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The greatest father-son duos in sports

Profile Picture: Cam Tucker

June 19th, 2020

Like father, like son. 

The gift of elite athletic ability can be passed down from one generation to the next, and with Father’s Day on Sunday, here is a look at some of the great father-son duos in sports. 

Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Sr. played 19 seasons of Major League Baseball from 1973 to 1991, and finished with a career batting average of .296 and 152 home runs. 

He began his career with the Cincinnati Reds before eventually ending with the Seattle Mariners, and more importantly, alongside his son, Ken Griffey Jr., who was at the time transforming into one of the greatest baseball players of his generation. 

Ken Griffey Jr. would become an elite center fielder for the Mariners – a star in the outfield but also armed with maybe the sweetest swing in baseball. It enabled him to launch the ball into the air before he stood up tall at the completion of the swing to admire his shot over the outfield stands. 

Ken Griffey Jr. hit 630 career home runs, and led the league in dingers in 1997 and 1998, hitting 56 home runs in each those seasons. 

Dell Curry and Stephen Curry

Dell Curry entered the NBA in 1986 after being drafted 15th overall by the Utah Jazz. It was as a member of the Charlotte Hornets that he made his mark in the NBA, draining 929 three-point shots and more than 3,900 field goals in 10 years with that franchise. 

He also had stops along the way in Toronto, Cleveland, and Milwaukee as part of career that spanned 16 seasons and 1,083 games. 

It seems the foundation was set for his son, Stephen Curry, to become an even better shooter from beyond the arc. Stephen Curry led the NBA in three-pointers made between 2012 to 2017, including 402 shots made from downtown in the 2015-16 season. 

With Curry leading the way, the Warriors made five straight appearances in the NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, winning the championship three times. The run of competing for the NBA title will come to an end in 2020, with the Warriors eliminated from the playoffs, and questions remaining about if, or when, the NBA will officially be able to return to game action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Still, making it to five straight NBA Finals is a remarkable achievement for Stephen Curry – one that his father is no doubt very proud of knowing the competitive nature of the league. 

Archie Manning and Peyton Manning and Eli Manning

Archie Manning played 11 seasons as quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice. 

The Manning family has become the power family of football, with Archie’s sons, Peyton and Eli Manning, joining the NFL in 1998 and 2004, respectively. Peyton and Eli have each won two Super Bowls. 

Peyton, the eldest son, has won the NFL MVP a record five times while Eli is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, winning his first in 2008 as the underdog New York Giants halted the New England Patriots’ bid for a perfect season in the championship game. 

All three Manning quarterbacks have combined to complete 13,031 passes in the NFL for 152,874 yards. That equivalent to 86.8 miles. 

Bobby Hull and Brett Hull

One of hockey’s great father and son duos, Bobby and Brett Hull combined to score more than 1,300 goals in their illustrious NHL careers. In fact, they are the only father-son duo to score 50 goals or more in a single season, and more than 600 goals in the league. 

Bobby Hull played just over 1,000 games in the NHL, scoring 610 goals and 1,170 points, and won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1961. He also enjoyed a successful seven-year stint with the Winnipeg Jets in the World Hockey Association. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984. 

Brett Hull, a two-time Stanley Cup champion who scored 741 goals during his career of 1,269 NHL games, was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The father-son duo of Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. combined for 102 NASCAR Winston Cup / Cup Series wins, earning both of them a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 

The legendary Earnhardt, who won 76 races between 1975 and 2001 while earning such nicknames as "The Intimidator" and "Mr. Restrictor Plate" for his hell-or-high water driving style, was posthumously inducted as part of the inaugural class in 2010, nine years after his sudden and tragic passing at the end of the 2001 Daytona 500. 

His son was recently selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame just this week – an honor Earnhardt Jr. receives after winning 26 races throughout his career, including an emotional win at Daytona later in the 2001 season at the age of 26. 

Both father and son are winners at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway – home to the two largest events in NASCAR. Earnhardt’s last win in 2000 was at Talladega, when he came back from 17th place with four laps remaining to win, overtaking a long list of drivers, including his son, in dramatic fashion.