**********Former Greensboro Grasshopper Austin Nola to face his brother Aaron Nola in today’s NLCS Game Two**********
Oh brother! Nola bros set for sibling showdown
SAN DIEGO — It was around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when Stacie and A.J. Nola came to a bittersweet realization while winding down from the thrill of watching their sons Aaron and Austin advance to the National League Championship Series.
“One of our boys is going to be playing for a World Series championship.”
“Oh my God. Well, one of them is going to lose.”
Austin, 32, the primary catcher for the Padres, and Aaron, 29, a starting pitcher for the Phillies, will become just the sixth pair of brothers to face off in a postseason series. Aaron is slated to pitch Game 2 on Wednesday at Petco Park, with Philadelphia holding a 1-0 lead in the series after a 2-0 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday.
“We were asking Austin that on the way home [on Sunday afternoon], and he says, ‘I want to see my little brother pitch in the World Series, because that would mean the world to me if I saw him pitch,'” A.J. told MLB.com. “Then he goes, ‘But wait a minute: I want to play in the World Series!’”
Since they were kids in Baton Rouge, La., the Nola brothers have had a typical sibling rivalry. In true brotherly fashion, Aaron always tried to play in the yard with Austin and his friends, but the older boys would exclude him.
“Never let me win at anything,” Aaron said. “I didn’t win in many things, no matter what we did or what we played, what sport it was. I didn’t win. It took me a while. So I think that gave me that competitive edge. Growing up, I always wanted to be as good as him, and I went to almost every one of his baseball games, basketball games, football games. When he went to high school, I also watched almost every one of those. And then in college at LSU before we played with each other, I went to almost every one of his home games, too. I got to see how he went about his business and played the game, and [I] learned a lot from him.”
Until last August at Petco Park, the brothers had only faced off on the diamond once before. During fall practice in 2011, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri decided to put them on opposite teams for a scrimmage. After Austin knocked a booming double off the left-center-field wall against his baby brother, Mainieri called for a hit-and-run play Austin’s next time up. He was retired on a weak grounder.
“He came back to the dugout and he goes, ‘Why did you put a hit and run on for?'” Mainieri recalled. “‘I didn’t want to hurt your brother’s confidence, so I needed you to make an out.’ But I don’t think that’ll be the case this Wednesday when they face each other. I’m sure that Austin will be trying to get as many hits as he can, and Aaron will be trying to get him out. But that was the only time I had them play against each other. After that, every time Aaron pitched, I had Austin play shortstop behind him. And it was really a very moving thing emotionally for me and his parents and people that knew the Nola family to see the two of them playing together.”
++++++++++From GreensboroSports.com, back in the day:++++++++++
Notes on Nola:Greensboro Grasshoppers’ Austin Nola
Andy Durham | July 18, 2012
Just a few interesting notes on Austin Nola(SS) for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, in from the June MLB Draft and he saw his old Cape Cod League teammate from the Summer of 2010, at the game on Monday night….Greensboro’s Clint Moore(Grimsley HS) was at the game(at NewBridge Bank Park) and Clint was with the San Diego Padres Class A Eugene, Oregeon Emeralds last summer and now he is completing his military service to his country, after graduating from the United States Military Academy, at West Point, New York….Good to hear that Clint Moore was back in town…..
Austin Nola’s college teammate was Tyler Hanover from North Davidson High School and someone asked me the other day, “how does a kid from a Davidson County high school, end up in college down in Louisiana?”……Had to be the college showcases and the Wooden Bat Tournaments down in East Cobb, Georgia……Hanover also played in the Cape Cod League if memory serves me correctly…..
More interesting connections for the Hoppers Autin Nola(LSU)…..His college coach, Paul Mainieri, will throw out the first pitch and they will give away the ‘Paul Mainieri Bobblehead’, at the New Orleans Zephyrs game on Saturday night….New Orleans is the Triple A farm team for the Miami Marlins and Greensboro is the Low Class A team for Miami…..Nola’s coach will be honored at possibly his future team’s game on Saturday….
And if Nola ends up in New Orleans in a couple of years and who knows, he might go to Double A Jacksonville and bypass New Orleans altogether and then go right on down to Miami….But you just never know how it will work out and if he ends up in New Orleans, he will be one of the few players that we have seen over the years, to not only have his name on the back of his uniform, but he would have it on the front too…..New Orleans has those uniforms that show NOLA, as in New Orleans Louisiana, on the front of the top/jersey….
How many times have you seen a player have his name, first or last, across the front of his jersey???….This could happen and we will have to wait and see and it will be interesting for Austin Nola along the way and he has quite a few connections working already………