View Poll Results: Should Bob Boone be in the Hall of Fame?

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  • Yes

    1 4.76%
  • No

    13 61.90%
  • Maybe

    5 23.81%
  • Not a Hall of Famer, but he had Hall of Fame potential

    2 9.52%
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Thread: Bob Boone

  1. #1

    Bob Boone

    Catcher Bob Boone spent 19 years in the big leagues, hitting .254 with 1,838 hits, 105 home runs, 826 RBI, 2,508 total bases and 663 walks to only 608 strikeouts. He was an All-Star four times, a Gold Glover seven times, he twice received MVP votes and in 1973 he finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He remained on the Hall of Fame ballot for five years, earning as much as 7.7% of the vote.

    He wasn't much of an offensive threat--it was his defense that he was known for. He led the league in defensive WAR twice (he is 15th all-time in that category), games at catcher six times (he is third all time there), catcher putouts three times, catcher assists six times, runners caught stealing three times, caught stealing percentage twice and catcher fielding percentage once. He wasn't a complete dud offensively, however--he hit at least 10 home runs three times, slugged over .400 thrice and had over 60 RBI thrice as well.

    In the postseason, he was a completely different hitter. He batted .311 with 33 hits, two home runs, 13 RBI and 12 runs scored in 106 playoff at-bats. He hit .400 or better in three different series, batting .455 with 10 hits in the 1986 ALCS. He earned one World Series ring in his career.

    Statistically, he is similar to two Hall of Fame catchers: Al Lopez and Rick Ferrell. He is also similar to Tony Pena, Brad Ausmus, Jim Sundberg, Chris Speier, Leo Cardenas, Deacon McGuire, Benito Santiago and Sherm Lollar. He scores 102 on the Hall of Fame monitor (an average Hall of Famer has a score of 100) and he is ranked #574 on the Fan EloRater, ahead of George Bell, Phil Garner and Zeke Bonura, but behind Ezra Sutton, Vinny Castilla and Bret Boone.

    He later became a manager, winning 371 games in that role.

    What do you think of Bob Boone? Should he be in the Hall of Fame? Did he have Hall of Fame potential?

  2. #2
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    I remember seeing Bob Boone's first (and probably only) grand slam back when i was a kid sitting in section 230 of the Vet. My uncle, who took me to ballgames on Sundays, used to ridicule his [Boone's] hitting, and I still remember the shocked look on his face when the ball was about to land.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  3. #3
    I have to say I'm truly agnostic, make that ignorant, about this. The state of catcher defense evaluation is so amorphous that under one set of assumptions he'd be a shoo in, from another, no way.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  4. #4
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    I think theres alot of guys who need to get voted in before him but if he was voted in someday I wouldn't have a big problem.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    I have to say I'm truly agnostic, make that ignorant, about this. The state of catcher defense evaluation is so amorphous that under one set of assumptions he'd be a shoo in, from another, no way.
    IMO, he's a Phillies "Wall of Fame" player - sure. But I don't see him as a HoFer whatsoever.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
    but if he was voted in someday I wouldn't have a big problem.
    Oh, I would.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post
    Oh, I would.
    He did play for alot of division winners and caught alot of games. I would have to think he's better than Rick Ferrell.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
    He did play for alot of division winners and caught alot of games. I would have to think he's better than Rick Ferrell.
    I won't dispute that. Then again, I never said Ferrell belongs in the HoF. He was an okay player and didn't even get to catch the team's ace because Carlton & McCarver had a thing.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  9. #9
    No chance in HELL!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
    I think theres a lot of guys who need to get voted in before him but if he was voted in someday I wouldn't have a big problem.
    This sums it up.

    His comps tell the story...he's a type -- the defense-first backstop, but he's the best of his type, so that's something of an argument for him. Combine that with his career length, and it's a pretty fair case.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    This sums it up.

    His comps tell the story...he's a type -- the defense-first backstop, but he's the best of his type, so that's something of an argument for him. Combine that with his career length, and it's a pretty fair case.
    I'm not sure he's the best of his era. My impression was that Sundberg had him beat or at least did until Boone went to the angels and Royals and had a good year at each stop. At any rate, he is certainly a noteworthy player and I do like the post-season success even if it is only a few dozen games.

  12. #12
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    It's gonna be tough for him to make it with some of the best catchers of all time playing in his era.

    1. Johnny Bench
    2. Gary Carter
    3. Carlton Fisk....arguably 3 top 10 catchers

    4. Ted Simmons
    5. Thurman Munson
    6. Lance Parrish

    7. Bob Boone
    8. Jim Sundberg
    9. Steve Yeager?
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVNICK View Post
    I'm not sure he's the best of his era. My impression was that Sundberg had him beat or at least did until Boone went to the angels and Royals and had a good year at each stop. At any rate, he is certainly a noteworthy player and I do like the post-season success even if it is only a few dozen games.
    Sundberg may have been better than Boone at his peak, especially defensively, but he didn't last quite as long as Boone. Boone also had the benefit of playing on better teams and making the postseason.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Sundberg may have been better than Boone at his peak, especially defensively, but he didn't last quite as long as Boone. Boone also had the benefit of playing on better teams and making the postseason.
    Fair enough just conversating. Pena woudl have had them both beat, actually he might be in the HOF, if he could have kept the offense at or about the level of his first few seasons. As it is he stands as the least of the three in that he diminished in "stature" over time whereas Boone rose with the trade to the AL and Sundberg stayed on a reasonably even keel after a few rough early years at the plate.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVNICK View Post
    Fair enough just conversating. Pena woudl have had them both beat, actually he might be in the HOF, if he could have kept the offense at or about the level of his first few seasons. As it is he stands as the least of the three in that he diminished in "stature" over time whereas Boone rose with the trade to the AL and Sundberg stayed on a reasonably even keel after a few rough early years at the plate.
    Tony Pena's in that group too, about where you put him.

    I'd lump more contemporary guys like Benito Santiago, Brad Ausmus, Jason Varitek, and maybe Sandy Alomar Jr. into this class of defense-first long-career catchers too.
    Last edited by Cougar; 01-04-2013 at 09:30 AM. Reason: added Varitek

  16. #16
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    One of the things about Boone is that toward the end of his career, there was a perception by some writers that he was a likely HOFer, mainly due to the games caught record he broke (which has since been shattered). Yet shortly thereafter, Boone's stock dropped, and he was off the HOF ballot in 5 years.

    Two things happened to Boone: One, is that his games caught record (a record which stood for decades before Boone broke it) was soon broken, and then broken again. (Boone is now 3rd on the all time list for games caught.) The other thing is that Boone became a manager, and was largely unsuccessful at it. He was named by Rich DeVos to be the manager for his proposed Orlando MLB franchise; that went kaput when DeVos didn't get the expansion franchise. Then, he became the Royals manager in 1995, but was unpopular AND unsuccessful. This period of unsuccessful managing coincided with his entry onto the BBWAA ballot, and I believe this caused a diminishment of Boone's image as a winner. "He was a flop as manager; how much "leadership" did he really exert as a catcher?" That's a thought that went through my mind and, I'm sure, through HOF voters' minds. Anyway, I believe his tenure as Royals' manager hurt his image to where he was dropped from the ballot after 5 years:

    Hall of Fame

    1996 BBWAA ( 7.7%)
    1997 BBWAA ( 5.9%)
    1998 BBWAA ( 5.5%)
    1999 BBWAA ( 5.4%)
    2000 BBWAA ( 4.2%)
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947

  17. #17
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    Boone was discussed as being a Hof back in the 80s alot, even by James. Odd he fell off that cliff so fast, but there's a case to be made for him. Usually think of Sundberg when I think of Boone, Bob having the better bat.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBodet View Post
    Boone was discussed as being a Hof back in the 80s alot, even by James. Odd he fell off that cliff so fast, but there's a case to be made for him. Usually think of Sundberg when I think of Boone, Bob having the better bat.
    Boone's playing didn't fall off a cliff. He played to age 42, and he had good seasons at ages 40 and 41. Even at age 42, he hit .239 as a part-time catcher; that's excellent ability retention.

    I believe what happened to Boone post-playing career was two things. The first was that his record for games caught was broken by Carlton Fisk, who was also considered a superior player; Boone was no longer the record holder when he became HOF eligible. The second thing that happened was that Boone began his managerial career, and he was considered a disappointing manager. I believe that the negatvity toward his managing affected the view toward his playing career many observers had. Boone's failed managing career, I believe, caused people to give less creedence to the "intangibles" that Boone got lots of credit for toward the end of his playing career (when articles describing Boone as a future HOFer were appearing). That's my take on Boone; his stock dropped more during the 5 year waiting period thn any other HOF candidate I can think of.
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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