50 Most Talented Families in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIJanuary 27, 2012

50 Most Talented Families in Sports

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    A talented athlete is a rare thing indeed. An improbable double helix programmed for strength, speed, dexterity, coordination, balance, fervor and mental acuity. 

    Perhaps this is why athletes are paid ungodly sums, and millions of people watch them play every week. 

    Yet even more uncommon than a truly talented athlete is a family of truly talented athletes.

    Or a dynasty of them.

    Esteemed readers, click on and marvel at these fifty flourishing pools of robust genes.

Honorable Mention: The Johnsons

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    Who are they? Peter Maivia (grandfather), Rocky Johnson (father), Dwayne Johnson, aka "The Rock" (son)

    Professional Wrestlers

    Of note:  Lia Maivia, Dwayne's maternal grandmother, was a pioneering wrestling promoter, and allegedly a good fighter herself. 

Honorable Mention: The Jennings

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    Who are they? Rachel, Tara, and Erin (fraternal triplets)

    College Field Hockey Stars

    Of note: The sisters all played for different schools: Rachel for Virginia, Tara for Duke, and Erin for Princeton.

    As of Fall 2011, Rachel was 8-0 in matches against her sisters.

Honorable Mention: Randy Moffitt and Billy Jean King

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    Who are they? Billie Jean King and Randy Moffitt (siblings)

    Billie Jean is a tennis legend.

    Randy is a former MLB pitcher.

    Of Note:  Bill Moffitt, the siblings father passed up an NBA tryout because he wanted a steady job to support his family.

Honorable Mention: The Reeds

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    Who are they? Cathy, Chris, and Allison (siblings)

    Olympic Ice Dancers

    Of Note: All three siblings are from the United States, but in the 2010 games Cathy and Chris competed for Japan, and Allison for the Republic of Georgia.

Honorable Mention: The Hansons

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    Who are they? Jack, Steve, and Jeff (siblings)

    Fictional characters from the cult hockey movie "Slapshot"

    Of Note: All three were played by real life NHL players.

    David Hanson, the actor who played Jack, has a son Christian who plays for the Washington Capitals.

Honorable Mention: The Hasselbecks

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    Who are they? Don (father), Matt (son) and Tim (son)

    NFL family

    Of note: Matt played for the Seahawks along with Lofa Tatupu, another second generation NFL player

Honorable Mention: The Phillips

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    Who are they? Bum (grandfather), Wade (father), Wes (son)

    Former NFL coaches (Wade is currently a defensive coordinator with the Texans, Wes is currently an assistant coach with the Cowboys)

    Of note: Their combined coaching/administrating career now spans more than 50 years

50. The Gasols

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    Who are they? Pau and Marc

    NBA players - Pau for the Lakers, Marc for the Grizzlies

    Of note: The brother swap–Marc was traded for Pau (among others) by the Lakers. 

49. The Harbaughs

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    Who are they? John and Jim (brothers)

    NFL Head coaches

    Of note: First brothers to serve as head coaches in the NFL

    If the 2011 season NFC and AFC Championship Games had both gone the other way, the brothers would have coached against each other in Super Bowl XLVI.

48. The Searles

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    Who are they? Jonny and Greg (brothers) 

    Olympic rowers - Gold medal at 1992 Games

    Of note: Greg has come out of retirement and hopes to medal again in this year's Games

47. The Ryans

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    Who are they? Buddy (father), Rex and Rob (sons/fraternal twins)

    Buddy is a former NFL head coach, Rex is a current NFL head coach, Rob is a current NFL defensive coordinator

    Of note: The twins coached against each other opening week of the 2011 season. Buddy attended the game despite battling cancer and having a surgery scheduled just days later.

    Rex's NY Jets beat out Rob's Cowboys 27-24.

46. The Jenkins

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    Who are they? Charles (father) and Chip (son)

    Gold medal winning Olympic sprinters

    Of note: In other sports endeavors, it is not uncommon to have a child follow in a parent's footsteps. But in track and field, it is very rare.

    Chip and Charles were the first parent-child Olympic track and field stars since decathlete Ross Hodge ('64 Games) and high jumper mother Alice Arden ('36 Games).

45. The Currys

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    Who are they? Dell (father), Sonya (mother), Stephen (son), Seth (son)

    Dell played for the NBA, Sonya was a volleyball star at Virgina Tech, Stephen is a current NBA superstar, Seth currently plays for Duke

    Of Note: Although both Dell and Sonya were big stars at Virgina Tech, Stephen was snubbed for a scholarship at the school.

44. The Staals

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    Who are they?  Eric, Marc, Jordan and Jared (brothers)

    NHL players--"The first family of hockey"

    Of note: There are so many Staals in the NHL that a Staal Brothers drinking game came about. See the rules here.

43. The Mikhailovs

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    Who are they? Biser (grandfather), Borislav (father), Nikolay (son)

    Bulgarian soccer players - all goal keepers

    Of note: When Nikolay was honored as 2011 Bulgarian Football Player of the Year, his father, the Bulgarian Football Union president, presented the award.

42. The Barbers

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    Who are they? Tiki and Ronde (identical twins)

    NFL stars

    Of note: A combined 8 Pro Bowl selections, 6 All Pro selections, 2 Super Bowl appearances, 1 Super Bowl win (Ronde with Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII)

    The twins starred in a funny Visa commercial that was later re-edited to include a reference to Ronde--and not Tiki--playing in the Super Bowl. 

    See both versions here.

41. The Coutures

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    Who are they? Randy (father) Ryan (son).

    MMA fighters.

    Of note: Not the first father/son MMA athletes, but, in the words of MMA writer Mike Chiappetta, "This is different. This is the son of MMA royalty."

40. Klitschkos

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    Who are they? Vitali and  Wladimir (brothers)

    Heavyweight boxers

    Of note: Vitali was named "Fighter of the Year" on January 19, 2012.

    The brothers have vowed never to fight each other.

39. The Sharpes

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    Who are they? Sterling and Shannon (brothers)

    Former NFL stars

    Of Note: First brothers to make the Pro Bowl in the same season.

38. The Schultzes

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    Who are they? David and Mark (brothers)

    Amateur wrestling champions

    Of note: Among their accolades they have a combined 2 Olympic gold medals, 3 World Championship gold medals, 3 World Championship silver medals and 2 World Championship bronze medals.

    Both David and Mark are members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

37. The Alomars

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    Who are they? Sandy Sr. (father), Sandy Jr. (son) and Roberto (son)

    MLB stars

    Of Note: Combined they played in 5,237 major league games and have 19 All-Star selections.

36. Nasrullah, Bold Ruler, Somethingroyal and Secretariat

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    Who are they? Nasrullah, (grand sire), Bold Ruler (sire), Somethingroyal (dam), Secretariat (foal)

    Elite Thoroughbred racehorses

    Of note: Bold Ruler lost the Belmont Stakes to a horse named Gallant Man in 1957. In that run, Gallant Man set the record, which held until Secretariat obliterated it in 1973.

35. The Charltons

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    Who are they? Jack and Bobby (brothers)

    Former pro soccer players

    Of note: The only two brothers ever to both play on a World Cup-winning team (England 1966).

34. The Harts

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    Who are they? Stu (father), Smith (son), Bruce (son), Keith (son), Dean (son), Bret (son), Owen (son), Davey Boy Smith (son-in-law of Stu), Natalie Neidhart (granddaughter of Stu)

    Professional wrestlers

    Of note: Stu Hart's eight sons all worked in the wrestling industry in some capacity. His four daughters all married wrestlers.

33. The Schlecks

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    Who are they? Johny (father) Fränk (son) and Andy (son)

    Pro cyclists

    Of note: The brothers came in second and third place in the 2011 Tour de France

32. The Bells

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    Who are they? Gus (grandfather), Buddy (father), David (son), Mike (son)

    MLB players

    Of note: First three-generation family to play for the same major league team (Gus, Buddy and Mike).

31. The Barrys

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    Who are they? Rick (father), Brent (son), Drew (son) and Jon (son)

    NBA players

    Of Note: The Barrys have played in more than 40 combined NBA seasons.

30. The Yaos ( 姚)

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    Who are they? Yao Zhiyuan (father), Fengdi Fang (mother), Yao Ming (son), Ye Li (Yao Ming's wife)

    Yao Zhiyuan, Fendi Fang, and Ye Li were professional basketball players in China.

    Yao Ming was an NBA superstar.

    Of Note: As Yao Ming was growing, Fengdi Fang had trouble getting enough food for him. She took to buying from street vendors as they were packing up for the night--and usually got a good deal. 

29. The Boones

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    Who are they? Ray (grandfather), Bob (father), Bret

    MLB players

    Of note: First third-generation family to play in the major leagues.

    The family can boast pioneer Daniel Boone as an ancestor.

28. The Winslows

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    Who are they? Kellen (father) Kellen, Jr. (son)

    NFL tight ends (former and current)

    Of note: The elder Kellen is a Hall-of-Famer and helped revolutionize the way tight ends are utilized in the pro passing attack today.

27. The Molinas

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    Who are they?  Bengie, José, and Yadier (brothers)

    MLB catchers

    Of note: Only trio of brothers in the major leagues to have each won a World Series ring

26. The Matthews

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    Who are they? Clay Sr. (grandfather), Clay Jr. (son), Bruce (son), Clay III (grandson)

    Of note: Despite three generations of star players and countless accolades, the family couldn't boast a Super Bowl ring among their possessions until Clay III played for the Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

25. The Hairstons

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    Who are they? Sam (father), Jerry Sr. and John (sons), Jerry Jr. and Scott (grandsons)

    MLB players

    Of note: The biggest major league baseball family in history.

24. The Colemans

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    Who are they? Joe (grandfather), Joe Jr., (father), Casey

    MLB pitchers

    Of note: First third-generation pitching family in the major leagues.

23. The Uptons

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    Who are they? Justin and B.J (brothers)

    MLB stars

    Of note: They are the two highest-drafted brothers ever in major league baseball.

22. The Trinidads

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    Who are they? Félix Sr. (father), Félix Jr. (son)

    Boxing champions

    Of note: Tito (Félix Jr.) is trained and managed by his father who was a featherweight champion in Puerto Rico in the 1970s.

21. The Bryants

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    Who are they? Joe (father), Kobe (son)

    Joe is a retired NBA player and WNBA coach, Kobe is an NBA superstar

    Of note: Joe just took on a new coaching gig with the Bangkok Cobras in Thailand.

20. The Bonds

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    Who are they? Bobby (father) and Barry (son)

    MLB Legends

    Of note: Between the two of them, they have 17 All-Star selections, 11 Golden Gloves, 1,094 career home runs, 975 stolen bases, and a ridiculous amount of other accolades.

19. The Bryans

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    Who are they? Bob and Mike (identical twins)

    Dominant Force in Doubles Tennis

    Of note: They are the winningest men’s doubles team of the Open era.

18. The Gronkowskis

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    Who are they? Dan, Chris, Rob (brothers)

    NFL players--Dan with the Browns, Chris with the Colts, Rob with the Patriots

    Of note: Great-grandfather Ignatius Gronkowski, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic cycling team in Paris.

    Another brother, Gordie, plays minor league baseball.

17. The Fielders

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    Who are they? Cecil (father) and Prince (son)

    MLB super sluggers

    Of note: In January of 2012, Prince shocked the MLB and his dad, by signing with the Detroit Tigers (dad's old team).

    They are the only father-son combo to both hit at least 50 home runs in a season.

16. The Mayweathers

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    Who are they? Floyd Sr., Roger and Jeff (brothers), Floyd Jr.

    Picture here is Floyd Jr. with Uncle Roger

    Boxing Champions

    Of Note: The 2 generations of fighters have a combined 89 career KOs.

15. The Millers

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    Who are they? Cheryl, Reggie, and Darrell (siblings)

    Cheryl and Reggie are basketball dynamos, Darrell played in the MLB.

    Of note: Reggie claims that his childhood one-on-one games against Cheryl were key in developing his trademark rainbow jump shot.

14. The Griffeys

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    Who are they? Ken Sr. (father) and Ken Jr. (son)

    Star MLB outfielders and sluggers

    Of note: Among the insane amount of  combined accolades this father-son pairing racked up are 16 All-Star selections and 782 career home runs.

13. The Dimaggios

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    Who are they? Vince, Joe and Dom (brothers)

    MLB center fielders

    Of note: 22 combined All-Star selections

    There were five brothers in all. The Dimaggio father hoped they would follow in the family trade and become fishermen.

    Instead, the patriarch had to settle for this (as put by New York Times): "[Joe Dimaggio] symbolized the [Yankees'] dynastic success across the 20th century and whose 56-game hitting streak in 1941 made him an instant and indelible American folk hero."

12. The Spinkses

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    Who are they? Leon and Michael (brothers), Leon Jr., Darrel, Cory (Leon's sons), Leon III (Leon's grandson)

    Boxing Dynasty

    Of note: What other family can count beating Ali and Holmes among their accomplishments?

11. The Robinsons

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    Who are they? Mack and Jackie

    Olympic sprinter and baseball star

    Of note: Mack won a silver medal in the 200m in the 1936 Olympics. He was just behind the legendary Jesse Owens.

    Jackie, of course, was the first player to break the color barrier in major league baseball.

    Jackie and Mack are honored with 2700 pound sculptures (pictured above) in front of Pasadena City Hall.

10. The Earnhardts

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    Who are they? Ralph (grandfather), Dale (father), Kerry (son), Dale Jr. (son and half-brother to Kerry), Jeffrey (grandson of Dale) 

    NASCAR dynasty

    Of note: Budweiser created an ad to honor the Earnhardts multi-generational successes.

    It begins: "Seems like ever since there's been a NASCAR, there's been an Earnhardt racing in it."

    Watch it here.

9. The Alis

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    Who are they? Muhammad (father) and Laila (daughter)

    Both were boxers, Muhammed was a legend, icon, and hero on top of that.

    Of note: When Laila met Jacqui Frazier-Lyde (Joe Frazier's daughter) in the ring in 2001, it was the fourth bout of a multi-generational grudge match. 

    Laila won making the tally 3 for the Alis and 1 for the Fraziers.

8. The Sutters

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    Who are they? Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich, and Ron (all brothers), Brandon (son of Brent), and Brett (son of Darryl)

    NHL players

    Of note: All but Rich and Brandon played for the Calgary Flames at one time.

    The original 6 brothers have 6 Stanley Cups between them.

    Additionally, Brent and Darryl both currently coach in the NHL, Duane is a scout for the Oilers, and Ron has an administrative role with the Flames.

7. The Howes

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    Who are they? Gordie (father), Marc (son), and Marty (son)

    NHL players

    Of note: Gordie Howe is often listed among the top 5 hockey players of all time with Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux and Hull.

6. The Ripkens

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    Who are they? Cal Sr. (father), Cal Jr. (son), Billy (son)

    MLB coach and players, the faces of the Baltimore Orioles

    Of note: Cal Sr. was the only father to have managed two sons in the major leagues simultaneously.

5. The Andrettis

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    Who are they? Mario (father), Michael, (son), Jeff (son), John (nephew), Marco (grandson).

    The family of auto racing.

    Of note: In 1991 they became the first family to have four members racing in the same series.

    Three generations of Andrettis have won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Award.

4. The Williams

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    Who are they? Serena and Venus (sisters)

    Tennis superstars

    Of note: On 1/19/12, Serena won her 500th career singles game.

    Venus, diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, is expecting to make a comeback in February.

3. The Hulls

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    Who are they? Bobby and Dennis (brothers), Brett (Bobby's son)

    NHL stars

    Of note: Bobby and Brett are the only father-son tandem to each score 600+ goals in the NHL.

2. The Gaits

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    Who are they? Gary and Paul (identical twins)

    Along with Jim Brown, the greatest lacrosse players in history.

    Of note: Stunned the sporting world with their "Air Gait" maneuver.

1. The Mannings

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    Who are they? Archie (father), Peyton (son), Eli (son)

    Divine Troika of NFL QBs

    Of note: Constant debate about which Manning son is better and why. It will probably go on for years.

    Have an opinion? Weigh in with your comments.


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