33 Facts about new Yankees manager Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone was named the 33rd manager in New York Yankees franchise history on Dec. 4, chosen to succeed Joe Girardi after a managerial search that officially lasted 40 days.
At his introductory press conference, Boone said that the Yankees are "a team with loads of talent that in many ways, came of age and arrived this season," and that "I believe that me and my staff will be part of helping them take the next step, and the one thing I promise you guys is that you'll get all I've got."
Boone is under a three-year contract (with an option for a fourth year) to be the 33rd skipper of the New York Yankees, and in honor of that number, here are 33 facts about Aaron and the legendary Boone baseball family.
- 1. Aaron Boone is part of the first three-generation family in Major League Baseball players. His grandfather, Ray Boone, played from 1948-60 for six different teams, and his father, Bob Boone, played from 1972-1990 with the Phillies, Angels, and Royals.
- 2. The Boones are the third father-son combo to both serve as MLB managers; Bob has managed the Royals (1995-07) and Reds (2001-03), and with Aaron's appointment as Yankees skipper, the pair joins George and Dick Sisler and Bob and Joel Skinner as father-son managerial duos.
- 3. Boone is the 18th of the Yankees' 33 managers to have also played for the team.
- 4. Boone was the fourth of six candidates to interview for the job, following Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, and Hensley Meulens and preceding Chris Woodward and Carlos Beltran.
- 5. At 44 years old, Boone is the fourth-youngest manager in the AL - behind Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, and A.J. Hinch - and the seventh-youngest overall in MLB, behind Cash, Andy Green, Mickey Callaway, Gabe Kapler, Cora, and Hinch.
- 6. Boone has no coaching experience whatsoever, but during his conference call with the media after his interview, he had this to say about that: "Obviously, experience is very valuable and should be a check mark for somebody. But I would also say that I've been preparing for this job my entire life. I'm 44 years old now, and I've been going to the ballpark since I was three or four years old."
- 7. Bret Boone, Aaron's older brother, never played for the Yankees, but was on the business end of two historic Yankees teams; he played with the 1999 Braves, who were swept by the Yankees in that year's World Series, and the 2001 Mariners, who won an AL-record 116 games but fell to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
- 8. Aaron and Bret Boone are one of several sets of family members to have played together at the major-league level, spending time together on the 1997 and 1998 Reds.
- 9. Boone's birthday is March 9, a birth date he shares with 51 other major-leaguers, including Bert Campaneris, Benito Santiago, Terry Mulholland, and Hall of Famer Arky Vaughan.
- 10. Aaron and wife Laura have two biological children, daughter Bella and son Brandon, and have also adopted two boys, Jeanel and Sergot.
- 11. Brandon, Jeanel, and Sergot give the Boones three chances to eventually become a fourth-generation MLB family, but they may not need to wait that long; Aaron's nephew (and Bret's son) Jake, a middle infielder, was the Nationals' 38th-round pick in 2017, but he elected to uphold his commitment to Princeton instead and could be drafted again in 2020.
- 12. Boone was twice a major-league draftee, being selected in the 43rd round in 1991 by the Angels and then again in the third round in 1994 by the Reds.
- 13. Boone is one of three major-leaguers ever from Villa Park High School in Villa Park, California. The other two are Dave Leeper, an outfielder who played in 19 games for the Royals in 1984-85, and current Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo.
- 14. Boone was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 81 prospect in all of baseball entering the 1997 season, the year in which he made his MLB debut with Cincinnati.
- 15. Boone made his MLB debut on June 20, 2007 - and was ejected from that game for throwing his helmet after making an out at the plate in the sixth inning.
- 16. Boone's first career major-league home run was a solo shot on August 26, 1998, off then-Cub and future Yankee Kerry Wood.
- 17. On the final day of the 1998 season, Boone became part of the first-ever MLB starting infield comprised of two sets of brothers; Aaron and Bret Boone started at third and second base, respectively, with Barry Larkin at shortstop and Stephen Larkin at first base.
- 18. Boone played for six teams over 13 major-league seasons, hitting .263 overall and earning one All-Star nod, a berth on the 2003 NL squad as a member of the Reds.
- 19. Boone hit the last home run in the history of Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, cranking a solo shot on Sept. 22, 2002 off then-Phillies lefty Dan Plesac - who himself, a year later, became the final Phillies hurler to throw a pitch at Veterans Stadium.
- 20. Boone was traded just weeks after that All-Star appearance, coming to the Yankees on July 31, 2003, in exchange for pitchers Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning.
- 21. The man Boone succeeded as Yankees third baseman, Robin Ventura, has also become a major-league manager, spending five seasons (2012-16) at the helm of the Chicago White Sox.
- 22. Boone hit .254 in 54 regular-season games as a Yankee, with six home runs and 31 RBI.
- 23. He is the author of one of the most revered postseason home runs in Yankees history, the walk-off solo blast off Boston's Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series that gave the Yankees their 39th AL pennant.
- 24. Boone wore No. 19 as a Yankee, the 34th of now 42 players to have donned the number. His predecessor, Ventura, also wore No. 19, and other notables to wear it include Whitey Ford (in 1950 before switching to 16), "Bullet" Bob Turley, Dave Righetti, Al Leiter, and its current owner, Masahiro Tanaka.
- 25. Boone tore his ACL playing pickup basketball in the winter following the 2003 season, which paved the way for the Yankees to acquire Alex Rodriguez later in the winter.
- 26. The number Boone wore in his final three MLB seasons, No. 8, had special meaning for him, as both father Bob and grandfather Ray wore it for the majority of their careers; of course, wearing No. 8 was not possible for Aaron until the end of his career, as it was retired by both the Reds (Joe Morgan) and Yankees (Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra) prior to his arrival.
- 27. Boone's final career hit came as a member of the Washington Nationals on Sept. 20, 2008, an RBI ground-rule double off then-Padres righty Mike Adams in the eighth inning of an eventual 6-1 Nats loss to San Diego.
- 28. Boone played first base in that game, which had several Yankees connections; one of the players the Yankees traded for Boone, Charlie Manning, pitched for the Nationals in relief in that game, former Yankees farmhands Wil Nieves and Cristian Guzman were DC's starting catcher and shortstop, respectively, and the Padres' starting left fielder was the Bombers' current starting third baseman, Chase Headley.
- 29. Boone's final season, 2009, was an abbreviated one, as he spent much of the year on the Houston Astros' disabled list after undergoing open-heat surgery that March. He would return to the major-league roster in September, but went 0-for-13 over 10 games.
- 30. After retiring in 2010, Boone had spent the previous eight seasons as a broadcaster, and the final game he called on television was a Yankees game: their win over Minnesota in the 2017 American League Wild Card Game.
- 31. Boone was one year shy of playing for his previous two predecessors as Yankees manager; he played for Joe Torre in 2003, of course, but his lone year with the Marlins came in 2007 - the year after Joe Girardi was fired as the skipper in Miami.
- 32. Aaron Boone is already No. 1 in one way: his first name is the first alphabetically among the 33 managers in Yankees history, topping Art Fletcher. He's also No. 2, as the only former Yankees skipper with a surname ahead of Boone in the alphabet is Yogi Berra.
- 33. If Boone finishes the year and the Yankees have their 16th consecutive non-losing season in 2018, the new skipper will finish the campaign no lower than 23rd on the all-time franchise wins list; the No. 23 spot is currently held by Johnny Keane, who was 81-101 in parts of two seasons (1965-66) as skipper.