ST. PETERSBURG B.J. and Justin Upton have always had a friendly sibling rivalry since their childhood growing up in Chesapeake, Va.
But neither of the former No. 1 major league draft picks could ever have imagined in their wildest dreams the way they would reach a career landmark Friday night separated by more than 1,000 miles but linked by an amazing twist of baseball fate.
They each hit their 100th big-league home runs within about an hour of each other first younger brother Justin, 24, blasting a solo shot for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning in Philadelphia; then big brother B.J., 27, going deep for the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning against Baltimore at Tropicana Field.
You can't make that stuff up.
Though his little brother beat him to the punch, B.J. still had something special to celebrate beyond the decisive blow in a key 2-0 AL East win for the revived Rays. He became only the eighth player in major league history to amass at least 100 homers and 200 steals (he has 220) before his 28th birthday.
The eighth-year Ray turns 28 on Aug. 21, joining the elite company of Rickey Henderson, Cesar Cedeo, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Eric Davis, Lloyd Moseby and Hanley Ramirez.
In yet another noteworthy coincidence, the Uptons each hit their 99th homers on July 20 and not another one until Friday night.
When his first-pitch shot off of the Orioles' Tommy Hunter sailed over the center-field wall, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead, B.J. circled the bases with no idea than Justin had already reached the 100-homer milestone.
"They told me when I got back to the dugout," he said. "We went 20-20 together (each of them notching at least 20 homers and 20 steals in a single season two different years), so to get 100 on the same day is pretty cool."
They become only the sixth set of brothers in major league history to each to hit at least 100 homers, joining Joe (361) and Vince (125) DiMaggio; Clete (162) and Ken (282) Boyer; Aaron (126) and Bret (252) Boone; Sandy (112) and Roberto (210) Alomar; and Irish (106) and Bob (156) Meusel.
Of course, none of the other five sets of brothers hit their 100th on the same night or in the same season for that matter.
"Anytime you can be in the same sentence with any of those guys, it's always an honor," B.J. added. "I'm glad I was in a position to be able to do that; Rickey Henderson was definitely one of the guys I looked up to growing up watching baseball. To even be mentioned with that caliber of players, especially with their track records, it's definitely a good thing."
Rays manager Joe Maddon offered his congratulations to the Upton family, including parents Manny and Yvonne, who often divide their time watching their sons (the only brothers in big-league history to be selected in the first and second spots in the draft Justin first in 2005, B.J. second in 2002).
"First of all congratulations to the family Upton, that's an incredible feat," he said. "I did not know until after that happened and then somebody did mention that Justin had already done that. Mom and Dad have to be really proud tonight. Brothers have to feel great about it, but just think about being the parents at that moment, that's pretty neat."
As for Justin, he told reporters in Philadelphia where the D-backs also won their game, 4-2 that getting to 100 first had been on his mind.
"It was mentioned after the last game," he remarked. "I definitely wanted to beat him to it."