This year in the NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Joey Porter Jr. in the second round. Porter, the son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, will try to follow in his father’s footsteps, even though he is a cornerback. But his selection should get Steelers Nation excited, as Joey Sr. was a fierce, aggressive and often volatile player who often fired up Pittsburgh’s defense and kept them on their toes.
With yet another father-son combination in the NFL, there have been plenty of professional athletes whose sons made it to the professional level in one sport or another. Like Joey Porter Sr. and his son, also named Joey, here are 10 former athletes who had a son who made it to the pro level in different sports.
Watch the video version of this article:
The world knows who Patrick Mahomes is. A multiple Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs. Perhaps the best quarterback in the National Football League right now. But he is the son of Pat Mahomes, who was also a professional athlete but in baseball, not football. Pat Mahomes Sr. played in Major League Baseball from 1992 until he retired in 2003. The football player’s father was a pitcher and played for six teams in the National and American Leagues, but he also played two seasons in baseball. Japanese. The six teams he played for were the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Growing up, he was highly intelligent and finished high school with the second highest GPA in his class. His final win/loss record in the majors was 42-39. Any soccer fan knows the achievements of his son.
If you’re a fan of the NBA and remember the days when the Detroit Pistons ruled the league, then you may remember the rebounding machine known as Dennis Rodman. Rodman was a monster on the backboard and quite a stranger on and off the court, especially outside of basketball, where he did a lot of outrageous things. Rodman would participate in professional wrestling, among other things, and after his Pistons days, he also played for the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls, where he won another title, the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. He also played in other leagues joining the Long Beach Jam for two seasons, but also made appearances with Fuerza Regia, Orange County Crush, Torpan Pojact, Tijuana Dragons and Brighton Bears. In total, he was part of five NBA championship teams, seven times All-NBA All-Defensive First Team, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and much more that inducted him into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Rodman has been married several times and has three children. His daughter Trinity is a professional soccer player for the Washington Spirit. His career started there in 2021 and he finished the season with seven goals. It was his rookie season in which he helped his team win the league title by defeating the Chicago Red Stars and Rodman had an assist. For her efforts, she was named Rookie of the Year.
In his prime, Yannick Noah was a world-class tennis player. That being said, it may be strange to say that his son became a standout basketball player. Joakim Simon Noah played for the Chicago Bulls from 2007 to 2016. He was selected in the first round of the draft, ninth overall in 2007. He played for the Knicks, Grizzlies and finally one season with the Los Angeles Clippers before retiring. His best season came in 2013 when he averaged 12.6 points per game and played in 80 games. As for his father, by the time he retired from tennis he had won 23 titles in his career, including winning the French Open in 1983 and double titles at the same tournament a year later. After tennis, Noah established a successful singing career.
The Dallas Cowboys once had a running back on their offense named Calvin Hill. He was the 1969 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and a member of the Super Bowl VI championship team. Hill would also play for the Redskins and the Browns before retiring. Hill and his wife have a son and he became a successful professional basketball player, Grant Hill. Despite some nagging injuries, Hill played 18 seasons in the NBA and was elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. His playing days included six seasons in Detroit, five in Phoenix, another six with the Orlando Magic and one final season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the past, there were three brothers named Alou who played in Major League Baseball. The trio were Matty, Felipe and Jesus. For the only time in professional baseball history, these three brothers took the field at the same time as the San Francisco Giants in 1963, all three in the outfield. The day was September 15 in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Giants won 13-5.
That day, Felipe Alou rotated from right field to center to left. At the plate, he had one hit in five at-bats and scored three times while driving in a run. He also walked and struck out once. His brother Jesús de él filled in to right while Felipe moved to left and Jesús went hitless in two plate appearances. Then Matty took over in left field Felipe moved to center. Matty never got to bat that day.
Years later another Alou arrived, his name was Moisés, and he was also a baseball player. The younger Alou played for seven different teams in the Major Leagues, the Pirates, Expos, Marlins, Astros, Cubs, Giants, and New York Mets. It was with Chicago that Moises Alou left a mark in history that became very famous.
It was October 14, 2003, in the National League Championship Series where the Chicago Cubs faced the Florida Marlins, and in Game 6, a foul ball hit the left field foul line, Moises Alou tried to make a play on the ball that was heading towards the fans sitting there. As he tried to make the catch, Steve Bartman reached out to try to grab a prize ball and interfered with Alou. Alou couldn’t make the catch that would have been out number two in the inning. Instead, the Cubs who were winning the game 3–0 ended up allowing eight unanswered runs after the fiasco lost the game, losing game seven and going another year without a World Series appearance. Alou in a post-game interview was said to have stated that if Bartman hadn’t been in the way, he still wouldn’t have been able to catch. He retracted that stating later, even if he said it would only have been to make Steve Bartman feel better about what he did, something that caused fans to berate him and even send him threatening emails and letters.
In the world of MMA, specifically the UFC, one of its first heavyweight champions was Frank Mir. Mir may have extended his career well past his prime, losing five of his last eight MMA bouts, but from the start he was a submission specialist and a nightmare to many fighters. Just ask Tim Sylvia, who lost to Mir in an arm bar and broke his arm in the process. Now comes Mir’s daughter, Bella, who has become a professional martial artist. At just 20 years of age, “Lady,” which is her nickname in the Octagon, has three fights under her belt and won them. Two of the three wins have been just like the old one of hers, she wins the submission. She hasn’t been signed by the UFC yet, but if she keeps winning, she’s counting on it.
From MMA and now professional boxing, the late Ken Norton was one of the toughest heavyweight champions of all time. Never dodging anyone, Norton fought the best of the best losing just 7 times in 50 fights. When Gerry Cooney brutally knocked out Norton in 1981, Norton hung up his gloves and called off his career. Ken Norton had several children, but it was Ken Norton Jr. who left his mark on the National Football League. Currently, Norton, a linebackers coach at UCLA, had a successful playing career that turned into a coaching career at both the professional and collegiate levels. Playing only for the Cowboys and 49ers, Norton Jr. is now 56 years old.
What is rare in professional sports is to see a professional athlete on the same playing field in the same game with a son or daughter. It happened on August 31, 1990, in Seattle, when the Mariners put Ken Griffey Sr. in their starting lineup in left field and his son, Ken Griffey Jr., in center. It was the first time in history that this had happened and, oddly enough, at the end of the game the father and son combination had the same number of at bats and each had only one hit. Both men scored just once and Ken Griffey Sr. walked once.
Is Babe Ruth the greatest baseball player of all time? Or is the most prolific home run hitter in the majors a better player? That would be Barry Bonds, the player with the most home runs in history. After Hank Aaron surpassed Ruth’s record of 714, Bonds came later and surpassed Aaron. Before Bonds first made it to Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates, his father was also a great player. Bobby Bonds played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues, hitting 332 home runs with 1,024 RBIs. Bonds played for eight different teams in those 14 years, starting with the San Francisco Giants. He would also play for the California Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox.
Finally, we have the most famous family in soccer. The Mannings. First, there was Archie Manning, to no one’s surprise, a quarterback. Unfortunately for Manning Sr., he was part of terrible New Orleans Saints teams. He also played for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings, but 11 of his 15 pro years were spent with the “Aints,” as they became known for perennial losing. Manning Sr.’s record with the Saints was an abysmal 35-91-3. In Houston and Minnesota, he never won a game while going 0-10. His final stats revealed a 55.2 career completion percentage, 23,911 passing yards and 125 touchdowns but 173 interceptions. He too was fired 396 times. As for his children, however, everyone who knows football recognizes the name Peyton Manning. Considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Peyton was better than his younger brother Eli, but Eli had a solid run with the New York Giants winning two Super Bowls. His older brother, Peyton, also won two and led many of his career passing stats until Tom Brady passed him in most. The Manning family almost had a fourth member who made a career in football, as the oldest son, Cooper, was a player who was one of Peyton’s wide receivers in high school. But during his senior year, Cooper was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and that ended his football career. He was headed to play for the University of Mississippi before the devastating diagnosis. While Peyton Manning is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’s possible that Eli might end up being inducted one day as well.