There have been many players who have had successful careers in sports, with brothers who have never even played the same sport. However, it becomes interesting and gets competitive when families have more than one child play the same sport. As much as any parent wants both kids to bask in the glory of success, there are far too many instances where one brother succeeds and the other, quite frankly, sucks.
The Harbaugh brothers have been around football for most of their lives, but only Jim had what it took to make it in the NFL. They have both been successful enough in the NFL coaching ranks to make their family proud, but other families are not so lucky. Michael and Marcus Vick have probably made their family sick with their bad behavior off the field, but at least Michael has been able to give glimpses of his enormous potential in the NFL. Jose Canseco popularized the 40-40 club, but brother Ozzie Canseco never came close to 40 steals or even 40 hits in his MLB career. In the racing world, Dale and Dale Jr. are legends in the Earnhardt family Hall of Fame, but Kerry has been left on the outside looking in. Seth and Steph Curry might have similar sounding names, but one is a world champion in the NBA and the other is relegated to being a champion in the D-League. Throughout the sports world, there are several other examples where the genes for sports have not exactly been shared.
The following 15 brothers have not had the same amount of success playing the same sport. One brother has been highly successful, while the other brother has struggled to make an impact in their particular sport. In some cases, the older brother has set the bar high, while in other cases it is the younger brother who ends up making the family proud. Most families just feel fortunate when one brother becomes a star, but that doesn't do much to help the other brother's case.
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15 Jim and John Harbaugh
Although both Harbaugh brothers have enjoyed a good deal of success in the coaching ranks, only one of them played in the NFL. Jim Harbaugh had a productive NFL career as a quarterback, playing for five different teams. He finished his career with 26,288 yards of passing, 129 touchdown passes, and even 2,787 yards on the ground. He was tough, gritty, and competitive, earning a great deal of acclaim for his clutch play. John was a defensive back at Miami University. John went right into coaching and apparently has found his niche. The fact that Jim went on to have a successful career in the NFL and even start coaching high profile teams like Stanford, San Francisco, and now Michigan, makes John clearly take second place, at least as a player. John was able to defeat his brother's San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
14 Diego and Hugo Maradona - Soccer
Diego Maradona might be known as much for his "hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup than the stellar career that he actually had. Diego scored an astounding 312 goals in 588 professional games, adding 34 goals in 91 games for Argentina in international play. The list of honors for Diego is quite long and he even set records for the largest transfer fees in professional soccer at the time when he started playing for Barcelona and later when he transferred to Napoli. He was a superb dribbler, passer and controller of play.
Hugo, his younger brother, played professionally mostly in Austria and Japan. He scored 85 goals in only 180 games, but it certainly wasn't in La Liga or the Premier League. Like Japan and Europe, the brothers games were miles apart.
13 Andy and Jamie Murray - Tennis
Andy Murray is probably the best tennis player to ever come out of Great Britain. He has won over $37 million in prize money after starting his career in 2005. He has won two Grand Slam events, and has been to the finals of the Australian Open four times. He also won the Gold Medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Andy has been one of the most consistent players in professional tennis, making it to the semi-finals of every Grand Slam event.
Jamie Murray has not been too horrible, raking in just over $1 million in his career that started in 2004. He specializes in doubles, and won a Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon while going to the finals in two other Grand Slam events twice. He has a career doubles record of 215-194, which isn't exactly close to Andy's singles record of 527-158.
12 Cal and Billy Ripken - Baseball
Although Billy Ripken enjoyed some modest success in the major leagues, he couldn't exactly compete with Cal's iron man streak. Cal Ripken Jr. cranked out 3,184 hits, with 431 home runs, 1,695 RBIs, 1,647 runs, and 603 doubles in his 21 years in MLB. His numbers were extraordinary, considering he played shortstop and managed to, at one time, play in 2,632 consecutive games. He was a 19 time All-Star and two time AL MVP.
Billy had a respectable 12-year MLB career, but was never able to play a complete season, let alone gain enough votes to make an All-Star team. He finished with a .247 batting average with 20 home runs, and 229 RBIs, in 912 games played. Billy was not exactly bad, but next to Cal Jr. he was certainly not in the same league.
11 Matt and Tim Hasselbeck - Football
Matt Hasselbeck has had quite a surprisingly long career. He has managed to play in the NFL for 16 seasons, with most of his production coming from his years in Seattle earlier in his career. He has passed for 34,949 yards with 203 touchdown passes in his career. Matt has been to three Pro Bowls and was an NFC Champion with Seattle in 2005. He has been productive enough to maintain a career quarterback rating over 80, currently standing at 82.3.
Tim, on the other hand, has had to do things the hard way. Tim broke into the league as an undrafted free agent, proceeding to fight for a roster spot on seven different NFL teams in his seven-year career. He finished his career with 1,012 yards passing to go along with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. In a nutshell, the elder Matt is still playing and the younger Tim played in his last game in 2002.
10 Tony and Chris Gwynn - Baseball
It is quite amusing how the pudgy and more overweight brother ended up being such a good player, going on to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tony Gwynn was an amazing hitter who could also play quite admirably in the field. He finished his career with a .338 batting average, 3,141 hits, and 1,138 RBIs. Tony made 15 All-Star teams, won the Silver Slugger award seven times, and received five Gold Gloves in his illustrious career.
It was tough for Chris to come close to measuring up to stats like that. Chris spent most of his time in the majors coming off the bench or pinch hitting later in games, finishing with only 1,007 at bats in 599 games. He hit .261 for his career, which is not half bad, but only had 17 home runs, 118 RBI, and just two stolen bases. Chris did spend 10 years in the majors, but Tony simply set the bar too high.
9 Ronaldinho and Roberto de Assis Moreira - Soccer
Brazil has had several several good players go overseas to Europe to become big stars, but Ronaldinho de Assis moreira was one of the better players to come out of Brazil. Ronaldinho helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup and proceeded to make the jump to Europe where he played admirably for Barcelona and Milan. He has scored 279 goals with 166 assists in 706 professional appearances. Ronaldinho has also scored 33 goals in 97 appearances for the senior Brazilian national team. His brother, Roberto, has struggled to keep up. Roberto did move the family out of a favela after signing with Gremio, a top-level Brazilian team, but his biggest claim to fame is managing his brother's career. He had one goal for the Brazilian U-20 team, and did help his Swiss club win two cups but a knee injury really prevented him from doing much more.
8 Klay and Mychel Thompson - Basketball
Klay Thompson came into his own this past season as he proved to the league that he could be more than just a spot up shooter. Klay received his first invitation to the All-Star game by averaging 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. In just four NBA seasons, Klay is averaging 17.5 points per game, while shooting 41.8% from beyond the 3-point arc. He has become a star player in the NBA and now has a championship to show for it.
Mychel Thompson has had to settle for winning a D-League championship with Santa Cruz after failing to stick with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also spent time bouncing around the D-League too. He has played in five NBA games, while shooting 29.2% from the floor, resulting in a total of 18 points. Both brothers are champions, one just did it on the grand stage.
7 Michael and Jeff Andretti - Auto Racing
Being a son of the legendary Mario Andretti is pressure in itself, but Michael Andretti was able to follow in his father's footsteps while brother Jeff struggled in the sport. Racing predominantly in the Izod Indycar Series events, Michael racked up 32 poles and 42 wins in 317 events. He finished the series in first place in 1991, finishing his CART career as the third most successful driver of all-time. Jeff Andretti tried his hand at Champ Car and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing events, but didn't experience the same success. He tried his best in about six years of racing, but never won or went to the podium in the 24 races he entered. Jeff might have earned the title of Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year (1991), but his trophy case and racing was certainly not a source of family pride.
6 Michael and Marcus Vick - Football
These two brothers deserve a prominent spot on this list due in large part to the talent they both possess along with their ability to squander it as well. Michael Vick was supposed to be the second coming of a morph between Steve Young and John Elway, with his ability to run like Bo Jackson, and throw like Nolan Ryan. In Michael's second NFL season (2002), the world caught a glimpse of his capabilities. He passed for 2,936 yards and ran for 777 yards, while scoring a total of 24 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,039 yards, while throwing 20 touchdown passes in 2006, but his work has been inconsistent to say the least.
Marcus, on the other hand, never was able to launch an NFL career. Marcus had so many legal troubles that he was sent packing from Virginia Tech, going undrafted in the NFL. He was eventually signed by the Miami Dolphins, but only appeared in one game.
5 Larry and Eddie Bird - Basketball
It is almost unfair to compare any one human being to Larry Bird, and expecting a brother to be of the same caliber is almost a one in a million chance. Larry Bird was a legend, averaging 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. The three-time NBA MVP also was selected to 12 All-Star teams on his way to winning 3 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. He was a mythical human being who took the lowly Indiana State Sycamores to the NCAA tournament for the very first time, and even to a dream match up with Magic Johnson and Michigan State in the title game.
Eddie, on the other hand, followed Larry at Indiana State and couldn't even meet Proposition 48 standards. Eddie never even made it close to the NBA, but was the third most productive three-point shooter in Sycamore history with 161 points from behind the arc.
4 Wayne and John Rooney - Soccer
Wayne Rooney has been one of the most prominent professional soccer players in Great Britain with his role as captain for Manchester United. Wayne has scored 230 goals in 479 appearances for Manchester United, playing with the club since transferring from Everton in 2004. He is widely recognized as being England's best current soccer player and one of the country's greatest players of all-time. On the other hand, John Rooney has not enjoyed the same level of success. John might have started with Everton like his brother, but he eventually had trouble holding his own in England and had to give the MLS a try. After failing to score a goal on the New York Red Bulls, John finally scored two goals with Orlando City, but to no avail. He still comes up well short of brother Wayne.
3 Dale and Kerry Earnhardt - Auto Racing
The Dale Earnhardt name is such a household name in the world of auto racing that most people probably think there is just a father and son combo in the sport. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has 48 NASCAR wins in both Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series events. He also has a remarkable 323 top ten finishes and has been recognized as being the Sprint Cup Series Most Popular Driver 12 times. On the other hand, success has not come easily for Kerry. Kerry has no wins and only six top ten finishes in 106 NASCAR events. To make matters worse, Kerry was even involved in a crash at Charlotte Motor Speedway that ended Blaise Alexander's life. In a family with a rich racing tradition, Dale Jr. apparently got a bigger share of the racing genes.
2 Stephen and Seth Curry - Basketball
Although it is early in both of their careers, Stephen Curry's MVP season now sets them pretty far apart on the brother comparison scale. In six seasons of play, Steph Curry has averaged 20.9 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, while also being selected to play in the All-Star game two times, and most recently being recognized as the league's MVP.
For Seth Curry there is still time to measure up, but up to this point in his career, Seth Curry has only played in four NBA games. In his three seasons in the league, Seth Curry is averaging just 0.8 points and 0.3 assists in what amounts to less than a half of play. Yes, that's a little over 20 minutes of NBA action in three seasons! The former star from Duke has not even come close to his older brother from the not so prestigious program of Davidson, but he still has time to turn things around.
1 Jose and Ozzie Canseco - Baseball
The Canseco brothers were identical twins, but only one of them ended up being a star in the major leagues. Jose Canseco was the AL Rookie of The Year in 1986 and just two years later was honored with the AL MVP award. He finished his career with 462 home runs, 1,407 RBI, and 200 stolen bases, while also brandishing a .515 slugging percentage and .266 batting average as well. He set the bar high, and all his brother could do is look up.
Ozzie Canseco played in just 24 major league games, never experiencing the thrill of hitting a major league home run. He had only 13 hits and 4 RBIs in the three seasons he had the opportunity to play in the major leagues. Even his .200 batting average and .292 slugging percentage paled in comparison to what his brother was able to do.
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