MLB: Robinson Cano and 10 Sons Who Were Better Players Than Their Fathers
As a young boy, most of the time you want to live up to the standards your father has set for you either as a husband, friend or even in the work place because you don't want to disappoint Dad.
It's kind of a cool thing to be able to teach your son/daughter the right way to do things and have them learn from your mistakes.
In this installment, we will look at the players who took Dad's advice and ran. In fact, they ran so much that they left dad in the dust. There were some border line father/son combos I may have missed so chime in and correct who needs to be on here.
Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken Griffey Jr. was the No. 1 overall pick in 1989 and will be a first ballot hall of famer. Baseball “experts” say that if he would have stayed healthy, he would have shattered Hank Aaron’s career home run record and the asterisk controversy of Barry Bonds would not even be in the conversation.
Griffey Jr. had all the tools to be a great player and accomplished much on the baseball field except one thing: win a world championship. That ring belongs to dad, in fact he has two of them, which is something, and probably the only thing, Jr. didn’t do better at on the field than dad.
Prince Fielder will be potentially one of the most coveted free agents at the end of the season. His father had to go to Japan to resurrect a career then come back and earn a spot on the Detroit Tigers.
They both hit mammoth home runs and both have the same build. It’s probably too early to tell what type of career Prince will have but it’s starting out much better than his father so we can assume, based on his statistics thus far, he’ll be better than dad in the end.
However, like Griffey Jr., Cecil has the world championship ring that Prince doesn’t.
Sandy Jr. was a catcher for multiple teams during the 1990’s, finally retiring in 2007. He was a six-time all-star and was the game’s MVP in 1997.
Roberto is a 2011 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame and had a career .300 batting average to go along with ten gold gloves, 12 all-star game appearances and two world championships in Toronto.
Dad was a good player but not near the caliber of his son.
When people talk about the best to ever play the game, Barry Bonds is usually in that conversation. 14 all-star selections, eight gold gloves and seven MVP’s on paper make him the best ever.
However, one can’t forget about the tainted image he has over him since early 2000’s when it was rumored that he used performance enhancing drugs.
The courts have said their peace and now it’s waiting time to see if Bonds gets in the Hall. Bobby had a great career and was a great player but nowhere near what his son accomplished on the field.
Moises and Felipe Alou were about as close as could be with regards to statistics. I took Moises because he had more all-star appearance (six to three), a world championship and the two Silver Slugger awards he won.
Their career averages were comparable with Moises hitting .303 and dad hitting .285 but Moises was far and away the better power hitter almost doubling Felipe’s numbers in rbi’s and home runs.
Robinson Cano is quickly becoming a super star in the majors. He has a world series championship (2009), he’s been selected to the all-star game on two occasions and won his first gold glove last year. He was also a MVP candidate last year with the Yankees.
His career is just starting to take off and it will be fun to see what Cano can accomplish.
His father on the other hand basically had a cup of coffee in the “show,” accumulating a 1-1 career record with eight strikeouts and a 5.09 ERA.
Not that Nick Swisher is going to go down as one of baseball’s all time greats, but the article focused on father/son career comparisons and who was better. Nick is far and away better than his father Steve was.
The elder Swisher had a career line of .216/20 home runs and 216 rbi. Compare that with the younger Swisher who has career numbers of .260/164 home runs and 514 rbi.
Nick also is in a better situation with the Yankees so those numbers will continue to increase.
At one time, Robb Nen was about as dominate closer the league had. Then the injury bug hit him and his career ended to soon. Although they played two different positions, Robb was a pitcher while Dick was an infielder, Robb’s stats are way more impressive.
He ended his career with 314 saves which ranks him 16th on the all time saves list and he also retired with a solid 2.98 career ERA. Dick Nen’s stat line is as follows: .224/21 home runs and 107 rbi. This easily could have been a “teaching situation" featuring do as I say not as I do from dad to son.
This is actually a pair where we can compare apples to apples as both of them caught in the big leagues. Fred had a solid career hitting .234 with 603 hits and 244 rbi and played for 11 years. Jason was a first round pick by the Pirates in 1992 and made his debut with the Pirates in 1996. He was a three time all star and was Rookie of the Year in in 1996. Although he technically isn’t retired, last year he had season ending surgery and still has not played this year.
There isn’t a whole lot more that can be said about Cal Ripken Jr. He is a hall of fame shortstop, world champion, all time leader in consecutive games played and seemingly all that was right about baseball in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His father Cal Sr. played in the Orioles minor league system was never got significant time in the Bigs. Because he managed most of his career in the majors and played sparingly in “the show”, I decided to add this final father and son group.