EP. 37 “Meet The Boone Family”
We revisit with Bret Boone to learn more about baseball’s first family.
Meet the Boone Family
For Bret Boone (MLB Career:1992-2005) playing baseball has always been a family tradition. He is the first 3rd generation player, as well as the first 3rd generation all-star highlighting his illustrious 17 year career. As a second baseman, he secured four Gold Gloves and added two Silver slugger awards. The three time all-star batted .538 in his only World Series appearance with the 1999 Atlanta Braves, who were swept by the red hot NY Yankees. Incidentally, my brother Mike and I were at games one and two in the Atlanta crowd loudly cheering against him and his teammates.
“I Never wanted to Write a Book,”
admits Bret Boone, who is author of Home Game, Big League Stories from My Life in Baseball’s First Family. It’s a compelling an honest account of his life and career as well as his dad’s Bob Boone (MLB career: 1972-1990), his Grandpa’s, Ray Boone (1948-1960) and his brother, Yankee manager, Aaron Boone (1997-2009.) If you are a baseball fan, you will LOVE this book. I first interviewed Bret two years ago when Home Game was released (Check out that episode here). I immediately loved his authenticity as well as his knowledge and love for baseball. He was gracious with his time and I enjoyed meeting him later that afternoon to take in his son Jake’s high school playoff game.
It’s The Little Things
I was a fan for life when he called me later that night and personally thanked me. We‘ve stayed in touch over the last few years. When I heard that he was in town visiting his little brother at Yankee Stadium and Jake at Princeton, I reached out again. Once again, he said yes!
I felt giddy
I have to admit, I was pumped when Aaron Boone was announced as the 33rd Yankee manager in franchise history. It made me feel giddy, having an extra close connection to the team. The 162 Experience was so excited to have the chance to continue talking baseball with the elder Boone. Bret opens up by telling Marybeth and I how crazy we are for attending all 162 NY Yankee games! The San Diego native talks about what it was like to write his first book, Home Game. (4:58.)
The 49 year-old shares that as much it was educational, it was also a rewarding trip down memory lane. Boone shares memories that any little-leaguer would dream of, like sleeping at Pete Rose’s house the night the Phillies won the 1980 World Series. He lights up when he recalls being an 11 year-old taking daily trips to the ballpark, donning his Phillies uniform while shagging batting practice. (11:40)
Who needs a ring anyway?
You can tell that Bret is proud of his career, yet a little disappointed that he didn’t get a ring as a player. (12:45) “That’s the thing in sports, commentators or so-called experts ask, ‘How many rings does that guy have?’ That has nothing to do with how good an athlete is.” He goes on to make his case offering examples like Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds, who he calls the greatest player of all-time.
Analytics vs. Old school
Bret, who batted .331 with 37 HR’s and 141 RBI’s in 2001, discusses how the game has changed, his views on analytics and his old school approach of using his gut. He shares his take on what it takes to make the postseason, plugging holes at the trade deadline and the mental effect that buying or selling has in the clubhouse. (14:54)
The Legacy continues…
I certainly was looking forward to asking him questions about his brother Aaron and the 2018 NY Yankees and I did just that. He describes his emotions when he heard Aaron got the job and why he believes that he is a great choice for the Yankees.
He calls his younger brother very professional, non-confrontational and shares,
“It’s tough to not like Aaron. He’s a very down the middle kind of guy and he’s just likable. He’s a good man. He has impeccable character, he’s a great family man, very positive, a very knowledgable baseball man, similar to our father. Most of all he has an incredible baseball IQ.” 18:00
Little Know Fact: “My brother Aaron was ejected in his MLB debut.”
Bret discusses his brother going from the ESPN booth to Yankee manager. He also voices his opinions on the shift and laughs as he recounts Aaron getting ejected during his MLB debut. 19:32 You will enjoy this episode as well as the book especially when Boone discusses his family being dubbed, “Baseball’s first family.” This book is chock full of stories spanning the last 70 years, including ones from Ted Williams batting over .400 to Bret getting beamed in the head by Roger Clemons. 23:54
I had the chance to ask Boone about his take on the play that received national coverage on April 11th, when Yankee first basemen, Tyler Austin slid hard into Red Sox SS Brock Holt, prompting the first of two Yankees-Red Sox bench clearing brawls that evening. It is interesting to hear his perspective, especially as an all-star 2nd baseman. Although Boone didn’t feel Austin did anything wrong, he tells us exactly how he used to handle a guy coming into 2nd base hard. (27:21)
We Are Family
He concludes the interview by sharing how happy and at peace he is with this phase of his life. For a guy that comes from baseball royalty, it is apparent that family comes first. He laughs as he describes his days now filled with cooking, doing laundry, coaching little league and an occasional round of golf.
You can tell a lot about someone by where they lead the conversation. It was obvious that Bret loves being a dad. He spoke much about his 13 year-old twin boys, his oldest and only daughter, Savannah, majoring in Broadcast Journalism in San Diego and his oldest son, Jake, a freshmen shortstop at Princeton.
It was a pleasure sitting down with Bret again and we hope that you enjoy our conversation about his book, Home Game, and his take on Aaron Boone’s 2018 NY Yankees.
Live Your Dreams,
Steve & Marybeth