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Father's and Sons study

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Just how much are sons like their fathers?

Below are all the major league fathers and sons of significance in the last 75 years. (Please excuse me if I missed a few.) I did not include cases where either the father or son had only a brief time in the majors. For example, the Pete Roses did not make the list, because Jr. only had 14 major league at bats. Some sort of MLB career is required to fairly assess their career arch.

 

I tried to see if sons had a propensity to have the same career trajectory as their dads. In other words, did they peak at the same time? Did their major league careers begin and end around the same time? Did they even play the same position?

 

My conclusion is: if there is a similarity, it is a bit too obscure to make any decisions regarding it. The Hairston brothers both seem to be following in their father's footsteps of having long careers as marginal major leaguers. Other sons of major leaguers seem more often to reflect the longetivity of their fathers than not. However, some have no resemblance at all. Clyde Wright didn't fully establish himself until he was 29. Thereafter, he was a workhorse. Jaret Wright came up at 21 already looking pretty darn good. Yet, except for a career spike at 28, he has been the opposite of a workhorse - a frail pony?

 

 

Sandy Alomar Sr. – shortstop - peaked 24-28 never really showing much improvement

            Sandy Alomar, Jr. – catcher - peaked 28-31 – a regular all-star

            Robbie Alomar – secondbaseman - peaked 25-33 – a regular big star

Felipe Alou – outfielder-firstbaseman (later very successful manager) - peaked 27-33

            Moises Alou – outfielder - peaked 27-34, but an all-around better player

Tony Armas – outfielder – peaked 26-30

            Tony Armas, Jr. – pitcher – best year at 23, still active at 28

Jeff Burroughs – outfielder – peaked at 22-27

            Sean Burroughs – peaked at 22-23?

Jesse Barfield – outfielder – sharp peak at 25-26; wrist injury ended career at 32

            Josh Barfield – secondbaseman – will be 24 for 2007.

Gus Bell – centerfielder – peaked 24-27 of a long career

            Buddy Bell – thirdbaseman (later manager) – peaked 28-30 of a long career

                        David Bell – thirdbase-2B – plateau 25-33 and still going

Yogi Berra – catcher (later manager) – peaked 26-31 of a long superstar’s career

            Dale Berra – shortstop – peaked 25-26

Ray Boone – shortstop-thirdbaseman – peaked 29-33

            Bob Boone – catcher (later manager) – peaked 28-31 of a long career

                        Bret Boone – secondbaseman – peaked 32 (career year) – 34

                        Aaron Boone – thirdbaseman – peaked 27-30

Bobby Bonds – centerfielder – peaked 23-33 multi-time MVP candidate

            Barry Bonds – outfielder – plateau-ed 27-35 at MVP level, then even higher 36-39

Don Buford – 2B-3B-outfielder – peaked 31-34 – toiled in low low minros until 26

            Damon Buford – centerfielder – peaked at 26 – nowhere near the career of his dad

Joe Coleman – starting pitcher – peaked at 25-26 with a comeback at 31, finished at 32

            Joe Coleman, Jr. – starting pitcher – peaked 24-26; ending career at 32

Jose Cruz. – rightfielder - peaked 28-36

            Jose Cruz, Jr. – outfielder - peaked 23-31

Dave Duncan – catcher (later famous pitching coach) – peaked 24-27

            Chris Duncan – will be 26 in May, 2007

Cecil Fielder – firstbaseman – explosion at 26, another excellent year at 27

            Prince Fielder – will be 23 in May, 2007

Ken Griffey – rightfielder peaked 26-29 with a comeback at 36

            Ken Griffey, Jr. – centerfielder - peaked 23-28 – a regular superstar

Tom Grieve – outfielder (later G.M.) – peaked 25-28

            Ben Grieve – rightfielder – peaked a much better hitter 21-26

Jerry Hairston – 4th outfielder – about the same 21-35

            Jerry Hairston – secondbaseman-outfielder – about the same 23-28

            Scott Hairston - secondbaseman-outfielder – about the same  24-26 so far

Jim Hegan – catcher (long time coach) – peaked 26-27 of a long career

            Mike Hegan – firstbaseman – career year at 26

Randy Hundley – catcher – peaked 24-27

            Todd Hundley – catcher – progressed to a much greater peak 27-28

Fred Kendall – catcher – peaked at 24

            Jason Kendall – catcher – peaked at a higher level 24-26

Bob Kennedy – outfielder (later manager) – peaked 25-34 – never outstanding

            Terry Kennedy – catcher – peaked at 26 – was outstanding 25-30

Max Lanier – pitcher – peaked 25-28 (WWII), then 34-35

            Hal Lanier – secondbaseman (later manager) – never learned to hit 21-28

Vern Law – starting pitcher – peaked 27-30 with a long career

            Vance Law – infielder – peaked 28-31

Thornton Lee – starting pitcher – career year at 33 of a long career

            Don Lee – starter/reliever – peaked 26-30 of a somewhat short career

Nelson Mathews – centerfielder – one year as a regular at 22 – and he wasn’t bad

            TJ Mathews – reliever – peaked at 26-27

Gary Matthews – outfielder – long plateau 23-33

            Gary Matthews, Jr. – centerfielder – best year so far at 31

Dave May – centerfielder – plateau 27-28, career spike at 29

Derrick May – outfielder – peaked at 24

Pinky May – thirdbaseman – peaked 28-30

            Milt May – catcher – first plateau 21-23, next plateau 29-32

Hal McRae – outfielder-DH (later manager) – plateau 28-37

            Brian McRae – centerfielder – plateaued 25-30 - career ended abruptly at 31

Julio Navarro – reliever – peaked at 27

            Jamie Navarro – starting pitcher – plateau at 24-29

Dick Nen – firstbaseman – peaked at 25

            Robb Nen – reliever – alternating great/just OK 26-32

Joe Niekro – starting pitcher – plateau 32-39, career year 37, very long career

            Lance Niekro – firstbaseman – getting better at AAA, but worse at MLB? 25-27

Tony Perez – thirdbaseman-firstbaseman – peaked 27-31; very long (Hall of Fame) career

            Eduardo Perez – 3B-1B-OF – plateau 26-36 – never a full time player

Dick Schofield – shortstop – peak 27-29 of a long career as a back-up shortstop

            Dick Schofield – shortstop – peaked 23-27; shorter career, but more years starting

Joe Schultz – 2B-3B-OF – prime 27-28

            Joe Schultz – catcher (later manager) – peaked at 27? – seldom used

Diego Segui – starter-reliever – good from 24-36, best year at 32

            David Segui – firstbaseman-outfielder – plateaued 28-34, best year at 33

George Sisler – firstbaseman/manager – Hall of Fame plateau 24-29 with peak at 27

            Dick Sisler – firstbaseman-outfielder (later manager) – best year at 29

            Dave Sisler – starter-reliever – best year at 28

Chris Speier – shortstop – peaked 22-25, but retired at 39

            Justin Speier – reliever – having his best years 31-32

Ed Spiezio – thirdbaseman – career year at 28

            Scott Spiezio – 2B-1B-3B-OF - peaked 29-30

Ed Sprague – pitcher – career year at 28

            Ed Sprague, Jr.  – thirdbaseman – peaked 27-28 with comeback at 31

Mel Stottlemyre. – starting star pitcher (long time pitching coach) - peaked 22-31

            Todd Stottlemyre – starting pitcher - peaked 26-33

Steve Swisher – catcher – never established himself, but given a shot at 24

            Nick Swisher – outfielder-firstbaseman – 25 and still improving?

Jose Tartabull – centerfielder – spiked at 26

            Danny Tartabull – outfielder peaked 24-30 (spike at 28) – far better hitter

Mike Tresh – catcher – best years at 26 and 31

            Tom Tresh – shortstop-outfielder – plateau 24-29 with spikes at 25 & 27

Dizzy Trout – starting pitcher – peaked 28-31 during WWII

            Steve Trout – starting pitcher – prime: 21-27, but 27 was his best

Maury Wills – shortstop (later 3B, bad Mgr.) – 29, 30 best years, beginning a plateau to 36

            Bump Wills – secondbaseman – best year at 24 (rookie season)

Clyde Wright – starting pitcher – career year at 29, still an effective workhorse at 32.

            Jaret Wright – starting pitcher – looked decent at 21 & 22, later career spike

John Carter