Former Longhorn reunites with brother in big leagues

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Former Texas outfielder Jordan Danks (15) leaps for a ball during the 2007 season. Danks is hitting .333 with the White Sox in 2012. (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Jason Sweeten | Daily Texan Staff

The next time John and Jordan Danks take the field together, it will be the first time they’ve done so since the 2003 5A state title game.

Once high school teammates, the Danks brothers are now in the same clubhouse once again, this time with the Chicago White Sox. Not including a handful of spring training games over the last few years, they have not played together since their Round Rock team’s 5-4 loss to Fort Bend Elkins in the state championship game nearly a decade ago.

Because of John undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery earlier this year, he and his little brother will not have the opportunity to play together in a meaningful game until next April.

“You have to catch yourself not taking it for granted,” John Danks said. “It’s rare to not only have two brothers in the big leagues but to have them playing on the same team. I have fun with it. I wish I was active and actually pitching while he was out there. Hopefully next year we can actually be in the same game together.”

John signed with the Texas Rangers, who took him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft, while his younger brother went on to play three seasons with the Longhorns. In 161 career games at Texas, Jordan batted .324 with 13 home runs and 105 RBIs while drawing nearly as many walks (117) as the number of times he struck out (122).

“It’s funny because we still haven’t actually been able to play together yet because of his injury,” Jordan Danks said. “I know it’s killing him to not get out there.”

In his first year in the big leagues, Jordan is hitting .333 with five RBIs and five runs scored in 20 games. Before being shut down for the season last week, John Danks was 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts. He had three straight 10-win seasons from 2008 to 2010 before going 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA as the White Sox Opening Day starter last season.

Jordan is one of several former Longhorns playing in the big leagues, joining a group that includes Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, Padres All-Star closer Huston Street and Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs. They are just a few of the many top-notch prospects that Longhorns head coach Augie Garrido signs every year.

“He does have the resources to bring in anyone he feels like he can get but the draft is also a threat,” Jordan Danks said. “He definitely signs really good players, like my brother, for example, he signed withTexas and ended up going pro. It’s hard signing the top players in the state and country that go in the draft and wonder what they’re going to do.”

Jordan is also part of the fourth pair of brothers to play together in White Sox history. But baseball is a business, and there is the chance that they’ll face each other someday.

“I don’t know what Mom would do,” John said of his mother, Renee.

What would happen if John hit Jordan?

“I’d probably charge the mound,” Jordan said.

Thankfully, for now, they don’t have to worry about that.