Ranking the Best Father & Son Duos in Sports

Ranking the Best Father & Son Duos in Sports

Barry Devoe
2 years ago
3 min read
Reds right fielder Ken Griffey Jr against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the home opener at Chase Field

One of the great things about sports is how it can unite fathers and sons. Most of the time, it’s simply by the two of you watching a game on TV or in person. Yet there are some fathers and sons who connected by playing the same sport, some of whom took it all the way to the professional level.

This Father’s Day, let’s reflect back on the best father and son duos that we’ve ever seen in sports.

5. Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Jr.

At the rate things are going, there’s a chance we’ll have two Vladimir Guerreros occupying a spot in Cooperstown one day.

The elder Guerrero finished his 16-year career with an MVP, eight Silver Slugger Awards, and nine All-Star nods. His productive career led to a Hall of Fame induction in 2018. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Junior already has an All-Star and Silver Slugger under his belt, and a runner-up MVP finish.

Vlad Sr. and Jr. made waves this week after the Blue Jays star reached 87 home runs and a .363 OBP through 403 career games. Those stats are identical to his father, who had the exact same on-base percentage and number of homers through his first 403 games.

4. Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr.

With respect to other father-son combos like Bobby and Barry Bonds along with the Boones, Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. is the most famous father-son duo in baseball history.

Junior is one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen on a baseball field. The Kid slugged 630 home runs and was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove recipient, and seven-time Silver Slugger. But before him, Griffey Sr. had a productive 19-year career with three All-Star appearances and two World Series titles with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Griffeys earned their place in history by becoming the first father-son duo to play for the same team at the same time. Better yet, the pair hit memorable back-to-back home runs on September 14, 1990, a feat that no one has ever matched to this day.

3. Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr.

The racing world has seen several families build long-lasting legacies like the Andrettis and Pettys. But the Earnardts — Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. — are the best father and son combo the track has ever seen.

Known as “The Intimidator,” the elder Earnhardt is one of the greatest racers in NASCAR history. To this day, he is the only driver to have seven championships under a single points system and the only driver with wins in four separate decades. Meanwhile, Dale Jr. was immensely popular in his career, which was highlighted by 26 Cup Series victories.

The world was deprived of seeing these two race more together after Dale Sr.’s tragic death during the 2001 Daytona 500. But the two drivers are easily one of the sports’ most decorated father-son duos.

2. Bobby Hull and Brett Hull

Like baseball and racing, hockey has seen its fair share of families. Yet as far as dads and sons are concerned, the Hulls are the golf standard.

During a long career spent primarily with the Chicago Blackhawks, Bobby Hull registered 604 career goals, led the league eight times in goals, and won two Hart Trophies. Seven years after Dad hung them up, Brett began a career that finished with 741 goals, one Hart Trophy, and a pair of Stanley Cup victories.

As you can expect, both Bobby and Brett and forever immortalized in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Not only that, but they remain the only father-son duo to reach 600 goals and 1,000 career points a piece.

1. Archie and Peyton Manning (and Eli Manning)

It might be cheating to have what’s widely considered a trio top this list. But ask the majority of sports fans to think of father-son duos in sports, and the Mannings will come to mind more often than not.

While he never had the wins to make him an all-time great, Archie Manning was one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in the 1970s and early 80s. The elder Manning made two Pro Bowls and was named Sporting News Player of the Year in 1978. And we all know Peyton, who finished his illustrious Hall of Fame career with seven All-Pro nods, five MVPs, and two Super Bowl rings.

Those two alone would be worthy of being the number one father-son duo. Factor in Eli’s great career that also features two Super Bowls, and no one can beat the Mannings.

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