Fatherhood is defined as "the state of having one or more children," but I think we all know that it is far more than that. Becoming a father may be one of the most rewarding things a man can experience in life. The chance to teach and guide their offspring with the knowledge and experience that they have learned from their fathers is a feeling that cannot be explained. Fathers have a huge influence on how their children will grow up as they lend advice, preach good morals, teach accountability, and set examples of how to become integrated into society.
From the day a child is born, they know they only have one father and as they grow they will look to them for guidance. With Father’s Day right around the corner, let’s take a look at some professional athletes who have raised their children to follow in their footsteps.
Ken Griffey Sr.
Ken Griffey Sr. played in the MLB for 19 seasons and in his final season he did something that most every father wishes they could do with their son. Senior and his son, Ken Griffey Jr., played in the same outfield for the 1990 Seattle Mariners. What a thrill that must have been. Senior was a lifetime .296 hitter and won the MVP at the 1980 MLB All-Star game, but needless to say he was eventually overshadowed by his son. Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the purest players ever to step foot on the baseball diamond. Though injuries inevitably cut Junior’s career short, he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame next month. That has to make Ken Griffey Sr. a proud father.
Over the past 15 years the name Manning has become synonymous with the phrase "elite quarterback." Archie Manning was the second overall draft pick in the 1971 NFL draft when the New Orleans Saints selected him out of the University of Mississippi. Little did we know it was not the last time we would be hearing the name Manning being selected that high in the NFL Draft. Archie’s two sons Peyton and Eli were both picked No. 1 overall in their respective drafts and both have gone on to win Super Bowls in their careers. The younger Mannings have redefined the quarterback position over the past decade but none of it would have been possible without Archie tossing the pigskin around with them in the backyard.
For the majority of his professional basketball career Dell Curry was as a bench player, primarily known for his silky smooth jump shot. Dell is the father of two current NBA players and one of them just became the first player ever to win the NBA MVP award unanimously. Stephen and Seth Curry grew up around the NBA and experienced the culture first-hand. That has helped lead both of them to maintain steady careers in the NBA despite not being highly recruited out of high school. The one skill Dell passed down to them was how to shoot the lights out, and boy, does Dell look like a genius now.
Have a Happy Father’s Day!
Sid Rosenberg co-hosts "The Bernie and Sid Show" weekdays on WABC - New York. Follow him on Twitter @SidRosenberg.