There are always going to be people you’re competing against in just about every walk of life. For most of us, the first person that you ever went toe-to-toe with was your sibling. The ultimate test in a sibling rivalry is in athletic competition to see who truly reigns supreme on the court, field or anywhere else. This also carries into professional sports when a pair (or more) of siblings all makes it to the top of their sport, and we’ve seen a lot of head-to-head match-ups between siblings over the years.
Many sets of siblings have achieved greatness as a collective, but there’s usually one that stands out above the other (or others). You can win games and championships, but you’ll always be compared to your sibling. If they’ve won more, that can sting a lot even if you feel happy for them. With that in mind, who produced some of the better sibling rivalries where both showed flashes of brilliance, but one came out on top? Some potential Hall of Famers have actually made this list.
Here are 15 athletes who could never outshine their siblings.
15 Ralf Schumacher
The Schumacher name is a big one in the world of Formula One, and the World Champion on seven different occasions has been Michael Schumacher. Michael’s younger brother, 42 year old Ralf, hasn’t been quite as lucky. In his Formula One Career, Ralf Schumacher has just six wins, and no championships to his name. Michael, on the other hand, has won a total of 91 races and is the first name that comes to mind in the sport.
Michael was already winning races before Ralf even made his way to Formula One. His first win came in the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix, five years before Ralf made his debut. Ralf’s first win came in 2001 at the San Marino Grand Prix, and he didn’t win a race between 2003 and 2007 when he left the sport.
14 Eli Manning
Since the oldest brother Cooper Manning didn’t actually make it to the professional level as an athlete, we excluded him from this list. Eli Manning, though, hasn’t quite lived up to the performance of his older brother, Peyton. That’s not to say that a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl Champion is bad by any means, but when you compare the two, it’s really not that close.
Through the first four weeks of the 2017 season, Eli has amassed a record of 108-95, well behind the 186-79 record that 14-time Pro Bowler and five-time MVP Peyton has had. Sure, they might be tied in the Super Bowl department, but only one of them is involved in the conversation of greatest quarterback to ever play...and it isn't Eli.
13 Venus Williams
Here’s another case of a fantastic career that would be one of the most talked about if it weren’t for a more successful sibling. Venus Williams has been great since turning pro at just 14 years old back in 1994, amassing a career record of 763-216 in singles competition, and is still in the top five, while at one point being the top ranked tennis player. She’s also won seven Grand Slam Finals and has reached the finals of both the Australian and French Opens.
Younger sister Serena, though, is simply the best to ever do it on the women’s side of tennis. The former number one was still at the top of her game before taking maternity leave in 2017. With a career record of 783-130, Serena has won seven Australian Opens, three French Opens, seven Wimbledons and six US Opens. The sisters have also dominated on the doubles circuit to add plenty more titles.
12 Patrick McEnroe
There aren’t many American male tennis stars these days, but one that still gets talked about is John McEnroe. Known for his big personality, John McEnroe turned pro back in 1978, achieving a record of 877-198 in singles competition and earned a top ranking in the world among male tennis players. He also won seven Grand Slam Singles Finals, as well as nine Doubles Finals.
Younger brother Patrick didn’t see nearly as much success, though he still had a decade-long career that included the 1989 French Open Championship for Doubles. Patrick never made it higher than the 28th ranking in the world with a record of 140-163, and the farthest he got on his own in a major was the 1991 Australian Open, losing in the semifinals.
11 Jose And Bengie Molina
Ever since 2004, Yadier Molina has been a staple of the St. Louis Cardinals organization behind the plate with more than 1,700 games logged as a catcher. During that time, Molina has won four Platinum Gloves (and eight Gold Gloves), while also winning two World Series titles and has been named to eight All Star teams. Molina also had two brothers make it to the Major Leagues, but not with as much success.
Bengie Molina certainly didn’t have a rough career with two Gold Gloves and a 12 year MLB tenure that included 144 home runs and a 10.7 WAR. Jose Molina wasn’t quite as impressive with a 2.9 WAR and 39 home runs, all of which pale in comparison to Yadier. In case you were curious, Yadier has a career WAR of 35.4 and 126 home runs.
10 Kurt Busch
Not many season-long champions in an individual sport can say they were out-shined by a younger sibling, but Kurt Busch can. Kurt Busch won the 2004 Nextel Cup Series just four years after making his debut. It looked like the sky was the limit for Busch, but he hasn’t been back to the promised land since then. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Busch has logged five wins and has added 29 wins on the main circuit.
Kyle was able to match his brother in the championship department in 2015 when he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and figures to be a contender for many years at just 32 years old. Kyle has also won a stunning amount of races, taking the checkered flag 91 times on the Xfinity Series and another 42 times on the Monster Energy circuit with many more left in the tank.
9 Jeremy Giambi
Unfortunately, we know the discrepancy between Jeremy Giambi and his brother Jason’s numbers wasn’t due to Jeremy’s lack of steroids, as he admitted to taking them along with Jason in 2005. Still, Jeremy didn’t come close to matching his brother’s output as Jeremy had a WAR of 3.3 with 52 career home runs and 209 runs batted in.
Compare that to Jason Giambi, who was a former American League MVP in 2000 with Oakland, and a five-time All Star. Jason would finish his career with 440 career home runs and 50.5 wins above replacement, making him extremely valuable in his best days. Even if the numbers were inflated because of PED use, there were still many taking them back in that era, including Jeremy, so Jason certainly didn’t have a lack of talent.
8 Ozzie Canseco
Speaking of steroid-taking pairs of brothers in Major League Baseball, here’s another one that had a huge gap between the two. As strange as he is, Jose Canseco was undoubtedly a great baseball player in the Steroid Era of baseball, winning an MVP Award, a Rookie of the Year Award, four Silver Sluggers, two World Series and making it to six All Star Games. Jose would finish with 462 home runs and 1,407 runs batted in over the course of 16 years.
Ozzie played briefly with his brother in Oakland, but only for a total of nine games. Ozzie would wind up playing just 24 career Major League Baseball games over three different seasons, not hitting a single home run and knocking in just four runs. Ozzie would dominate the Atlantic League, though, holding the record for most home runs in a season with 48.
7 Boss Bailey
There’s a good chance that we’ll see cornerback Champ Bailey in the Pro Football Hall of Fame soon after he finished with 12 Pro Bowl appearances in 15 seasons with the Redskins and Broncos. An eight-time All-Pro, Bailey was part of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, and finished with a total of 52 interceptions. Four years after making his debut, the Lions drafted his younger brother, Boss Bailey as a linebacker.
Boss showed flashes of being a solid player with the Lions, but could never really string it all together. There weren’t any accolades for Boss in his career, achieving just 305 tackles with seven sacks and two interceptions. Boss made his final appearance back in 2008 with the Denver Broncos, playing alongside his brother.
6 Clay Matthews, Jr.
The Clay Matthews line of NFL players has been impressive, but it’s certain that the best of the bunch has been Clay Matthews III of the Green Bay Packers, a multi-time Pro Bowler that leads the illustrious franchise in sacks. His father, Clay Matthews Jr. was no slouch of his own. A former first round pick in 1978, Matthews, Jr. spent 19 seasons in the NFL with more than 1,500 tackles that makes him the third highest all-time in that category.
The four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro would have been hard to outshine, but his brother somehow did just that. Bruce Matthews was drafted in 1983 and spent his entire career with the Oilers/Titans franchise, making 14 Pro Bowls and 10 All-Pro teams in nearly 300 games played. In 2007, Bruce Matthews was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame while Clay Matthews, Jr. wasn’t.
5 Dom And Vince DiMaggio
Ask any old-timer who they think the greatest baseball player they’ve ever seen was, and there’s a good chance that they’ll say Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio won nine World Series titles with the Yankees, while also making 13 All Star Games, winning two batting titles and three MVP Awards along the way. What younger fans might not know is that he had two brothers that were surprisingly decent.
The oldest of the three brothers was Vince DiMaggio, who was a two-time All Star that played for five teams in his career, finishing with 125 home runs and a 17.1 WAR. The youngest was Dom DiMaggio, who was named to seven All Star Games and knocked out 87 home runs with a 32.0 career WAR. Despite all of the accolades between the two brothers not named Joe, not many people ever mention them.
4 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Another player that achieved great success on the Major League level only to be outdueled by their brother, Sandy Alomar, Jr. was a great catcher for nearly two decades with seven different teams. Sandy was the former Rookie of the Year, and also won a Gold Glove while being named to six All Star teams. Most notably, Alomar played with the Cleveland Indians, alongside his brother Roberto.
Roberto is the one that’s more frequently remembered by fans, especially since he was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. Roberto won 10 Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers, reaching 12 All Star Games and winning a pair of World Series. In the end, both brother players actually ended up better than their father Sandy Alomar, Sr. in terms of Major League success.
3 Ramon Martinez
Almost everyone remembers Pedro Martinez, the pitcher from five different teams over an 18-year MLB career that won 219 games, while losing just 100. Even more impressive, Pedro kept his career ERA under 3.00 despite pitching during the heart of the Steroid Era in baseball. Pedro became a Hall of Famer in 2015 thanks to three Cy Young Awards, five ERA titles and eight All Star appearances.
History seems to have already forgotten that his older brother, Ramon, was pretty good, too. Ramon spent 14 seasons in the Majors with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Pirates. At his best, Ramon was a 20-game winner with a sub-3.00 ERA, but he wasn’t nearly as consistent. He finished his career with a 135-88 mark and 3.67 ERA, being named to just one All Star team.
2 Seth Curry
When Seth and Stephen Curry were in high school, Seth was the 35th ranked point guard, and would end up going to Duke University (after a year at Liberty). Steph wasn’t ranked at all, and he wound up at the much smaller Davidson. With that in mind, one would assume that Seth would be the higher draft pick, but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, Steph was a top-10 selection, and has won two NBA MVP Awards, as well as a scoring title and two NBA Finals.
Seth has already played for five different teams in just four seasons, and showed some promise in 2016-17 with the Mavericks. However, he would still have a lot of catching up to do to get to older brother Steph's level. While the future would suggest that Seth is going to have a serviceable NBA career, he won't be winning MVPs and NBA Finals trophies.
1 Billy Ripken
One of the records that’s unlikely to be broken in baseball is the consecutive games played streak that belongs to Cal Ripken, Jr. Ripken played in 2,632 games in a row, and easily made it into the Hall of Fame in 2007 thanks to making 19 All Star teams, winning two MVP Awards, eight Silver Sluggers and a World Series. Younger brother Billy, however, barely had more at-bats than his brother had consecutive games played.
Billy Ripken was serviceable as a utility man for 12 years in the Major Leagues, though most of his success came early on. In the end, he faded fast and his career batting average dropped to just .247, hitting 20 career home runs. Cal on the other hand, would hit 431 home runs on the heels of a .276 average and 95.5 wins above replacement.
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