Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
To those of us who still get misty when we hear the line, "Hey, dad, you want to have a catch?" this was a special week.
Over the weekend, many of the cast, their relatives and friends of the Kevin Costner film "Field of Dreams" returned to the Iowa corn field to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the making of the movie.
Which got me to thinking about father/son combinations and which have been the most productive for fantasy owners.
I'm sure there will be plenty of debate over who is the best, but here is my top five including a current player and top five all-time:
1) Cecil Fielder and Prince -
Both father and son knew how to hit the long ball. Each produced six seasons of 30 or more homers though Prince is the better all-around hitter. Unfortunately, Prince recently underwent neck surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2014 season. The long-term prognosis for Prince is good and he should be a productive fantasy first baseman for many more years.
2) Tom Gordon and Dee -
Tom was both a solid starter (Kansas City) and a good closer (Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia) over his career, but son Dee has the chance to be special. He may be the fastest player in baseball and leads the NL in triples (six) and stolen bases (36). Tom has another son, Nick, who was the fifth overall selection in June's amateur draft.
3) Mickey Brantley and Michael -
Mickey posted a couple of mediocre seasons with Seattle in the 1980s, but Michael is having a breakout season in 2014 which will surpass anything his father has done. In his sixth season with Cleveland, he's batting .322 with 11 home runs, 45 RBI and a .909 OPS through his first 68 games.
4) Dave LaRoche and Adam -
Father Dave was the classic example of a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen who played 14 nondescript seasons. While Dave had little fantasy value, Adam has become a solid RBI guy for fantasy owners, cracking the 100 RBI total in two of his last three full seasons. All told, he's posted six seasons with at least 80 RBI and eight seasons of 20 home runs or more. Adam continues to be a low-end fantasy option at first base.
5) Steve Swisher and Nick -
Steve was a solid defensive catcher who offered little with the bat and was never fantasy-worthy, but son Nick entered 2014 with nine consecutive seasons with at least 22 homers. He'll be hard-pressed to continue the string as he's done little this season and should not be in any fantasy lineups at this point in time.
1) Bobby Bonds and Barry -
Father Bobby was one of the best combination power-speed guys of his era. Ten times he hit 20 or more homers and 11 times stole 20 bases or more in a season. Not much to say about son Barry as the numbers say it all. He hit 762 homers, knocked in 1,996 runs and stole 514 bases. The steroid controversy clouds the fact he was the No. 1 offensive fantasy option for more than a decade.
2) Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. -
Ken Griffey was an everyday fantasy option in the 1970s playing for the "Big Red Machine." He combined double-digit home run power and stolen bases while batting .296 over his 19-year career. "Junior" was one of the best fantasy outfielders of all-time, particularly in his 13 seasons with Seattle where he averaged 32 homers, 93 RBI, 85 runs and 12 steals a year.
3) Bob Boone and Aaron/Brett -
Bob Boone was a great defensive catcher who would never have been in any fantasy lineups, but both sons, Aaron and Bret, were useful fantasy options. Aaron produced two fantasy-worthy seasons starting in 2002, while brother Bret was the best of the three players. Bret was a top fantasy second baseman with six years of 20 or more homers and three 100-RBI seasons.
4) Cecil Fielder and Prince -
See current father son combinations.
5) Sandy Alomar and Roberto/Sandy Alomar Jr. -
Father Sandy Alomar was not fantasy worthy, but he produced two sons who were valuable fantasy assets. Sandy Jr. was a catcher with double-digit home run power and a solid .273 lifetime batting average. Roberto was a Hall of Fame second baseman with a career .300 batting average, double-digit home run power (nine times) and 30-plus-steal ability (eight times).
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