Saturday, January 9, 2010

1976 Topps #318 - Bob Boone

  • Bob Boone caught for three teams from 1972-1990. His father Ray was a major leaguer and Bob had two sons (Aaron and Bret) who also played in the majors. Bob was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. He played in the minors from 1969-1972 and was brought up to the Phillies at the end of the 1972 season after batting .308 for AAA Eugene. In 16 games Boone batted .275 and showed the Phillies that he could handle the everyday catching duties.
  • Bob finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Gary Matthews and Steve Rogers in 1973. He batted .261 with 10 HR and 61 RBI in 145 games. In 1974 Boone caught 146 games but his average slipped to .242. Boone was almost traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 1974 season in a multi-player deal that would have sent Bill Freehan to the Phillies, but Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter vetoed the trade and it fell through. Bob shared time with Johnny Oates (who had the better bat) behind the plate in 1975. Boone batted .246 in 97 games -- one of the few years in which he caught fewer than 100 games.
  • Boone made his first All Star game in 1976 and went 0 for 2. He batted .271 in 121 games and batted .286 (2 for 7) in the NLCS. In 1977 Bob batted .284 with 11 HR in 132 games and was 4 for 10 in the NLCS.
  • Bob made the All Star team in 1978 and had a 2-run single in the 8th inning. He batted .283 with 12 HR in 132 games. Boone also won his first Gold Glove award in '78. He batted only .182 in the NLCS. In 1979 Bob batted .286 in 119 games, won another Gold Glove, and was the NL starting catcher in the All Star game (he was 1 for 2). Boone didn't see any action after September 13.
  • Boone had a poor offensive season in 1980, batting only .229 in 141 games. He batted .222 in the NLCS and .400 in the World Series. A Catch to Remember - October 2005 Baseball Digest (Boone recalls the famous play where a foul pop-up bounced off of Boone's mitt and Pete Rose caught it). In 1981 Boone played in 76 games and batted .211. Keith Moreland was seeing more playing time behind the plate thanks to his offense. Boone also may have been distracted by the acrimonious negotiations between the players and owners during that turbulent season (Bob was a key guy in the Players Association). Bob was 0 for 5 in the NLDS. After the 1981 season the Phillies sold Boone to the California Angels.
  • Bob experienced a rebirth with the Angels. He won the Gold Glove in 1982 and batted .256 in 143 games for the AL West champions. Boone batted .250 in the ALCS. Bob's 1983 season was a virtual carbon copy of 1982. He batted .256 in 142 games and made the AL All Star team (he didn't bat but caught the 9th inning).
  • Boone's offense slipped in 1984 (.202 in 139 games) and picked up a bit in 1985 (.248 in 150 games). Bob Boone: He Helps Keep Pitchers Within the Strike Zone - Baseball Digest September 1985. Bob won the Gold Glove in 1986 and batted .222 in 144 games. He batted .455 in the ALCS. Bob Boone: Baseball's Most Durable Catcher - January 1987 Baseball Digest. In 1987 Boone was a Gold Glover again and batted .242 in 128 games. The Game I'll Never Forget - November 1988 Baseball Digest (about Boone breaking the record for games caught in 1987). Boone had a career high batting average (.295) in 1988 and won the Gold Glove award. He played in "only" 122 games. After the 1988 season Boone became a free agent and signed with the Kansas City Royals.
  • Bob's last season as a regular was 1989. He played in 131 games, batted .274, and won the Gold Glove. Boone played in 40 games as a 42-year-old in 1990 and batted .239. He was out with a broken finger from mid-May to late July. Bob retired after the 1990 season.
  • Boone managed the Kansas City Royals from 1995-mid 1997. He also managed the Cincinnati Reds from 2001-late 2003. None of his teams played over .500, although his 1995 Royals club finished second in the AL Central. Bob is now the Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development for the Washington Nationals.
  • Here's a cool blog entry about a baseball that both Boone and Rose autographed.
  • Liked to face: Bob Moose (.526 in 19 AB); Gaylord Perry (.458 in 24 AB); Rick Rhoden (.429 in 28 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dennis Martinez (0 for 14); Bruce Sutter (0 for 14); Bob Gibson (.080 in 25 AB)

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