This past weekend was Father’s Day. A day when we honor the men who pass on their name, their legacy, their honor and their wisdom to the children they help bring into this world. To have a father in your home today is a 50/50 shot; to have a great father in your home an even lower number. However there are those fathers who make a mark by raising their children the right way; with love, respect and wisdom. Below is a list of some of my favorite father-son duos that I think accomplished this feat.
Jack and Joe Buck- The first family of a broadcast rich tradition from St. Louis. Jack Buck was a longtime voice of the St. Louis Cardinals and rose to national prominence with his ability to tell a story and do so in his quirky humor. Joe Buck, his son, followed in his dad’s footsteps biding time as a Cardinal broadcaster as well before becoming the premier play by play for Fox Sports. Jack Buck will forever be remembered as the voice of the Cardinals while Joe has become, in my opinion, the best in this new media age and his ability to entertain.
Bobby and Brett Hull- Arguably the most prolific father-son duo in sports history. Bobby Hull played before my time but his numbers speak for themselves with 600 goals and two MVP’s, leading the NHL in scoring three times. Brett Hull held St. Louis captive during the late 80’s and early 90’s when he was the top sharp shooter in the league. Brett finished with over 700 goals and tallied over 70 in three straight seasons. Bonus points for having the best father-son nickname combination; Bobby was called the “Golden Jet” and Brett was “Golden Brett”.
Howie and Chris Long- The list of Hall of Fame dads continues with this football pair. Howie Long, a defensive stalwart for the Oakland Raiders finished his career with just under 100 sacks while winning a Super Bowl and being an eight time Pro Bowler. His son Chris has begun to assert himself as a top defensive end and has 42 sacks in his short career thus far while earning Pro Bowl alternate honors three times. If ever a father’s work ethic was evident in their son it is in this pair and that is why they get a nod on this list. The fact that Chris Long never took anything for granted and works so hard is why they are a favorite.
Leon and Cory Spinks- Leon Spinks was a heavyweight champion in boxing while his son Cory unified the welterweight titles and has registered almost 40 wins in his career. One of my most memorable sporting experiences was being at the Spinks vs. Karmazin fight at the Savvis center. It was my first professional boxing experience and what a show was put on!! Truly a spectacle.
Ken Griffey Sr. and Junior- The only duo not tied into St. Louis must be memorable for a reason to get on this list and that is due to Junior. While Ken Sr. had a solid career, three all-star games and two World Series titles it was Junior who etched his way into sports fans memories. He came into MLB with the kid smile and finished his career with over 500 home runs. Had Junior not suffered through injuries there is no doubt in my mind he would go down as the greatest of all time and no one would be worrying about Barry Bonds. Junior did it with flare and ease. Plus they played on the same team…How cool is that!
P.S.- This year I lost my dad. And I was lucky enough to have one of those fathers I mentioned in the opening. One that passes on the wisdom and virtue to their sons. That raises them how to be a better person. And it is every day that I hope I can do my dad proud. Miss you Dad.