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Pena's Becoming First Family of Baseball

Tony Pena Senior was a 5 Time All-Star and now coaches with the Yankees Tony Pena Senior was a 5 Time All-Star and now coaches with the Yankees
Francisco Pena is in his first year with the Sand Gnats Francisco Pena is in his first year with the Sand Gnats
Tony Pena Junior is the starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals Tony Pena Junior is the starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals

In a very low, crouched position, like he's almost sitting, catcher Francisco Pena is set to receive the pitch.

It's the same stance he learned from his father Tony Pena, Sr. You could say, like father, like son.

"I saw my dad spread his legs when he was catching," explains Francisco Pena. "Ivan Rodriguez, Sandy Alomar, my dad, just like your the chief of the game. You're the one who takes care of the game. I wanna have more attention of the game and be just like my dad."

With four Gold Gloves and a 5 All-Star Game appearances, it's hard not to want to be like him. So it came as no surprise that both Francisco and his older brother Tony Jr. followed in their dad's footsteps.

"They grew watching baseball and when they weren't home they only thing they saw was baseball," said Tony Pena, Senior, now a coach for the Yankees.

"I was in the cages with Manny Ramirez," said Tony Pena Junior. " I remember seeing the work habit they had and just bring it out to the field."

"But my favorite player, with my dad, was Eddie Murray," laughs Francisco. "He used to play a lot with me, show me some stuff and I learned a lot about him."

The family affairs at the ballparks paved the way for TJ, who now is the starting shortstop with the Kansas City Royals.

In just his first season in the minors, Francisco hopes his highlights will one day end up on tv for everyone to see, including his dad.

"I want him to see me play, not only in person, I wanna him to see me like my brother on Sportscenter like every week," says Francisco.

But the young slugger knows he has a lot to prove before he makes it to that point.

"I have to work now to be like a player not being a baseball player's son," says Francisco. "Now I wanna be a player in the major leagues."

Unsure of what the future may hold, one things for certain.

"I'm a very, very proud papa," says Pena Senior.

Reported By: Tiffany Greene tgreene@wtoc.com

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