In the Major Leagues, Playing for the Miami Marlins
Rarely in Major League Baseball history have two brothers played in the big leagues at the same time. You can now add the Heineman brothers, Tyler and Scott, to that short list.
As reported earlier this summer on Circling the News, younger brother Scott was called up from Triple A Nashville to play outfield and first base for the Texas Rangers. His parents made it the ballpark just in time to watch Scott single in his second Major League at-bat on August 2.
Meanwhile, in an August 28 article in the Miami Herald (“Jeter Talks ‘Frustrating’ Marlins Season and What He Expects Out of the Final Month”), CEO Derek Jeter said that a third catcher–either Wilkin Castillo or Tyler Heineman–and a few pitchers from Triple A New Orleans would get a chance to play for the Marlins.
Yesterday (September 2), Heineman’s mother Kathy Lingg was at her home in Pacific Palisades with Tyler’s wife, Liz, when they learned that he had been called up and would join the Marlins in Pittsburgh for a series starting tonight.
It’s been an “awesome month,” Lingg said.
The three quickly made plans to fly east, hoping that Tyler will indeed get a chance to play in this series.
Tyler Heineman, 28, who was a standout catcher at UCLA and was drafted in the eighth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, was traded at the beginning of June from the Reno Aces, an Arizona Diamondbacks farm team, to the Marlins because there were four catchers on the active roster. A switch-hitter, Heineman batted .325 with three homers and 13 RBI’s in 25 games with the Aces.
Playing for the Marlins’ New Orleans Baby Cakes (his eighth minor league team), Heineman batted .344 with 10 homers in 48 games.
A lot of people who don’t follow baseball happen to follow Heineman because he also does card tricks. When he performed these tricks for his teammates in March, it went viral (visit: YouTube Tyler Heineman to see his tricks).
This hobby began in 2015, when Tyler played winter ball in the Dominican Republic and started learning card tricks in his spare time. “I always liked it when someone would do it [card tricks] and I just found it fascinating,” he said in a 2019 Tahoe Onstage story (“Arizona Deals Master of Cards Tyler Heineman to Miami”). “But I didn’t really start until I played in the Dominican Republic, which helped me learn some Spanish along the way.”
Tyler also had an unusual route to the major leagues: He played goalie in ice hockey until about high school (at Windward) and then switched to baseball as his sport because he no longer wanted to get up for the 6 a.m. hockey practices.
Tyler’s brother Scott, 26, who played at Oregon and was drafted in the 11th round in 2015, was hitting .171 (6 singles in 35 at bats) for the Rangers through Labor Day. His team is playing the Yankees tonight.
Last year in the off-season, the Heineman brothers helped another former Palisades athlete, Wade Clement, raise money for Team Prime, which allows special needs kids to play high school sports, coached by their peers.