"It's in their DNA!" - that's what people say when we follow in Dad's footsteps........ After writing about sport stars who had son's that flopped in sports, I was reminded by an ex-broadcasting pal of mine from Augusta, Maine, Paul McClay, that many off-springs were just as good as Dad - some even better. My friend McClay was right. I wrote "living in Dad's shadow" was not always a walk in the park - it even became a burden. Having Dad's DNA was never a burden to these kids of sport legends.
Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds - Bobby Bonds was the first baseball player to make the 30/30 club and would do it five times in his career. Son Barry is the all-time leader in walks and home runs, fourth in RBI's - third in runs scored. He's won a record seven NL MVP's, including four straight from 2001-2004. Barry Bonds is the only player to match his father's record of five seasons with 30 or more home runs and stolen bases.
Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. - Griffey Sr.played 19 years in the big leagues (1973-1991). Dad didn't have the power (152 career home runs) his son had but he hit .296 for his career. Griffey Jr. made his MLB debut as a teen (19). He's one of only six players to have hit over 600 home runs. Father and son hit back - to - back homers on September 14th, 1990 with the Seattle Mariners. It was also in 1990,the year Ken Jr.won the Rookie of the Year award, father and son took the field together in the outfield as members of the Seattle Mariners.
Felipe Alou and Moises Alou - Dad Felipe played in the majors for 17 seasons (1958-1974). He was a good player, three-time All-Star but never elite. Son Moises is pretty much the same - many say better then his Dad but he also never broke into the "elite" player category. Moises was a six-time All-Star and seven-time team MVP. Moises played under his father on the Expos and Giants. Baseball "DNA" flows freely in the Alou family. Felipe's brothers Matty and Jesus were MLB stars and every season there seems to be another "Alou" in baseball box scores.
Bobby Hull and Brett Hull - Bobby Hull played in the NHL for 17 seasons. Retired 2nd in goals scored and 9th in points scored in 1966. He was the first player in NHL history to score over 50 goals in a season. Hull had five 50-goal seasons, Son Brett was born to play hockey. His NHL career spanned from 1985-2006 and he ended his career ranked 3rd All-Time with 741 goals scored. His 24 playoff winning golas is the most all-time. They are the only father/son combo to have their numbers retired.
Archie Manning and Peyton Manning - Archie was an amazing quarterback in college at Mississippi - 2nd overall pick in the 1971 NFL draft. Manning led the league in passing yards and completions in 1972. In 10 years with the Saints they never once had a winning team. Son Peyton didn't follow in his Dad's footsteps. he went to the University of Tennessee. The Colts made him their number one draft pick in 1998. He's been an 8 time pick to the Pro Bowl. Led the league in touchdowns three times and has held the highest passing rating three straight seasons(2004-2006). Manning was Super Bowl MVP in 2006. Archie led the league in sacks his rookie season (40) - Peyton led the league in interceptions his rookie season (28).
My pal Paul McClay (a serious golf player/fan) reminded me that Arnold Palmer's grandson Sam Saunders is playing good golf at Bay Hill this weekend, site of Arnold's golf tournament. The 26-year-old from Orlando is attempting to follow grandfather Arnold footsteps winning events. Paul also says to keep an eye on another golfer, the son of a teaching pro, Davis Love. Love's been a pro on the PGA Tour since 1985 - he's won 36 PGA events during these years but McClay says he's getting better and better with age. So keep an eye open for Davis Love. For every son who suffered from "standing in the shadows" of Dad's greatness - are son's who flourished - blossomed - and became themselves great sport Icons. "FAMILY DNA" - (gift or curse?) - seems like it comes down to how we decide to use it....... Larry Upton "Upton on Sports" source: clearsports/McClay/