On this date in 1992, Bret Boone made his Major League debut and became the first third-generation Major League Baseball player. Boone made his debut with the Seattle Mariners, who he played for through 1993 and again between 2001 and 2005. In his career, he also played for the Cincinnati Reds (1994-98), Atlanta Braves (1999), San Diego Padres (2000), and Minnesota Twins (2005).
Bret’s grandfather, Ray Boone, was the first member of the family to play the game. The elder Boone was born in 1923 and made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians in September 1948. After playing for the Detroit Tigers (1953-59), Chicago White Sox (1958-59), Kansas City Athletics (1959), and Milwaukee Braves (1959-60), Ray Boone made his final appearance with the Boston Red Sox on August 11, 1960.
Ray and his wife, Susan, had three children – two boys and a girl. Younger son Rod Boone played in the minor leagues from 1972 to 1975. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1972 from Stanford University and assigned to the Waterloo Royals. He was promoted to the high-A San Jose Bees in 1973 and the double-A Jacksonville Suns in 1974. After being traded to the Astros, he started the 1975 season with the double-A Columbus Astros before being promoted to the triple-A Iowa Oaks.
Twelve years after Ray’s retirement from baseball, on September 10, 1972, Ray’s older son, Bob Boone, made his Major League debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bob played in the majors for 18 years, until his retirement in 1990. He played for the Phillies (1972-81), Angels (1982-88), and Royals (1989-90). After his playing career, Bob managed the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds. Currently, he is a Vice President and Senior Advisor to the General Manager for Player Development for the Washington Nationals.
Bob Boone had three sons: the aforementioned Bret Boone, born in 1969; Aaron Boone, born in 1973; and Matt Boone, born in 1979. Matt Boone was drafted by the Tigers in 1997. He played in the Tigers’ system from 1997 to 2002, rising to the high-A Lakeland Tigers in 2000 and staying there in 2001 and part of 2002. Be went to the Reds in 2003 and played for both the single-A Dayton Dragons and the rookie-level Gulf Coast Reds. Aaron Boone, on the other hand, spent over 12 years in the Major Leagues and is currently the manager of the New York Yankees.
With any luck, the Boones will add a fourth generation to their MLB Legacy. Bret’s son, Jake Boone, was drafted out of high school by the Washington Nationals (his grandpa’s employer) in the 38th round of the 2017 draft. He was also offered a scholarship to Princeton University, where the 20-year old is about to enter his junior year.
The Sociology of the Family is a fascinating sub-topic in the field of Sociology. Thus, the Sociology of the Baseball Family is an important part of Baseball Sociology. Now that I know more about this historic baseball family, I need to do more research on other baseball families.