Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 74

Bob Boone was a catcher with the Phillies from 1972-1981. Known for his superb defense, Boone was the field general for the Philadelphia team that made the post-season 4 times in 5 seasons, from 1976-1980.

Born in San Diego, Boone attended Stanford University, where he played third base. Boone was converted to a catcher after being drafted by the Phillies.

Boone made his Major League debut as a late season call up in 1972, before taking over as the Phillies' everyday catcher the following season. His strong offensive output (.261 avg., 10 HR, 61 RBI) and his efforts behind the plate earned Boone a 3rd-place finish for Rookie of the Year honors in 1973.

Boone was a 2nd generation Major Leaguer, as his father, Ray, was a third baseman with the Tigers and Indians, among other teams. Bob Boone parented a third generation of Major Leaguers. His sons Bret and Aaron both played ball at the highest level. All four Boone men were All-stars in their careers. The Boones were the first 3-generation family to play in the Majors.

The righty hitting Boone made his All-star debut in 1976. He would also be honored as a National League All-star in 1978 and 1979. In 1977 he won the first of 2 straight Gold Glove Awards. Those feats are even more impressive when considering that future Hall of Famers Gary Carter and Johnny Bench were catchers in the NL at that time.

As a key piece of the team, Boone caught all 6 games of the 1980 World Series, helping the Phillies win their first ever championship. In that series, he batted .412 with 4 RBI.

A knee injury held Boone back in 1981 and his production suffered. As a result, the Phillies sold Boone's contract to the Angels the following off-season.

In 7 seasons with California, Boone won 4 more Gold Gloves and was named to the American League All-star team in 1983. Boone played 2 additional seasons with the Kansas City Royals in 1989 and 1990, where he won one more Gold Glove Award, before retiring from playing.

In 1995, Boone began managing the Royals for parts of 3 seasons. In 2001 he took over as manager of the Reds, but was let go in July, 2003. While in Cincinnati, Boone managed his son Aaron, who played third base for the Reds.

In 2005, Boone was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. In 10 seasons as a Phillies, Boone posted a .259 batting average, slammed 65 homeruns and drove in 456 runs.

Bob Boone currently serves as Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development for the Washington Nationals.


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