Though athletic greatness is most often associated with notions like hard work and dedication, sometimes genetic excellence supersedes all, in a way stealing the leading role.
In these rare instances, sports stardom is passed down from father to son(s), almost as if they were born to play their respective games.
Along the gridiron, for example, three different Mannings have dominated football on both the collegiate and pro levels, beginning with the patriarchal Archie all the way back in 1969.
Likewise, in hockey, Bobby Hull set the standard for offensive excellence in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, while his son, Brett, seamlessly continued the family tradition more than two decades later.
The same can be said of numerous baseball families, like the Alous, Bonds, Griffeys and Boones, all of which produced multiple generations of baseball greats.
With, then, the aforementioned families in mind, we’ve sought to highlight and honor the 15 most prolific father-son combos in sports history.
Though we used a sliding scale of sorts—one generation’s mediocrity could, in theory, be overcome by the next generation’s excellence—for the most part we only selected duos in which both members had achieved some form of professional success.
Also, additional credit was given if a father-son combo’s athletic greatness extended to a third generation—to another son, if you will—or if a father produced not one, but two or three superstar sons (like Archie).
And while most of our spotlighted duos played the same sport, a few chose to migrate in divergent directions. Either way, though, each of our father-son combos nonetheless ranks among the most naturally gifted and athletically prolific in all of sports history.