It’s rare to see siblings play on the same team let alone be in the same room without there being some kind of feud between the two. There are a number of arguments that could happen such as who’s better than the other in terms of personality, academics or talent.
But that’s not Joe and Scott McClennan.
The McClennan brothers sure may have their occasional sibling rivalry. But instead of falling trap to what is seen as normal to fight one’s brother in public opinion, they stay close by knowing who the other is as teammates on the field and as brothers off the field.
“It’s really tough to see [and] observe,” said Manhattan’s head coach Jim Duffy. “[But] if you were an outsider watching, you wouldn’t even know they’re brothers.”
The only time in their lives when they didn’t play baseball together was in Joe McClennan’s senior year at Cornwall Central High School and the Scott McClennan’s freshman year at Manhattan. But that didn’t stop them from continuing to play together.
The Joe McClennan said he didn’t have many options coming out of high school because he wasn’t highly recruited. Manhattan was just one of the two schools he was looking at.
He chose Manhattan in the end because he said it’s nice knowing his brother is there and as brothers and teammates, they know they can have each other’s back.
“It comes from their family, their parents in terms of being close,” Tom Fanning, Cornwall Central High School head coach, said. “They spend a lot of time together. Their grandparents go to the game. They’re a very close family to start.”
Scott McClennan was a pitcher from day one and Joe McClennan was a hitter playing as catcher before he was moved over to third base in middle school.
The elder has been sidelined since he went down last year with a blood clot in his right arm found following an April 7, 2013, 2-0 shutout of Marist College when his arm swelled up and turned purple. The clot and a rib were removed.
This year he tore up his left knee on the first day of practice. He later underwent micro fracture knee surgery, which will keep him out the entire 2014 season.
He will return to the pitcher’s mound next season while working toward his masters in finance.
The McClennans have worked together every day since the time when they practiced with their parents in the backyard. When the elder McClennan is pitching and the younger is fielding, they are on the same page every single pitch of the game.
They both know what they each are doing. They both major in finance even so the elder brother helps the younger being one year ahead.
“We are with each other 24/7,” Scott McClennan said.
When they arrive home from practice they are as close as any relationship can be. They said they never fight, get along well and don’t mind one another.
The only time they face each other is in the fall when Manhattan does intra-squad scrimmages: the elder McClennan is on the mound and the younger is at home plate. The younger said it’s pretty much been an even match-up the last couple of years.
“The only problem we would have is we compete for the same thing,” Joe McClennan said. “Life is good for the McClennan brothers.”