BALTIMORE – The Harbaugh family paid the A’s another visit Sunday.
After former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh visited during Oakland’s spring camp and even coached first base in a Cactus League game, his older brother John Harbaugh (the Baltimore Ravens coach) dropped into the clubhouse and brought their father, Jack, with him.
A’s manager Bob Melvin has a connection going way back with the Harbaugh family, having played in the same American Legion program as Jim while growing up together in the South Bay.
Sunday’s morning chat was the first time Melvin got to meet John Harbaugh, but he’s known Jack for a long time. Melvin broke into a smile when asked if John and his younger brother Jim have similar personalities.
“There are some, but it seems like Jack kind of has both of what the two sons are. He’s probably in the middle,” Melvin said. “I think John is known to be a little more reserved than Jim, but I don’t know that the fire’s not the same inside.”
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Though Jim Harbaugh made a whole day of visiting the A’s back in March, eventually sending the team a University of Michigan helmet (where he’s now coaching), word was John couldn’t stay for the A’s-Orioles game. He had to get back to Ravens camp for meetings.
But he got a chance to chat with pitching coach Curt Young and pitcher Kendall Graveman, while Jack Harbaugh talked with infielder Brett Lawrie, who’s always up for a lengthy conversation.
Melvin said he enjoyed another chance to talk to a coach from another sport. He’s chatted on the field with former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, Cal football coach Sonny Dykes and Cal men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, among others.
“We talk about similarities, differences, kinda what you’re dealing with. How you deal with players,” Melvin said. “He was commenting on how it’s more of a relaxed locker room here on game day for us, because we play so many. Whereas game day for them (in the NFL) is very intense. It’s a different dynamic. And it’s always nice to bounce things off of each other.”