Best Father-Son Combos of All-Time

John LewisSenior Writer IJuly 23, 2008

As Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds play out what appear to be their final years in baseball, I'm reminded of the all-time greatest father-son duos to ever suit up.

The obvious ones are the Bondses, Griffeys, and Mannings, but over time there have been many more than just three families to grace the record books.

Without further adieu, here's the list in order of greatness.


Bobby and Barry Bonds

Bobby Bonds was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 1964 and made his pro debut in 1968.  He would go on to hit more than 300 home runs and steal more than 400 bases.  Barry Bonds picked up where his father left off as a slugger with speed.

Barry would set numerous records, including the most coveted in all of sports by passing Hank Aaron, and is sitting at 762 home runs.  The seven-time National League MVP is just 65 hits shy of 3,000 and is four short of 2,000 RBI for his career.


Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Sr. was the epitome of hard work.  As a member of the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine in the 1970s, he was the table setter with great speed and defense.  He played 19 seasons in the big leagues and finished with a .296 batting average, .359 on-base average, and 200 steals.

Ken Jr., much like his father, had the speed and defense, but his sweet swing gave him much more power than his father.  If not for five injury-plagued seasons, Junior would more than likely be on the other side of 700 home runs.  Nonetheless, he's a Hall of Famer with 606 dingers, nearly 500 doubles, and 2,700 hits.


Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning

Sandwiched between Jim Plunkett and Dan Pastorini, Archie was drafted second overall in the 1971 draft by the New Orleans Saints.  The eldest Manning played 13 seasons compiling 23,911 career passing yards with 126 touchdowns.

Peyton was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.  He has certainly surpassed his father in every statistical category and is coming into his 11th season with 41,626 yards passing and 306 touchdowns. 

Eli, like his older brother, was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2004 draft by the San Diego Chargers and was promptly traded to the New York Giants.  Eli spent his first year learning the system and has started every game since 2005.  He is the QB of the defending Super Bowl champions.


Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

From his first race to his last, Dale Sr. won a total of 76 races, seven Winston Cup Championships, and 22 poles  Known for his aggressive driving, he finished in the top ten 428 times and is arguably one of the three best drivers in NASCAR history.

Dale Jr. hasn't had quite the career his father had but is certainly one of the most popular drivers in the sport.  He was the 1998 and 1999 Nationwide Driving Champion and finished third in the NASCAR points standings in 2003.  Currently he has 18 wins and eight poles.


Rick, Jon, Brent, Scooter, and Drew Barry

Rick Barry, by some, is considered the best small forward ever because of his ability to shoot, rebound, pass, and execute plays.  Rick amassed a total of 25,729 points, 6,863 rebounds, and 4,952 assists, and he won an NBA championship in 1975.  He's also a six-time All-NBA first team and eight-time All-Star member.

Jon was drafted 21st overall in 1992 by the Boston Celtics and played with eight NBA teams.  Jon played 14 seasons and scored 4,715 points with a career high nine points per game in 2001-2002 with the Detroit Pistons.    

Brent was drafted 15th overall by the Denver Nuggets in 1995 and has played with five NBA teams.  He will be best remembered for winning two NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs, making he and his father just the second father-son duo to win an NBA title.

Scooter played his college basketball at Kansas and was on the 1988 team that won the NCAA title.  After college he played in the CBA, France, Germany, and Spain.  He briefly played in the NBA Australian league.

Drew graduated as Georgia Tech's all-time leader in assists and after college played professionally with the Atlanta Hawks, Seattle SuperSonics, Golden State Warriors, and the CBA's Fort Wayne Fury.


Ken Norton Sr. and Ken Norton Jr.

Known as the Black Hercules or Jaw Breaker, Ken Sr. went on to win the NABF Heavyweight Championship in 1973 with a win over Muhammad Ali.  He broke Ali's jaw during the fight and won by a split decision.  Six months later the two fought again and Ali took the title back.  Ken Sr. compiled a 42-7-1 record.

Ken Jr. was drafted in the second round in 1988 by the Dallas Cowboys.  Ken Jr. would help the Cowboys win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993, then went on to play with the 49ers in 1994 and won another title.  That made him the first player to win three consecutive Super Bowls.  He is currently the linebackers coach at USC.


Ray, Bob, Bret, and Aaron Boone

Ray began his big league career with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 and helped them win a World Series that season.  He also was a two-time All-Star and the 1955 AL RBI champ.  Ray had four seasons with over 20 HRs, two seasons with over 100 RBI, and two seasons in which he batted over .300.

Bob made his major league debut in 1972 as a catcher with the Philadelphia Phillies and went on to play 19 seasons.  He set the all-time record for most games caught, with 2,225, that was later surpassed by Carlton Fisk.  Bob was a four-time all-star and won seven Gold Glove awards.

Bret made his major league debut in 1992 with the Seattle Mariners and played 14 seasons.  His best season came in 2001 when he had 37 HRs, 141 RBI, a .331 batting average, and scored 118 runs.  That year he finished third in the American League MVP voting.

Aaron will always be known for his walk-off home run against the Boston Red Sox in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS that sent the New York Yankees to the World Series.  Aaron currently plays for the Washington Nationals.  His best season came in 2003 when he hit 24 HRs and had 96 RBI.


Calvin and Grant Hill

Calvin is a 12-year NFL veteran who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns.  Calvin was a four-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro selection and ran for 6,083 yards and 42 touchdowns.

Grant decided to go in the opposite direction and play professional basketball, where he was the third overall pick in 1994 by the Detroit Pistons.  Grant was the 1995 Co-Rookie of the Year winner and is a seven-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection.  Grant has averaged nearly 20 points per game for his career.          


The honorable mentions were tough because there are so many great father-son tandems out there, but here goes nothin'.

Bobby and Brett Hull, Joe and Kobe Bryant, Howie and Chris Long, Henry and Mike Bibby, Bob and Brian Griese, Bill and Luke Walton, Gus and Buddy and David and Mike Bell, Mario and Michael and Jeff Andretti, Bruce and Brody Jenner, Yogi and Dale Berra, Cecil and Prince Fielder, Felipe and Moises Alou, Kellen and Kellen Winslow, Nolan and Reid and Reese Ryan, Walter and Jarrett Payton, Pete and Pete Rose, Mel and Mel and Todd Stottlemyre, Jim and Chris Perry, Lee and Richard and Kyle and Adam Petty, Darryl and D.J. Strawberry, Roger and Koby Clemens, Tony and Tony Gwynn, Dave and Chris and Shelley Duncan, Mike and Mike Dunleavy, Ozzie and Ozzie Virgil, Cal and Cal Ripken, AJ and AJ Foyt, Rocky and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dave and Don Shula, Marty and Brian and Kurt Schottenheimer.