Los Angeles Dodgers utility player Cody Bellinger is gearing up alongside his National League Championship team to face the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 World Series.
Cheering on Bellinger will be his parents, Clay and Jennifer Bellinger, and his siblings, Ashli and Cole. Cole is also a baseball player, drafted by the San Diego Padres back in 2017.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Cody’s Dad Is Former Yankee Player Clay Bellinger & He Is Now a Volunteer Firefighter in Arizona
Bellinger’s father is 48-year-old Clay Bellinger, whose name should sound familiar to any Yankees 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 roster 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 Bellinger’s best year in his career came in the 2000 season, 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; he didn’t make the roster.
Clay and his wife currently live in Arizona, where Cody Bellinger was born. Clay is a volunteer firefighter for the town of Gilbert, and also tried his hand at real estate. In an interview with the Observer-Dispatch, Clay Bellinger said he doesn’t keep his World Series rings on display.
“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 Bellinger 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, Cody Bellinger said that he loved going to the World Series parades with his dad.
2. His Mom Jennifer Works as a Cabi Stylist
Cody Bellinger’s mother is Jennifer Bellinger, who sells clothes as a Cabi Stylist.
“Changing women’s lives with Fashion, Fun, and Friendships with amazing home show experience and with an amazing business opportunity,” reads the “About” section on Jennifer’s business page on Facebook.
In a previous interview with MLB.com, Jennifer said she was excited to see her son get called up by the Dodgers and 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 & He Currently Plays for their Minor League Team
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 Bellinger in the 15th round just weeks after he led Hamilton High School to the State Championship. He pitched 6.2 innings in the 6-4 clincher against Phoenix’s Pinnacle High.
It could be a while before Cole Bellinger, who is four years younger than Cody Bellinger, can pitch against his brother in the big leagues, but he 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.”
Clay Bellinger told AZCentral that it would be a “cool moment” if his sons get to play against each other. 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,” he added.
Like his younger brother, Bellinger was also drafted right out of high school after playing for Hamilton. He also pitched, once tossing a 10-strikeout complete game in 2013.
4. Their Daughter, Ashli, Just Graduated From Grand Canyon University With a Master’s Degree
Ashli Bellinger recently earned her Master’s Degree in professional counseling from Grand Canyon University. Clay and Jennifer Bellinger were on-hand at her graduation, and Jennifer shared some photos from the special day (above).
Before heading to grad school, 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.
Ashli Bellinger and her mom are also active with The Grove, a missional Christian church in Chandler. Jennifer Bellinger is the children’s pastor, while Ashli is the high school ministry director and Kids At The Grove Large Group Coordinator.
5. They Flew to San Francisco to See Cody’s First MLB Game
The Bellingers made sure they didn’t miss their son’s MLB debut. The whole Bellinger family flew to San Francisco to watch Cody’s opening series. Although getting to Dodgers Stadium isn’t a short trip — it’s a six-hour drive from the Bellinger’s home in Arizona — Cody’s parents try to get out there as much as they can.
Of course, now that the Dodgers are in the World Series, the Bellinger’s won’t be too far from the baseball field this week.