A Father’s Day Reflection on Major League Baseball Father & Son Combinations

Recently, I’ve noticed that there are an increasing number of former players that I’ve photographed who are now coaches, managers, GM’s or club executives.

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Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan toiled for a different Texas team long before becoming the current President of the Texas Rangers.

That tells me two things.  One, that I’m getting older and two, that I’ve been involved with the game of baseball for a long time. Perhaps that fact might be more of a badge of honor than anything else.

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Rookie of the Year and current manager of the Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillen poses for yours truly on a beautiful September day late during the 1985 season.

Heck, I’m still in the game, right?  That can’t be all that bad.

This realization is cool and all, but when I start thinking about father-son combinations I’ve covered, now we’re talking about something truly special.  Major League Baseball has a rich tradition of sons following in the footsteps of their fathers to become big league players themselves, and with Father’s Day coming up this weekend I thought it would be fun to look back on a few of the father-son combination’s I have covered during my 25 year career as a major league baseball photographer.

Probably the most famous father-son combo I’ve seen would be the Griffey’s,  Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr.

I have to admit I was a bit saddened when I caught word of Junior’s recent retirement announcement.  I vividly remember the first time he came through old Comiskey Park as a rookie back in 1989.  I knew he was going to be something special, even then.

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Ken Griffey Jr. bats against the Chicago White Sox during his rookie season of 1989 at Comiskey Park.

Another combo that comes to mind is the power hitting father-son duo of Cecil and Prince Fielder.  Batting from opposite sides of the plate, both displayed awesome power. I can’t help but flash back to what it was like covering the Tigers while kneeling on the field at old Tiger Stadium back in the late 1980’s.  That’s right, kneeling on the field.  No photo boxes.  Photographers were “in-play”.  Tiger Stadium was an outstanding venue to make great baseball pictures.  It was the place to work.  During the early 1990’s, Cecil was one of the most feared sluggers of the era, and his son now carries on the family tradition for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Here are a few pics of some of the Major League Baseball father-son combos that I’ve covered over the years.  The gallery below includes photos of Floyd and Brian Bannister, Bob and Aaron Boone, Jerry Hairston Sr. and Jr., Jesse and Josh Barfield and the aforementioned Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. and Cecil and Prince Fielder.

I’m sure these dad’s are especially proud.  Happy Father’s Day to you all!

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