The 50 greatest sports families in the history of organized athletics.
- The Mannings (Archie, Peyton and Eli) In the world of sports, the quarterback is king. In the world of quarterbacks, the Mannings reign supreme. When you’re a #2 pick, and #3 in your own family in terms of draft selection, you know you’re dealing with one hell of a gene pool. Bear Bryant once called Archie the best college quarterback he’d ever seen, a patron saint at Ole Miss and an all-time Saint in Louisiana. Not bad pops, but where’s the ring? Peyton and Eli are each Super Bowl MVPs, the former one of the top three or four players to every throw the pigskin. Love ’em or hate’ em, there’s just no arguing with success.
- The Hulls (Bobby, Dennis and Brett) The Golden Jet, Silver Jet, and Golden Brett. Only 18 players in the history of the NHL have scored more than 600 goals over the span of a career. Only 16 of those are not name Hull. Bobby and his son Brett were hockey royalty in their days, with slapshot prowess that is nearly unparalleled to this day. Silver Jet Dennis would never land a spot in the Hall like his brother and nephew, but 303 career goals and five All-Star nods ain’t too shabby either.
- The Williams (Serena and Venus) Serena and Venus have amassed a ridiculous 48 combined Grand Slams, a number that would no doubt be even higher were they not having to constantly face off against one another (they have met in 8 Slam finals, including 4 straight). Both rising to the rank of #1 over the past decade, the Williams sisters are in a league of their own when it comes to women’s tennis in the 21st century.
- The Gracies (Helio, Carlos, Royce, Rorion, Rickson, Rolls,….) The Gracies aren’t just a great sports family, they’re a certifiable dynasty. Brothers Helio and Carlos are regarded to be the creators of modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and on top of imparting this revolutionary martial arts style to the world, their tutelage created a virtual army of fighting Gracies. Carlos’ offspring alone included 13 children who rose to the rank of black belt. Among Helio’s numerous sons were the acclaimed Rickson, Relson, Royler, Royce, and Rorion. Rorion co-founded UFC and Royce helped bring it to the masses, winning three out of the first four UFC tournaments to go down as one of the most influential and dominant fighters in MMA history. All in all over 60 Gracies have achieved prominence in the field of mixed martial arts.
- The Sutters (Brian, Daryl, Duane, Rich, Ron, Brent, Brandon, and Brett) The six Sutter brothers played over 5000 combined games and captured six Stanley Cups throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Brent’s son Brandon and Daryl’s son Brett are currently members of the Carolina Hurricanes.
- The Howes (Gordie, Mark, Marty, and Vic) Nicknamed Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe is of course regarded as one of the greatest hockey players to ever pick up a stick. However, his son Mark resides with him in the Hall, a prolific two-way defenseman who spent 16 years with the Whalers, Flyers, and Red Wings. Gordie’s other son Marty and brother Vic also had significant careers in professional hockey.
- The Richards (Maurice and Henri) The first player to ever reach 500 goals, Maurice “Rocket” Richard was the heart of the Canadiens dynasty of the 40’s and 50’s, winning 8 Stanley Cups in that span. Henri “Pocket Rocket,” 15 years Maurice’s junior, would eventually join his brother in the Hall after 20 years of service to Montreal.
- The Dimaggios (Joe, Dom, and Vince) Joltin Joe’s 56-game hit streak may be one of the most celebrated records in all of sports, but not many know that little brother Dom had a nifty little streak of his own, 34 games in 1949, which remains a Red Sox record. Along with Vince, the three brothers combined for 22 All-Star appearances over 34 years of service.
- The Waners (Paul and Lloyd) Nicknamed “Big and Little Poison,” the Waner brothers patrolled the Pirates’ outfield during much of the 20’s and 30’s. Paul would collect over 3,100 hits despite playing many of his games hungover. According to Casey Stengel, “he had to be a very graceful player, because he could slide without breaking the bottle on his hip.” Both Waners would wind up in the Hall of Fame, boasting the most combined career hits by brothers with 5,611.
- The Espositos (Phil and Tony) A ten-time All-Star, Phil was one of the best centers to ever play the game, winning two Stanley Cups with the Bruins before retiring with 717 goals. Tony was a long time Blackhawk who revolutionized the goalie position with his development of the butterfly style, joining his brother in the Hall of Fame in 1988.
- The Sharpes (Shannon and Sterling) Sterling was a 6-time All-Pro wideout who brought in 65 touchdowns before a neck injury cut his career short, only two years before his Packers won the title in ’96. Luckily for him, his brother Shannon bequeathed his first of three rings to his big bro. Shannon would go on to appear in 8 Pro Bowls and become the era’s greatest tight end outside of Tony Gonzalez
- The Matthews (Clay Sr, Bruce, Clay Jr, Clay III, Kevin, Jake and Casey) Stay with me here because running down the exploits of the Matthews clan is enough to make your head spin. While Bruce might be the greatest offensive lineman of all-time, his brother Clay Jr was a four-time Pro-Bowler who played linebacker into his forties. Clay Jr’s son Clay III is a defensive force for the Packers who has the potential to join his uncle in the Hall, while his other son Casey was an Oregon linebacker who you might remember forced a key fourth quarter fumble in the national championship game against Auburn and was just signed as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles. Bruce’s son Jake is promising offensive tackle at Texas A&M and his other son Kevin is a young center for the Tennessee Titans. And of course there’s Clay Sr, patriarch of the Matthews clan, who played four seasons for the Niners in the early fifties.
- The Barrys (Rick and sons Scooter, John, Brent, and Drew) NBA legend Rick Barry had four sons who all ascended to the ranks of professional basketball.
- The Klitschkos (Wladamir and Vitali) When it comes to the heavyweight division nowadays, there are the Klitschko brothers, and then there’s everyone else. The Ukranian man-beasts are positively unrivaled over the last generation, combining for a record of 104-5 with 88 knockouts. Vitali is the current WBC heavyweight champion, while Wlad holds the WBA Super, IBF, WBO Super, and IBO crowns.
- The Alous/Rojas (Felipe, Matty, Jesus, Moises, Mel Rojas, and Mel Rojas Jr) Brothers Felipe, Matty, and Jesus combined to form the first and only all-brother outfield for the mid-60’s Giants. A generation later, Felipe’s son Moises would outdo them all en route to six All-Star appearances and two Silver Slugger awards. Even Felipe’s nephew Mel had a solid decade-long pitching career that spanned the 1990’s and Mel Jr is carrying the family into a third generation with his recent selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2010 draft.
- The Deans (Dizzy and Paul) In 1934, Dizzy famously proclaimed “Me an’ Paul are gunna win 45 games.” They would win 49, with Dizzy contributing a mind-boggling 30. That same year, the duo would go on to win two games apiece in the World Series for the Cardinals’ “Gashouse Gang”, combining for 28 strikeouts and a 1.43 ERA to overtake the Tigers in seven. Sadly, both brothers had their careers cut short by injury, but though Dizzy had only four healthy years in the Show, his overwhelming dominance was enough to get a ticket to the Hall in 1953.
- The Millers (Reggie, Cheryl, and Darrell) We all know Reggie as one of the greatest pure shooters of the past generation, but sister Cheryl could give him a run for his money. A three-time Naismith college player of the year, she led her Trojans to two championships and owns just about every record in USC’s books. When Reggie got his Hall of Fame bid in 2012, he joined his sister whose likeness has resided in Springfield for over fifteen years. Even more, the third Miller child Darrell spent four years at catcher and outfield with the California Angels.
- The Mazzolas (Valentino, Sandro, and Ferruccio) Legends of Italian soccer, Valentino and his son Sandro were two of the most complete midfielders of the first half of the 20th Century. Between them, they would lead their respective teams to a combined 8 league-titles.
- The Browners (Ross, Jim, Joey, Keith, Keith Jr and Ross’ son Max Starks) Joey was a 6-time Pro Bowl strong safety for the Vikings who was named to the 1980 All-Decade team. Brother Ross was a two-time All-American for Notre Dame who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and played 11 seasons in the NFL at defensive end. His son Max is currently a offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers who has contributed to their two recent Super Bowl victories. Keith had an four year stint in the NFL and his son Keith Jr is following in his father’s footsteps at defensive end, currently with the Houston Texans.
- The Perrys (Gaylord, Jim, and Chris) Hall of Fame hurler Gaylord was said to have approached Vaseline about doing an endorsement due to his widely known habit of doctoring baseballs. In fact, Gene Tenace, long time catcher of the prolific pitcher, once remarked that at times he would have to walk the ball back to the mound as it was so greasy he couldn’t even through it back. Still, a Hall bid was hard to deny, as Gaylord accumulated 314 wins and 3,534 strikeouts over his 22 year career. Brother Jim won a Cy Young and 215 games in his 17-year career while Jim’s son Chris was a successful golfer on the PGA tour.
- The Bonds (Bobby and Barry) Only two players in MLB history have gone 30 and 30 five or more times. One is named Barry Bonds. The other is his father.
- The Niekros (Phil, Joe, and Lance) Masters at the art of the knuckleball, Phil and Joe’s 539 combined wins makes for the most successful brother combination in baseball history. Joe’s son Lance also spent limited time with the Giants as a first baseman.
- The Geoffrions (Howie Morenz, Bernie, Dan, and Blake) The first four-generation NHL family. Patriarch Howie Morenz was a three-time league MVP, an original inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and named by the Canadian Press the best ice hocey player of the first half of the 20th century. Morenz was the father-in-law of Boom Boom Geoffrion, an 11-time all-star credited by many as being the inventor or at the very least an early innovator of the slap shot. His son Dan played five seasons of professional hockey before siring Blake Geoffrion, who currently plays for the Canadiens, as well as Sebastian and Brice, both hockey players at Alabama Huntsville.
- The Barbers (Tiki and Ronde) Tiki was the football version of Nomar Garciaparra, a top notch player who for whatever reason prevented his team from winning a championship until immediately after his exit. However maligned, with 10,000+ rushing and 5000+ receiving yards (one of three in NFL history alongside Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk), his place in the Giants pantheon is indisputable. Lining up on the other side of the ball was identical twin, Ronde, who accomplished quite the combo of his own as the only player in NFL history with 25+ sacks and 40 interceptions over a career.
- The Griffeys (George Kenneth Sr, Ken Jr, and Craig) Ken Sr was an integral member of Cincinnati Big Red Machine, hitting .336 in 1976 en route to their second title in as many years. Fourteen years later, he would sign with the Seattle Mariners, joining his son who had a year earlier been called up from the minors. On September 14th, 1990, the father-son tandem would hit back-to-back home runs in a moment right out of a Disney movie. Junior would of course blossom into one of the greatest, most exciting players of his era. Younger brother Craig even played in the Mariners farm system, but never made it to the big leagues.
- The Laudrups (Brian and Michael) Soccer siblings for the ages, Brian collected a record four Danish Footballer of the Year Awards from 1989-1997 while his brother piled up four straight La Liga championships with Barcelona en route to being named the greatest Danish player of all time by the Danish Football Association in 2006.
- The Alomars (Sandy, Roberto, and Sandy Jr.) Roberto just entered the Hall as one of the greatest second baseman of all-time. A tough act to measure up to, Sandy Jr still held his own, winning Rookie of the Year and going to six All-Star games as a catcher. Their father Sandy Sr was a mediocre hitter best known for his defense at second base and subsequent coaching career. Sandy had the pleasure of coaching his two sons on the 1989 Padres.
- The Nevilles (Gary, Phil, Tracy and Neville) Yes, you read that right. The Patriarch of the Neville clan is indeed named Neville Neville, and was a well known cricketer in the 1980’s. Gary and Phil played together on Man U for over a decade, winning 6 Premier League titles (Gary would win two more after Phil departed to captain Everton). They concurrently compiled a combined 144 caps with the English national team. Moreover, their sister Tracy was a long serving netball player for England, compiling 74 caps in her own right.
- The Spinks (Michael, Leon, Cory, Leon Calvin, and Darrell) Michael went undefeated in his first 31 professional fights to become the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world, and later the heavyweight champion with his defeat of Larry Holmes. Mike’s only loss would be his final fight, a knockout by the surging Mike Tyson in 1988. He is enshrined in both the International and World Boxing Hall of Fames. His brother “Neon Leon” is best known for upsetting Muhammad Ali to become the WBC/WBA heavyweight champion of the world in 1978. Born just five days later, Leon’s son Cory would go on to become the undisputed Welterweight Champion in 2003. Two other sons, Leon Calvin and Darrell, also had brief professional careers.
- The Bells (Gus, Buddy, David, Mike) A rare three-generation baseball family. Grandfather Gus was a four-time All-Star currently enshrined in the Reds’ Hall of Fame, while his son Buddy racked up 2,514 hits and six Gold Gloves with the Rangers. Son David had a solid 11 year career at third base for six different teams while his brother Mike was the black sheep of the family, appearing on the 2007 Mitchell report despite only managing to hit a mere two career dingers in his less-than-illustrious 1-year professional career
- The Alis (Muhammad, Laila, Rudy, and Ibn) Muhammad is of course the greatest heavyweight of all time. However, his daughter Laila is gunning to be the greatest female, boasting a 24-0 record with 21 knockouts. Muhammad’s brother Rudy also found success as a professional heavyweight, as did Rudy’s son Ibn.
- The Nessers (Al, Frank, Fred, John, Phil, Ray and Ted) The seven Nesser brothers composed the most famous football family in the country in the early 1900s, all playing for a Columbus Panhandles team that would eventually contribute to the formation of the modern day NFL. Legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne once said of them, “Getting hit by a Nesser brother is like falling off a moving train.”
- The Martinezes (Pedro and Ramon) A dominant force in his day, Pedro put up mesmerizing numbers during a time when steroid-use was wreaking havoc on ERAs everywhere. However, ever in the shadow of his younger brother, Ramon was one of the more underrated hurlers of the early 90’s, eventually boasting a 135-88 career record with a 3.67 ERA.
- The McEnroes (John and Patrick) Brothers John and Patrick won a combined 192 tennis titles and each ascended to at least a top three doubles ranking.
- The Bryans (Dan and Mike) Together, the Bryan twins have won 11 Grand Slam tennis titles, spending over 200 weeks ranked at #1 to be named the doubles team of the decade for 2000-2009.
- The Fielders (Cecil and Prince) The Fielders are the only father-son combination to each hit 50 home runs in a season.
- The Johnsons (Jimmy, Rafer, and Jennifer) Rafer won Olympic gold as a decathlete at the 1960 Rome games. Brother Jimmy is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who played 16 seasons with the 49ers. Rafer’s daughter Jennifer won silver at the 1999 Beach Volleyball World Championship in Marseille.
- The Maldinis (Cesare and Paolo) Renowned for their service to AC Milan, they are one of three father-son pairs to have each hoisted a European Cup/Champions League trophy. In 1998, the Italian World Cup squad was both coached and captained by a Maldini.
- The Sislers (George, Dave and Dick) A titan in his day, “Gentleman George” Sisler hit a ridiculous .420 in 1922 en route to 2,812 career hits and a career .340 AVG. Despite a mediocre seven-year career, son Dick would go down in history for hitting a 10th-inning walk-off home run that would help win his Phillies their first pennant in 35 years. His younger brother Dave was once deemed “Yankee Killer” for going 5-0 against them in a 4-year stint as a reliever for the Boston Red Sox in the late fifties.
- The Delahantys (Ed, Jim, Joe, Frank, and Tom) Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty was known as one of the great power hitters of the late 1800’s (of course this meant leading the league with 13 home runs, but still…) His four brothers also had stints in the majors.
- The Rivers (Doc, uncle Jim Brewer, cousins Ken Singleton and Byron Irvin, and children Austin, Jeremiah, and Callie) Before capturing banner #17 as coach of the Celtics, Doc played point alongside Dominique Wilkins, where he would average nearly 11 points and 6 assists a game. Jim and Byron served nine and three years respectively in the NBA, and Doc’s cousin Ken Singleton spent the majority of his career playing right field for the Orioles, where he would go to three All-Star games and win a World Series in 1983. Doc’s son Austin may prove to outdo them all, recently selected with the 10th pick by the New Orleans Hornets after a stellar career at Duke. Jeremiah played hoops for Georgetown while Callie is thought to be one of the best college volleyball players in the country.
- The Ripkens (Cal, Cal Jr, Billy) Cal Sr spent 36 years in the Orioles organization as manager, base coach, player, and scout. Like Papa Alomar, he coached his two sons in 1987, the first father to ever do so. Though Billy had a largely unremarkable career, Cal Jr’s was about as remarkable as they come, starting an unfathomable 2,632 consecutive games and going to all but 2 All-Star games in his 21-year career.
- The Sedins (Henrik and Daniel) After Vancouver secured both the 2nd and 3rd overall picks in the 1999 NHL draft, they scooped up the Sedin duo, who would bring them five division titles over the past decade The Swedish identical twins won gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics and are 1st and 4th in all-time points for the Canucks.
- The Mayweathers (Floyd Sr, Roger, Jeff, and Floyd Jr) Floyd Sr’s two brothers each won professional featherweight titles, while he himself was a welterweight contender for much of the 70’s and 80’s. His training was of course integral to the development of the undefeated, eight-time world title winning prima donna Floyd Jr.
- The Chavezes (Julio Cesar, Julio Jr, and Omar) A prolific Mexican boxing family. Julio Cesar Chavez was a six-time world champion across three weight divisions over a 25 year career, widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters ever at his peak in the 1980’s. Julio retired holding the record for most title fight victories with 31 and the longest undefeated streak in boxing history at 13 years, accumulating an astounding 89 wins before taking his first loss in 1994. Julio planted the boxing seed in his two sons Omar and Julio Jr at an early age, ceremonially inviting them into the ring before each of his fights. Sure enough, both have followed in their father’s footsteps with resounding success, undefeated in a combined 72 contests with Julio Jr currently holding the WBC Middleweight championship belt.
- The Van Arsdales (Dick and Tom) Identical twins Dick and Tom Van Arsdale had nearly as identical basketball careers. Both played hoops at Indiana, both played on the NBA All-Rookie team in 1966, both were 3-time All-Stars, and both retired in 1977 after 12 years in the league.
- The Bibbys (Henry, Mike, and Jim) Henry and his son Mike Bibby each had careers in the NBA while Henry’s brother Jim won a World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979.
- The Robinsons (Jackie and Mack) Though we all are well-versed in the illustrious career of Jackie Robinson, brother Mack had his own feat of courageousness, competing in the historic, racially-charged 1936 Berlin Olympics and capturing silver in the men’s 200 meters by finishing .4 seconds behind Jesse Owens.
- The Uptons (BJ and Justin) Selected #1 and #2 respectively, Justin and big bro BJ are the highest drafted siblings in baseball history. Now teammates in Atlanta, the jury is still out on just how good these two will get.
- The Molinas (Bengie, Jose, and Yadier) The only three brothers in MLB history to each win a World Series.
The Haistons (Sam, Jerry, Johnny, Jerry Jr, and Scott) The Hairstons hold the modern day record with five family members to play at the major league level.
The Gasols (Pau & Marc)
The Longs (Howie, Chris, and Kyle)
The Halls (Gary Sr and Jr)
The Bryants (Joe and Kobe) Father of Kobe, Joe Bryant was selected in the first round of the 1975 draft, going on to score over 5,000 points in 8 seasons in the NBA and spend seven years dominating the hardwood in Italy.
The Niedermeyers (Rob and Scott and cousin Jason Strudwick)
The Boones (Ray, Bob, Aaron, and Bret) The first family to send three generations of players to the MLB All-Star game.
The Grieses (Bob and Brian) Bob was Hall of Fame Quarterback for the Miami Dolphins who won two Super Bowls including the legendary undefeated ’72 season. Brian is a former Rose Bowl MVP, Super Bowl Champ, and 1-time Pro Bowler.
The Hamms (Paul and Morgan) Twins brothers who each medaled in Olympic gymnastics.
The Madduxes (Greg and Mike) Mike was a journeyman pitcher who played 15 years in the bigs, a career vastly overshadowed by the magnificence of brother Greg, an unparalleled control pitcher who at one point would capture four consecutive Cy Young awards during which he would post a mind-boggling 1.98 ERA.
The Charletons (Jack and Bobby)
The Tatupus (Mosi and Lofa) A former classmate of President Obama at Punahou high school, Mosi made a name for himself as a special teams wizard for the New England Patriots, where he was named to both the 1970s and 1980s Patriots All-Decade teams. His son Lofa was a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bretts (George, Ken, Bobby and John) Ken played 14 years for 10 different teams, and most notably remains to this day the youngest player to ever pitch in a World Series, coming into game 4 of the 1967 Fall Classic at 19 years and 3 weeks. Brothers Bobby and John played minor league ball while George of course was a 13-time All-Star, first-ballot Hall of Fame third baseman who is one of four players in MLB history to finish with 3000 hits, 300 home runs, and a .300 average.
The Mahres (Steve and Phil)
Billie Jean Moffitt King and Randy Moffitt While tennis great Billie Jean is known as one of the pioneering female athletes of her time, few know that her younger brother Randy made a living as a Major League reliever, compiling 96 saves with the Giants, Astros, and Blue Jays.
The Williams (Dominique and Gerald)
The Golics (Mike and Bob) Both defensive tackles and Notre Dame alums, Mike spent nine mediocre years in the NFL while brother Bob was a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-American wrestler, and one-time RA on Saved By the Bell: The College Years.
The Jones (Thomas and Julius) Only brothers to each rush for 1000 yards in the same season (2006).
The Leiters (Al and Mark) Mark had a mediocre 11-year career in the MLB posting a 4.57 ERA and 65 wins. Al was a 3-time champion, two-time All-Star who won 162 games and struck out over 1900 batters over an 18 year career.
The Baers (Max and Buddy) Though most recall Max Baer as the man upset by Jimmy Braddock in the movie Cinderella Man, both he and his brother Buddy are listed in Ring Magazine’s top 100 punchers of all time.
The Bryans (Bob and Mike)
The Grants (Horace and Harvey)
The Stottlemyres (Mel, Mel Jr, and Todd) With 3,158 K’s, the Stottlemyres have collected the most strikeouts of any father-son combination.
The Hernandezes (Livan and Orlando)
The Schofield/Werths (Dick, Ducky, Jayson, Dennis, and Kim) Whatever this family lacks in athletic dominance, they make up for in financial dominance, as Jayson hit paydirt in 2011 with one of the most ridiculously lucrative contracts in baseball history. Dicky, Duck, and Dennis each retired with sub-.230 career averages (Jayson’s grandfather, uncle, and stepfather respectively), but 45 years of combined MLB service within one family is pretty hard to ignore. Jayson’s mother Kim competed at the Olympic trials in long jump and the 100m.
The Gronkowskis (Rob, Chris, and Dan)
The Wards (Daryl and Gary)
Marat Safin and Dinara Safina
The Wilsons (Mookie and Preston)
The Szczerbiaks (Walt and Wally) Walt won 3 Euroleague titles with Real Madrid
The Winslows (Kellen and Kellen II)
The Hasselbecks (Matt, Tim and Don)
The Staals (Eric, Marc, Jordan, and Jared)
The Laroches (Adam, Andy and Dave)
The Motas (Manny, Andy, and Jose)
The Aarons (Hank and Tommie) The Aarons hold the distinction of having hit the most combined home runs by a pair of brothers. Tommie chipped in with 13.
The Noahs (Yannick and Joakim)
Santonio Holmes and Fred Taylor (Cousins)
The O’Bannions (Charles and Fred)
The Giles (Brian and Marcus)
The Matthews (Gary and Gary Jr)
The Baileys (Champ and Boss)
Old and Young Tom Morris
The Vicks (Michael and Marcus, Aaron Brooks is a cousin)
The Simms (Chris and Phil)
The Drews (JD, Stephen and Tim)
The Giambis (Jason and Jeremy)
The Weavers (Jered and Jeff)
The Lopezes (Robin and Brook)
The Younts (Robin and Larry) Larry is the only player to be credited with pitching a game without actually facing a batter. Summoned to pitch in the 9th inning of a 4-1 game against the Braves in 1971, Larry took several warm up tosses before elbow pain forced him to exit. He would never return to a major league mound.