You can't tell the Seaveys without a scorecard this week.
Just about every Seavey you've ever heard of is part of the 29th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, so it's not hard to figure out where to look for one.
There's Mitch. There's Dan. There's Danny. And for a brief, shining moment, there was Tyrell, too. Alaskans call their favorite mushers by their first names, but that's the only way to talk about the mushing Seaveys without getting dizzy.
This is the first time in Iditarod history one family is represented by three generations in a single race. Dan, 63, is Danny's grandfather and Mitch's father. Mitch, 41, is the father of Danny, 18, and Tyrell, 16. Tyrell is not in the race, but as the Junior Iditarod champ, he earned the right to lead the horde from the starting line on Fourth Avenue in Anchorage Saturday. Call it a cameo. The other three get the full 1,100 miles of trail to Nome to play.
This is unique -- a first-of-a-kind Iditarod clan gathering.
Racing the Iditarod is special enough. Putting most of the family out there simultaneously is not only a humongous undertaking, it's a complicated achievement. Just getting to the starting line is no easy feat. It should be remembered that of the 88 mushers who originally signed up for the 2001 race, only 68 started.
If anyone understands that no journey on the Iditarod trail should be taken for granted, it's Dan Seavey. He was around at the creation, placing third in the inaugural Iditarod in 1973. After taking fifth in 1974, he didn't race again until 1997, the race's 25th anniversary.
"I thought that would be it," said Dan. "I have an eye for history. I ran the first race because I knew there would never be another first and I ran the 25th. I'm proud of my son and particularly my grandson. The tradition goes on. It's another historic first."
Mushing runs in the family, and it seems a natural now for the trio to embark on the same goal of reaching Nome, but the genesis for this trip actually dates back about a decade.
When Danny was about 8, he asked his grandfather, "Wouldn't it be fun for three of us to race the Iditarod together some day?" Kids say the darnedest things.
A year ago, as Danny approached the minimum Iditarod age, he asked grandpa if he recalled the question. He didn't, but the idea sounded pretty cool, and here they are.
"We've been planning it since the end of the last Iditarod," said Dan, who is from Seward, where the other generations grew up before moving to Sterling. "As long as I was capable of hobbling up to the sled."
Dan just wants to make it to Nome in reasonable style one more time, which pretty much describes Danny's approach. Danny, who is thinking of moving to a warm-weather climate for a while, is very happy the three-team Seavey push is reaching fruition.
"We're finally there," he said. "It's been a goal as long as I remember. It's been forever in my life. I'm excited but nervous. I'm looking forward to it very much. All of the time I put into it, I'd better have fun."
Danny is racing the kennel's yearlings. In other words, the junior varsity dogs.
"My dad got first pick," he said.
When Danny says mushing has been part of his life forever, he's not exaggerating. Mitch made his debut in the Iditarod in 1992, placing 22nd within two months of Danny's birth. After a long break, Mitch returned to the race in 1995 and has emerged as a regular in the money with six top-20 finishes.
"This is quite a moment here for us," said Mitch.
It may be a kick to be a member of the threesome that is authoring history, but for Mitch the race itself carries different expectations. He's the family member who's supposed to do well. He's in the Iditarod to win.
"I've got the competitive pressure," said Mitch.
Looking at life from both sides now, this harmonic Seavey convergence has made Mitch reflective. He remembers his own father's Iditarod racing. He's got Danny on the trail with him at the same time. He remembers taking 2-year-old Danny mushing by strapping him into a car seat on the sled. A good passenger, Danny would fall asleep.
"And now he's on his way to run the Iditarod," said Mitch. "I'm really proud of my dad, too. He's a good dog musher, and he's kept himself fit. We're here en masse now."
Tyrell forced himself into the picture with his Junior Iditarod performance Feb. 25 -- something he noted the Seaveys couldn't count on. But it was also something preparatory to running the Iditarod himself.
"When I'm 18, I'll be doing the same thing my brother is," said Tyrell.
The real question is whether that will provoke gramps to rev it up for still one more ride to Nome. Dan laughed at the suggestion.
"I'm not gonna make any commitments beyond this one," he said.
Who knows? Maybe there will be a four-Seavey Iditarod.
This column is the opinion of Daily News sports editor Lew Freedman. He can be reached at email@example.com.