Jared and Josh Lansford, sons of former Oakland A's star Carney, find home with Ducks
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The 25-year-old photo still hangs on the refrigerator of Carney Lansford's Oregon home.
The picture captures the former Oakland A's third baseman running sprints with his young sons, Jared and Josh, on a workout day before a World Series game.
"They were in their cleats and their No. 4 A's outfits that said 'Lansford' on the back," Carney said. "It was just neat to be in that situation."
Jared, now 27, and Josh, 29, are the players now. They're pitchers for the Long Island Ducks, while former All-Star Carney, 57, who led the American League in batting in 1981, works part-time for Comcast doing pregame/postgame commentary for the A's. Carney splits his time between homes in Oregon and Arizona.
"He taught us most of what we learned,'' said Josh, a righthanded reliever. "Just how he conducted himself on the field. We picked up a lot of professional ways to play the game of baseball."
The brothers were able to hang around their dad in big-league clubhouses and even shagged fly balls for a Tony La Russa-led A's club that went to three consecutive World Series in 1988-90, winning it all in 1989.
They have been smitten with the game ever since.
"It'd be hard not to fall in love with it," Jared said. "I love the competition first and foremost, but also the camaraderie between the guys. If you were around it, there's no way you could really imagine doing anything else.''
Jared and Josh, who room together in Sayville, both joined the Ducks for the 2012 season at the recommendation of former teammate Jon Meloan. They have earned two rings in two years.
As of Wednesday, Jared was 3-3 with a 3.77 ERA, 21 walks and 50 strikeouts in 62 innings. Josh was 4-2 with a 3.46 ERA, four walks and 15 strikeouts in 26 innings. "They're quality kids on and off the field," Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. "They know how to act and be professional. They come with a winning attitude, they definitely put in their work and come out here and give it their all."
Jared was drafted as a starter in the second round by the A's in 2005. He never made it past Triple-A.
Josh, a sixth-round draft pick by the Cubs in 2006, made it as high as Double-A. He was moved from third base to the mound while with the Tennessee Smokies, Chicago's Double-A farm team.
"I was never going to beat out Aramis Ramirez to play third base," Josh said. "They thought I had the arm to pitch in the big leagues and we tried it."
Jared hopes to pique the interest of affiliated baseball teams and said the way to do that is by winning with the Ducks.
Carney, who said he hadn't heard of the Ducks until his sons signed with the team, is now a fan.
"I tell them all the time, once you decide to not play anymore, there's no going back," Carney said. "They're doing what they want to do. They still enjoy competing and they're doing well. I'm going to support them as long as they want to put the uniform on."