A remarkably average major league third baseman, noted only for his interesting mixture of power and speed and a complete inability to combine the two. His father, Bob Boone, was a major league catcher of some note and his brother (Brett) is an excellent hitting (and fielding) second baseman for the Seattle Mariners. For much of his life and baseball career, Aaron was viewed as the 'disappointment', his production never quite matching up to his heritage or athletic abilities. Despite that, he is easily the most famous Boone ever to put on cleats.
A few productive years and one very hot start earned the youngest (in the MLB) Boone a trade to the New York Yankees, who needed a replacement for the recently departed Robin Ventura. High expectations promised disappointment, but Boone took the extra step and sucked at a level unprecedented in even his unimpressive career. Despite Aaron's paltry 302/418 production over the final 54 games, the Yankees held onto the American League East and advanced , once again, into the playoffs.
If the big stage stirred something primal in Boone's soul, he did his best to hide it. The Yankees managed a four game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS without Boone's help and, though he tried his best to sabotage their efforts, battled a tough Red Sox team into a seventh, deciding game to be played at Yankee Stadium, the pennant and a one-way ticket to the World Series on the line.
Top billing belonged to the game's Hall of Fame hurlers, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez - perhaps the greatest pair of right-handed pitchers baseball has ever produced and certainly the greatest to ever match up in the post season, in a game so big as this. The match was, as it had to be, epic, surpassing every possible expectation. It was filled with the sort of drama that only baseball and, specifically, Red Sox baseball can produce. The 8th inning collapse of Pedro Martinez and the Boston Brain Trust allowed for the spotlight to swing improbably onto the narrow shoulders of that same unused and blissfully forgotten Aaron Boone. I mean, this is his node, right?
There's no way that Tim Wakefield could have known that he was pitching to a legend. Until that moment, the bottom of the 11th on a cold October night, the man at the plate had been the black sheep of the illustrious Boone family. The worst player on the Yankees. The easy out. One swing later, he's the only Boone... And he's got a new middle name.
A winter later, Aaron Boone is no longer a Yankee. A torn ACL earned violating his new, juicy contract garnered the October Son a quick release and fond farewell. His replacement, Alex Rodriguez (the best player in the American League), is bound to make New Yorkers happy for many, many seasons... But I'd lay even money that 30 years from now, long after Rodriguez is elected to the Hall of Fame and Boone's gone wherever it is that bad players go, it'll be those raised fists, a beaten knuckler and the Joe Buck's excited voice that'll live in the Bronx forever more.