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Top 15 Sports Families

1 of 31

The 15 Most Successful Families In Sports History

Earnhardts Jr. and Sr. pose for a photograph
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One of the keys to athletic success is no doubt good genetics. You can have a great mind for sports, but if your body doesn't hold up its end of the bargain, you don't have much chance of making it as a pro.

Here are 15 families with tremendous genetics, who have had at least three members become famous:

15. The Boones

Seattle Mariners  v Oakland Athletics
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15. The Boones

Seattle Mariners  v Oakland Athletics

Ray Boone (grandfather) was a two time All-Star and 1948 World Series champion. His son Bob was a four time All-Star. Bob's sons Bret and Aaron both played in the bigs at an All-Star level as well.

14. The Bowdens

Bobby Bowden
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14. The Bowdens

Bobby Bowden

The Bowdens are definitely the first family of coaching in college football. Bobby and his sons, Tommy and Terry, have all enjoyed success.

13. The Alomars

Sandy Alomar #15 & Roberto Alomar #12
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13. The Alomars

Sandy Alomar #15 & Roberto Alomar #12

Sandy Alomar Sr. was an All-Star in 1970, and his sons Roberto and Sandy Jr., both had lengthy careers in the bigs as well. Roberto was inducted in the the Hall of Fame in 2011.

12. The Dimaggios

MLB Photos Archive
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12. The Dimaggios

MLB Photos Archive

Everybody knows about iconic Yankee Joe Dimaggio, but you might not know he had two baseball playing brothers as well. Dom and Vince were also All-Star caliber players, and the three brothers have a combined 22 ASG appearances between them.

11. The Gracies

Ult. Fighter/Gracie
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11. The Gracies

Ult. Fighter/Gracie

The Gracies are unquestionably the first family of MMA, and specifically of Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie is credited as the founder of modern Jiu Jitsu, and the family is by far the most successful in sports history in terms of number of members who have competed at a high level.

10. The Ryans

New Orleans Saints v New York Jets
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10. The Ryans

New Orleans Saints v New York Jets

Defense is the name of the game in the Ryan family. Buddy was the DC on the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears, and now his sons hold jobs of their own in the NFL. Rex is the Jets head coach, while Rob is the DC in New Orleans.

9. The Longs

Virginia Tech v Virginia
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9. The Longs

Virginia Tech v Virginia

Howie Long was a Hall of Fame defensive lineman, and now his two sons are premier players in the NFL as well. Kyle (OG) was a first round pick of the Bears in 2013, while Chris (DE) was a first round pick in 2008.

8. The Ripkens

Orioles V Athletics
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8. The Ripkens

Orioles V Athletics

Cal Ripken Sr. spent 36 years in the Baltimore Orioles organization. His sons, Cal Jr. and Billy, also played for the Orioles. Cal Jr. was obviously the most successful, as he's now a member of the HOF and holder of the ultimate iron man streak in sports.

7. The Barrys

NBA Finals Game 7: Detroit Pistons v San Antonio Spurs
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7. The Barrys

NBA Finals Game 7: Detroit Pistons v San Antonio Spurs

Rick Barry is one of the all-time great NBA players. He's in the HOF, and his two sons, Jon and Brent, both had lengthy NBA careers as well.

6. The Pettys

UAW Daimler Chrysler 400
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6. The Pettys

UAW Daimler Chrysler 400

Lee Petty started this family racing tradition way back in the 1950s, winning three grand national championships. His son, Richard, is known as the greatest NASCAR driver of all time. Richard's son, Kyle, also had a successful career that spanned nearly 30 years.

5. The Harbaughs

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
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5. The Harbaughs

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers

Just like the Ryans, coaching is a tradition in the Harbaugh family. John and Jim are the only two brothers to coach against each other in the Super Bowl, while their father, Jack, was a long-time college coach.

4. The Mayweathers

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Media Workout
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4. The Mayweathers

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Media Workout

Everybody knows Floyd Mayweather Jr. But did you know his uncle Roger Mayweather (Money's trainer) was also a champion? In addition, Floyd Sr. and his other brother, Jeff, were also boxers.

3. The Andrettis

Firestone 550 - Practice
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3. The Andrettis

Firestone 550 - Practice

The Andrettis are the most famous family in all of IndyCar, They were the first family to have four relatives compete in the same series. Mario is widely considered the GOAT, while his son Michael is not too far behind him.

2. The Matthews

Notre Dame v USC
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2. The Matthews

Notre Dame v USC

The Matthews football family is just straight up ridiculous. It started with Clay Matthews Sr., who had two sons, Bruce and Clay Jr. Clay III plays for the Packers, and his brother Casey plays for the Eagles. To top it off, Bruce's son Jake was just selected in the first round of the 2014 draft, and his brother Kevin also plays in the NFL. Bruce also still has son in college at Texas A&M, who will likely make the NFL someday too.

1. The Mannings

DIRECTV'S Seventh Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl - Game
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1. The Mannings

DIRECTV'S Seventh Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl - Game

The standard right now for sports families is set at Level Manning. Archie was a college star who went on to a lengthy NFL career. Peyton is arguably the greatest QB of all time. While Eli has two Super Bowl rings on his resume. Not too shabby.