2004 and didn’t make the roster.
Clay and his wife now live in Arizona, where Bellinger was born. He’s a volunteer firefighter for the town of Gilbert, and also tried his hand at real estate. In an interview with the Observer-Dispatch, Clay said he keeps his World Series rings in a safe box.
“The rings are in a safe box. I don’t wear them much,” Bellinger said in 2012. “People in Arizona aren’t too excited about the Yankees.”
In an interview with Bleeding Yankee Blue in 2016, Clay called being a firefighter a “rewarding” experience. “To be a player and a firefighter in the same lifetime is amazing because I get to do two things that many kids dream of,” he said.
In a New York Post interview, Bellinger said he loved going to the World Series parades with his dad.
2. His Mom Jennifer Works as Cabi Stylist
In an interview with MLB.com in May, Jennifer said she was excited to see her son get called up by the Dodgers. She said she started to cry when she saw footage of his name being stitched on the back of a jersey.
“As a mother, what you want for your kids is them to be doing what they love to be doing as an adult — to be in that sweet spot of life of what they’ve been designed to do, and as a mom, you raise the kids to be a great adult,” Jennifer told MLB.com. “I love that he has this character to be a great person and a great teammate, and as a mother, that’s what you want to see in your kids more than anything.”
3. Their Younger Son Cole Was Drafted by the Padres
The Bellingers could have two sons who face each other on the diamond 18 times a season. That’s because the Dodgers’ NL West rivals, the San Diego Padres, drafted Bellinger’s younger brother Cole.
In April, the Padres picked Cole just weeks after he led Hamilton High School of Chandler, Arizona to the State Championship. Cole pitched 6.2 innings in the 6-4 clincher against Phoenix’s Pinnacle High. The Padres picked Cole in the 15th round.
It could be awhile before Cole, who is four years younger than Bellinger, can pitch against his brother in the big leagues, but Cole is looking forward to that day.
“That would be awesome,” Cole told MLB.com. “If everything goes right and someday I sign and make it to the big leagues and get to pitch to my brother, that would be the coolest experience of my life.”
Bellinger told AZCentral that it would be a “cool moment” if he gets to play against his brother. He also offered Cody some advice.
“Just some hard work,” Bellinger told AZCentral. “This is the next stage. He’ll have to work even harder, going up against older guys. Everybody is there for the spot to get to the big leagues. He’ll have to work just as hard if not harder.”
Like his younger brother, Bellinger was also drafted right out of high school after playing for Hamilton High. He also pitched, once tossing a 10-strikeout, complete game in 2013.
4. They Also Have a Daughter, Ashli Bellinger, Who Played Volleyball at Vanguard University
All three of the Bellingers’ children love sports. That includes their oldest, 24-year-old Ashi Bellinger. You can follow her on Twitter here. Bellinger celebrated his sister’s 24th birthday on Instagram in October.
Ashli played volleyball at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. According to her team bio, she chose Vanguard “because of the location and the volleyball team.” Her Facebook page notes that she studied Psychology and now lives in Chandler, Arizona. Her team bio showed that she was a Texas Rangers fan, but that’s probably changed since Bellinger was drafted by the Dodgers.
Ashli and her mom are also active with The Grove missional Christian church in Chandler. Jennifer is the children’s pastor, while Ashli is the high school ministry director and Kids At The Grove Large Group Coordinator.
5. Cody’s Parents Flew to San Francisco to See His First MLB Game
Bellinger’s parents and the rest of his family made sure they didn’t miss his MLB debut. Dodgers.com notes that the family tried to juggle going to his games while still supporting Cole. They did fly to San Francisco to see his first MLB games.
They drove six hours to Los Angeles to see Bellinger play against the Pirates in May. While driving, they heard that their son won Player of the Week honors.
“It’s been pretty amazing,” Clay Bellinger told Dodgers.com. “Obviously, I don’t know if anybody thought it would be this good. You always dream about it.”