No matter who you are or where you grew up, you’ve probably heard that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When it comes to the Boone family, that saying is certainly true; with each passing generation, it seems like another member of the clan dons his uniform and hits the baseball diamond.
While everyone has their favorite Boone—Phillies faithful prefer Bob Boone while those in New England aren’t too fond of Aaron—the family is no stranger to Major League Baseball. But how many Boones have actually played America’s pastime over the years?
Ray was the first member of the Boone family to play Major League Baseball
Every family has a respected senior member who started the group’s most treasured traditions. In the Boone family, Ray began the trend of playing professional baseball.
After serving in World War II, Boone made his Major League Baseball debut for the Cleveland Indians at the tail end of the 1948 season. The infielder stayed with the club until 1953 when he joined the Detroit Tigers.
Boone’s career wouldn’t end in the Motor City, though. He ended up spending a total of 13 years in the big leagues, suiting up for the Indians, Tigers, White Sox, Athletics, Braves, and Red Sox. While he was never a game-breaking player, Ray retired with a .275 batting average and 1,260 hits to his name; he also appeared in two All-Star Games and was a member of the 1948 World Series champion Indians.
Bob Boone follows in his father’s footsteps
While some children do all they can to avoid following in their parents’ footsteps, Bob Boone did the opposite. As Ray’s son, he was destined to be a Major League Baseball player.
Boone played his college ball at Stanford and, in 1972, made his debut for the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent 10 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, establishing himself as a quality defensive catcher and winning the 1980 World Series, before being dealt the California Angels. After seven seasons there, the Kansas City Royals for two final campaigns.
After retiring, Boone was slated to be the first manager of a potential Orlando franchise; when that team never came to be, he took charge of the Kansas City Royals and, later, the Cincinnati Reds. He’s still involved in baseball to this day, serving as the Vice President of Player Development and Senior Advisor to the General Manager in the Washington Nationals organization.
Aaron, Bret, and Jake are keeping the Boone family baseball legacy alive
Bob Boone had two sons, Aaron and Bret. Both of them made it to the big leagues, bringing the number of Boones who played professional baseball to four.
Aaron got his start with the Cincinnati Reds before joining the New York Yankees and hitting one of the most famous home runs in recent history. He lost his job in the Bronx, however, after tearing his ACL playing pick-up basketball; the infielder would play five more seasons before calling it a career. He then landed a job in the media before returning to the dugout to take over as New York Yankees manager.
Bret played most of his baseball for the Seattle Mariners, where he spent seven of his 14 professional seasons. During his time in the big leagues, the second baseman earned four Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers; he also made three All-Star Games and appeared in two Home Run Derbys.
Bret also has a son, Jake, who currently plays college baseball at Princeton. In the coming years, it’s possible that he’ll make it to the big leagues, becoming the fifth member of the Boone family to play Major League Baseball across four generations.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference