There is no competition more fierce than a battle between brothers.
Athletics rookie second baseman Zack Gelof and his brother, Jake, have been competing with one another for over 21 years.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports California's Kylen Mills, Gelof's parents, Adam and Kelly, discussed the two brothers' relationship and shared a story about the family's exciting summer, which featured huge career milestones for both of the Gelof brothers.
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The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jake, an infielder from the University of Virginia, with the No. 60 pick in the second round of the 2023 MLB Draft. Zack, who was tearing up Triple-A with the Las Vegas Aviators at the time, flew back east to his hometown of Rehoboth Beach, Del., to spend time with his family and support his brother.
"Because of the boys and the way they train in Florida, they don't get home to Delaware as much and any time any one of them are in Delaware it's kind of special," Adam said. "Zack was on all-star break from the minor leagues and he really wanted -- they're so close -- to be there for Jake to support him for the draft. So he had flown back from the west coast to be here and it was the Jake show."
There was plenty of buzz surrounding the younger Gelof brother in the local media, and the family's attention was on Jake -- even older brother Zack who, according to his parents, was obsessively checking his phone to see how the first round of the draft was playing out in the dugout before a minor-league game on July 9.
The following day after his brother was drafted on July 9, Zack flew out to Delaware to celebrate with his family. Zack then received some earth-shattering news of his own that, at least momentarily, took the shine away from Jake.
"It was definitely a comical moment," Adam recalled. "So we've had the Jake show, we're very excited for him, you go to your local Lids and we got all the Dodgers hats out, families and friends coming over and celebrating the draft. And we're in our sunroom and talking about it and Zack came down ...
"We were waiting for Zack because we were all going to be together because we were going to lunch and Zack's very timely, so it was five minutes before I had said it was time to be downstairs and it was weird he wasn't there," Kelly added. "He came running down and just had his shorts on, hair was a little bit a mess and he came in ...
"Kelly doesn't like saying this, he told Jake, 'S--k it, I just got called up!' Adam shared.
There's nothing quite like that brotherly competition.
Ever since his MLB debut on July 14, Zack has been a spark for the A's, batting .277/.346/.529 with 13 home runs, 29 RBI, and 13 stolen bases with an eye-popping 146 OPS+ in 62 games throughout the second half of the season while taking home the AL Rookie of the Month award in August.
Zack won the race to the major leagues, but his brother might not be far behind. Jake finished the 2023 MiLB season with the Dodgers' Single-A affiliate, and with a couple of good seasons could be on his way to joining his brother in the majors sooner rather than later.