Living in the shadow of a relative can either be blessing or a curse. Some people are pretty humble about their role and are happy to see the other person succeed. However, if your goal is to be the best, but all you hear about is the legacy of that person, it can become mentally exhausting for the person in the shadows. Hopefully, there isn't too much friction between the famous families highlighted in this article.
Whether it was dad's legacy that was too hard to live up to or a sibling who had the upper hand on athletic ability, this list aims to cover some of the the most notable players who had the family name and looked awfully familiar, but didn't have a career quite like their famous father or brother.
Some of the players mentioned here you might remember. There might even be a few you've never even heard of. What these twenty families do have in common are unique stories and family bonds that set them apart from the rest of their Major League counterparts. For as many great baseball stories there are in the universe, there are also quirky and unique ones that help make the game what it is. The stories highlighted here show you just how unique and fascinating this game can be.
20 Father's Shadow: Delino DeShields Jr. (Delino DeShields Sr.)
Delino DeShields Sr. is a player most people remember pretty fondly. Although he wasn't an All Star caliber player, he was a guy you wouldn't mind having on your team. You knew he would give you a batting average at or around .300 and give you a significant amount of stolen bases.
However, Delino DeShields Jr. has turned out to be a lesser version of his father. That's probably not a good thing considering the fact he has barely hit over .200 in two of his four big league seasons with the Rangers. For this reason, just hearing the name Delino DeShields makes most fans think of his old man before his son.
19 Brother's Shadow: Billy Ripken (Cal Ripken)
Billy Ripken is one of several players on this list who has the impossible task of living up to a legend. As a Hall Of Famer and a modern day Iron Man, Cal Ripken possesses a legacy that is tough for many shortstops and/or future Orioles to live up to. Even his dad Cal Ripken Sr is also living in the shadow of his own son. That's how good Ripken Jr. was. Frankly, if it wasn't for Billy Ripken's infamous baseball card from the late 80s, his career wouldn't be very notable at all. Although he managed to stay in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons, he could never do anything to get out of his brother Cal's shadow.
18 Father's Shadow: Pete Rose Jr. (Pete Rose Sr.)
You would think that being the son of the all time hits leader in Major League history would result in a career that went longer than eleven games. However, this is the story of Pete Rose Jr. Sadly, despite having access to all of the wisdom his father possesses, Rose Jr. just couldn't make an impact when his opportunity came.
Even getting signed by the Reds didn't help Rose Jr. to gain the edge he needed to work out what was wrong with his game and get his career going in the right direction.
This just goes to show that if you're not good enough to play in the pros, name recognition can't always save you.
17 Brother's Shadow: Sandy Alomar Jr. (Roberto Alomar)
Sandy Alomar Jr has nothing to be ashamed of. He actually had a better career than many of the men featured in this list. However, despite six All Star appearances and a good reputation, he is often overlooked due to the outstanding performance of his Hall Of Fame brother Roberto Alomar. With 12 All Star appearances and 10 Gold Gloves, Roberto's star shined a little brighter than Sandy's.
This is an unfortunate reality since bother were very good ballplayers. If nothing else, these two probably have some pretty awesome stories to share whenever they look back on their careers. However, there will always be one who will stand out and be remembered just a little more than the other.
16 Father's Shadow: Kyle Drabek (Doug Drabek)
Kyle Drabek had some big shoes to fill when he decided to pursue a major league career. Especially since his father Doug was a former Cy Young Award winner and a pitcher who had experienced the taste of post season baseball on several different occasions. However, after experiencing a few four win seasons with the Blue Jays, Kyle Drabek's career slowly fizzled to an end.
Although Drabek is pursuing his career elsewhere these days, it appears that his Major League career is probably over as no team has expressed much interest in him in a few years. This leaves him in the shadow of his father's big league success.
15 Brother's Shadow: Jeremy Giambi (Jason Giambi)
In his time, Jason Giambi was one of the game's better power hitters. He finished his career with 440 home runs, recorded over 2,000 hits and had a career batting average of .277. Giambi would make five All-Star games and won two Silver Slugger awards. He even enjoyed an MVP season with the Oakland A's in 2000.
While Jason's numbers maybe tainted, he still far outshone his brother Jeremy, who showed some promise as a big leaguer but could never quite put it all together. Jeremy's major league career lasted only six seasons and needless to say, he never escaped Jason's shadow.
14 Father's Shadow: Prince Fielder (Cecil Fielder)
Here is one father/son comparison that's hard to make. When you look at the stats, the career's of Prince Fielder and Cecil Fielder look eerily similar.
Frankly, if one lives in the shadow of the other, it might come down to the generation you grew up in.
Older fans may remember the monstrous home runs father Cecil used to hit at old Tigers Stadium while younger fans may remember the much more rounded play of son Prince. When it comes down to it, this one might be a little too close to call. Had Prince stayed healthy, perhaps he'd have overtaken Cecil.
13 Brother's Shadow: Ramon Martinez (Pedro Martinez)
There was a time when it would have been unthinkable to believe that a sibling of Ramon Martinez could outshine him. However, that is exactly what his brother Pedro did. The truth is, Ramon Martinez was always a good pitcher. He finished his career with a winning record when all was said and done. Unfortunately for him, his brother wound up being a Hall Of Famer and a household name among baseball fans. Once Pedro left the Dodgers, his career really took off. There are no bad pitchers in this situation. It's just a story about one who did much greater things than the other.
12 Father's Shadow: Moises Alou (Felipe Alou)
The Alou's are another family on this where the shadow isn't too far from the light. In another words, depending on your perspective, Moises or Felipe could be placed in the shadow of the other. Despite a great career by Moises, some might say that Felipe's overall resume outshines his son's.
A very successful managerial career plus a very long Major League career puts him just ahead of the slugging accolades and World Series title obtained by Moises.
However, for some fans, this one could come down to perspective since it is very close to call.
11 Brother's Shadow: Ken Brett (George Brett)
When baseball fans think of the name "Brett" it is unlikely that the name Ken Brett is the first one that comes to mind. He is the older, but less famous sibling of Kansas City Royals Hall Of Famer George. It's not that Ken didn't have a decent career. Despite being a journeyman pitcher, he did make an All Star appearance. However, it is easy to say that Ken Brett is living in the shadow of his brother. Unless you lived during this era, you probably never even heard of him. So much for being the first sibling to reach the Major Leagues!
10 Father's Shadow: Eduardo Perez (Tony Perez)
Although Eduardo Perez has enjoyed a successful post career stint as a baseball analyst, it is hard to place him outside of the shadow of his Hall Of Fame father Tony. Eduardo was good enough to last in the big leagues for thirteen seasons. He deserves credit for his longevity and ability to transition to broadcasting. However, his resume just doesn't stack up compared to the Hall Of Fame career of his father. Especially since his legacy includes back to back World Series titles with the "Big Red Machine" back in the 70s. The 7 All Star appearances and All Star Game MVP are the icing on the cake.
9 Brother's Shadow: Chris Gwynn (Tony Gwynn)
Unlike some of the players on this list, Chris Gwynn managed to stay in the Major Leagues longer than just a few seasons. However, he wasn't half as good as his Hall of Fame brother Tony.
You would think that the incredible hitting of his older brother would run in the family, but Chris Gwynn only managed to reach a .300 batting average once in his career.
A ten year career in the big leagues is certainly something fans should respect. It's not easy to even accomplish that much. However, he will always be in the shadow of Tony's legacy.
8 Father's Shadow: Tim Raines Jr. (Tim Raines Sr.)
Tim Raines Jr. might have had the unique opportunity to play with his father Tim Raines Sr., but that is pretty much the peak of his career. Despite making history as the second son to play on the same team as his father, Raines Jr. wasn't able to make much more out of his career. After playing well under 100 games in 3 big league seasons, Raines Jr. found himself out of the game. Although they both shared the spotlight and Major League history for one brief moment, it is clear that Raines Jr. will always be in the shadow of his father's legacy.
7 Brother's Shadow: Ozzie Canseco (Jose Canseco)
Back in the late 80's/early 90's, the name Canseco really meant something. The idea of seeing another Canseco playing in the big leagues was a very intriguing thought. That is until Ozzie Canseco showed the world that he didn't have the same ability as his brother Jose. As a matter of fact, brother Ozzie didn't even hit a home run during his brief time in the Major Leagues. This once again proves that although they come from the same family, they are both completely different players and people. Jose's 462 home runs versus Ozzie's 0 clearly puts one of these brothers in the shadow of the other.
6 Father's Shadow: Scott Van Slyke (Andy Van Slyke)
Until recently, Scott Van Slyke was managing to keep himself on a Major League roster. Although his father Andy wasn't a Hall Of Famer, he was a solid 2 time All Star who is remembered for his days in Pittsburgh. However, his son Scott only managed to have one decent season. Beyond that, it's been a tough road.
Since he just got released this summer there is always a chance that he could surface on another team and make a comeback.
However, at this point, it looks like this is another son who is destined to live in the shadow of his more famous father.
5 Brother's Shadow: Dom & Vince DiMaggio (Joe DiMaggio)
When people think of the name DiMaggio, they automatically think of Yankees great Joe DiMaggio. However, believe it or not, Joe had two brothers who played in the big leagues during the same era as him. While brothers Dom and Vince played well enough to enjoy decent Major League careers, neither one of them are remembered for doing anything notable. Considering how famous Joe is, it is likely that the other two will always live in his Hall Of Fame shadow. At the very least, Dom and Vince can each say that they earned their tenures in the league by becoming All Stars on multiple occasions.
4 Father's Shadow: Chad Wallach (Tim Wallach)
Chad Wallach is going to need a lot of help in order to get his baseball career trending anywhere close to where his father Tim Wallach's was back in the 80s and 90s. While father Tim enjoyed five All Star appearances during his career, Chad has barely hit above .100 during his short time in the big leagues. History dictates it's unlikely that trend will change. While these two go down in history as a father and son who made it to the Major Leagues, it looks like son is once again lurking in the shadow of a much more talented parent.
3 Brother: Molina Brothers (Yadier Molina)
If you watched baseball during the late 90s/early 2000s, then it is likely that you are aware that there is more than just one Molina who has played in the Major Leagues.
Although Bengie and Jose aren't quite as famous as Yadier, they did enjoy long careers in the big leagues.
Despite the fact that Bengie and Jose had a head start on their careers, Yadier is the one that most people will probably remember. Several All Star Game appearances and endorsements to put Yadier in the Hall Of Fame pretty much ensure that the other two will always live in his shadow.
2 Father's Shadow: Brett Bochy (Bruce Bochy)
Although Bruce Bochy's playing career might not have been very memorable, his managerial career has more than made up for that. After winning three World Series titles over a five year period, Bruce Bochy cemented himself as a premiere manager in baseball. You might think that some of this would rub off on his son Brett.
However, despite being in the same organization as his dad, Brett Bochy just couldn't live up to his dad's name.
If you weren't a Giants fan during the middle of this decade, you might not even know that Bruce's son played for him briefly.
1 Brother's Shadow: Tommie Aaron (Hank Aaron)
This story might be the toughest of them all. Most people probably can't imagine living in the shadow of a guy who is as revered as Hank Aaron. However, that is the role his brother Tommie had to live up to. Most people might not even know Hammerin' Hank had a brother. Unless you grew up during the 60s, it's very easy not to know that. This is more or less the ultimate "living in the shadows" story. Much like Billy Ripken, the career numbers Tommie Aaron put up were the polar opposite of his more famous brother. But who could possibly live up to 755 home runs?