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The Boone Family

February 27, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
There have been more than 350 pairs of brothers to play in the Major Leagues, and more than 100 fathers and sons. Baseball families are hardly rare, but even so, the Boone family trumps them all.

A Lineage of Baseball Talent

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But what sets the Boones apart is their success: all four were All-Stars (Ray twice, Bob four times, Bret three times, and Aaron once) and all four played in the World Series. Additionally, Bob and Bret are one of only two father-son tandems to win Gold Gloves.

Ray Boone

Boone showed some promise over the next few years but was struggling through the first two months of the 1953 season. Hitting just .241 with 4 home runs, Boone was traded to Detroit as part of an eight-player deal on June 15. Maybe it was the change of scenery, or maybe it was being moved to third base, or maybe it was coincidence, but Boone’s performance improved dramatically in Detroit. In 101 games with the Tigers that year, Boone hit .312 with 22 home runs and 93 RBI. He was in the top 10 in almost every major offensive category, and was eighth in the voting for Most Valuable Player.
The following year was another good one for Boone and included a selection to the All Star Game, where he hit a home run to help the American League to an 11-9 victory. His success continued as he led the league in RBIs in 1955, and was an All-Star again in 1956, while compiling a .308 average with 25 home runs. Baseball-Reference.com has Ray Boone’s complete statistics, and BaseballLibrary.com recaps some of the significant moments in Boone’s career.
All the while, he and wife Pat were raising the family that made Ray even more famous than his All-Star appearances. There was Bob, the future Major League player and manager; Rod, a standout in high school and college who played briefly in the Houston Astros organization; and daughter Terry, an excellent swimmer who competed in the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials.
After finishing his career with the Red Sox in 1960, Boone became a scout for the team, a position he held for decades. His most famous acquisition was current Red Sox superstar pitcher Curt Schilling, whom Boone signed in 1986. Years later Schilling pitched the Red Sox to their first World Series victory in 86 years in 2004.

Bob Boone

After a dismal 1981 season, Boone was traded to the California Angels. He found immediate success and played seven years with the team, helping them to first-place finishes in 1982 and 1986.
Boone was known as much for his longevity as for his defense: when he finally retired after 19 seasons, his 2,225 games behind the plate were a Major League record. Even so, a career-best .295 batting average in 1988 did not persuade the Angels to keep the 40-year-old catcher, so Boone signed with the Kansas City Royals. A solid 1989 season was followed by an injury-shortened 1990, and then retirement. But like his father, Boone found new employment with his final team: he was hired as the Royals’ manager for 1995.
Boone was at the Kansas City helm for less than three years, but was soon tapped to manage the Cincinnati Reds before the 2001 season. The family dynasty had a new chapter, as Boone managed his son, Aaron, who was the Reds’ third baseman.

Bret and Aaron Boone

It’s no wonder, then, that the Boone brothers starred in high school and went on to play for baseball powerhouse USC in college. In fact, their names are all over the list of career statistics leaders at USC.
Bret made it back to the Majors, of course, and the two played together in the Reds infield for a while before Bret was traded to Atlanta midway through the 1999 season. In fact, the brothers made history yet again when they started alongside shortstop Barry Larkin and first baseman Stephen Larkin at the end of the 1998 season to become the first two sets of brothers to play for the same team in the same game.
Bret retired in 2006 but Aaron is now back with Dad, having signed with the Nationals for the 2008 season, where he’s expected to back up star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

This could very well be the last year we see a Boone in a Major League uniform. But then again, Bret’s eight-year-old son Jacob may one day have something to say about that. “We're a baseball family,” Bret said upon retiring.
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