Column: Karros brothers follow in Dodger dad’s footsteps
Sons of Eric Karros are promising baseball players
As the sun pierces through the clouds in Manhattan Beach, a refreshing breeze makes the palm trees sway beyond the left-field fence at Mira Costa High. On the baseball field, two strapping brothers with Dodger bloodlines are loosening up.
Kyle Karros is a 6-foot-3 sophomore third baseman. Jared Karros is a 6-6 junior pitcher. Their father is Eric Karros, the L.A. Dodgers’ beloved all-time home run leader who’s 50 years old but can still swing it.
“We all love him. I wouldn’t trade him for anything,” Kyle says. “The knowledge he has, the connections he has, it’s super cool.”
Asked about his father’s baseball background, Jared said: “It’s always sweet having that. It’s something others don’t have. I take pride in that and I love him for it.”
The Karros brothers are on the rise. Each gets straight A’s in the classroom. Jared is in his first full season of pitching after being a first baseman. He has an 0.45 ERA in 31 innings and is 3-1 for the 27-3 Mustangs. He recently committed to UCLA, his father’s alma mater. Kyle is the starting third baseman and is batting .261 as the No. 3 hitter.
“They’ve always played,” their father said. “It was soccer and baseball. Probably too much on the baseball side. I’m the one who taught the ground balls. I’m the one who taught the hitting.”
When Karros went to spring training with the Dodgers this year, he was hanging around broadcaster and former Dodger pitching great Orel Hershiser and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, asking questions and seeking tips, since a Karros pitching is something new in the family.
“I’m learning just enough to be dangerous,” he said.
The boys were very young when they got to hang out with their father at the end of his major-league career. But Karros makes it clear what’s important to him and his wife, Trish: “It’s been more exciting to watch them develop as people. At the end of the day, I want them to be good kids.”
They’ve lived in Manhattan Beach their whole life. The boys are amateur surfers, with Jared No. 1 in the family.
“I think it actually helped my pitching with my strength in my shoulder, and I’m looking to do that this summer,” Jared said.
Since their coach, Keith Ramsey, is also a surfer, the boys got to surf with him in Malibu last year.
“It’s good seeing a different side of your coach,” Kyle said. “He’s got a nice Zen surfer side too.”
The boys fit in well at Mira Costa, which is a short jog from the beach and is known for having the sons and daughters of current and former professional athletes as students. In classes are sons of several former Kings players.
Kyle, when he was going around the neighborhood selling Christmas trees for the baseball program, knocked on a door and a shirtless Julius Randle of the Lakers answered the door.
“He was ripped,” Kyle said.
Randle bought a tree and raffle tickets.
The boys are having fun playing together.
“He’s a great defender, though a couple times he’s made errors for me, but we laugh at that because he’s historically a great fielder,” Jared said.
Kyle has been impressed with his brother’s development as a pitcher.
“He’s got a lot of potential,” he said.
Mira Costa won the Bay League championship and will find out on Monday its seeding for the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs that begin on Friday.
“I’d take our guys against anybody,” Eric said of a Mira Costa team made up of neighborhood kids, including two brothers who, in the words of Tommy Lasorda, bleed Dodger blue like their father.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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