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Bob Boone

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  • #16
    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

    Comment


    • #17
      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.

      Comment


      • #18
        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

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
          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'm bumping this in light of the number of guys who've caught over 2,000 games in the last 25 years alone.
          "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

          Comment


          • #20
            Looking back, Boone as HOF candidate is a bit of a joke. His entire case seems to rest on the fact that he was able to hold down the position for a long time. He is something like the Omar Vizquel of catchers, but with many less gold gloves and seen as even less of a star while active. The guy played forever and had a total of 1.1 WAA and 27.3 WAR, only four seasons with more than 2.4 WAR, with a high of 3.6. He was serviceable, nothing more.

            Comment


            • #21
              Boone was well-regarded for his defense and it seems likely WAR doesn't give all the credit to catching defense it deserves. That would make Boone look less like a "joke" of a candidate, though I have my doubts it would push him over the HOF bar.
              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

              Comment


              • #22
                If Boone's '76-'79 peak were just a few seasons longer, I'd feel a lot better about him as a candidate, even if his career number weren't any different. Even in a defense-first candidate, I'd like a little more of a run of excellence.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by willshad View Post
                  Looking back, Boone as HOF candidate is a bit of a joke. His entire case seems to rest on the fact that he was able to hold down the position for a long time. He is something like the Omar Vizquel of catchers, but with many less gold gloves and seen as even less of a star while active. The guy played forever and had a total of 1.1 WAA and 27.3 WAR, only four seasons with more than 2.4 WAR, with a high of 3.6. He was serviceable, nothing more.
                  Boone did retain much of his ability into his old age, which is an indicator of greatness.

                  It seems like a bit of a joke now, but when Boone was approaching the Games Caught record he was taken very seriously as a HOF candidate.
                  "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

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    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.
                    While I don't advocate Boone for the HOF, he was one of the reasons those teams made the postseason.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Boone has an argument among the top 50 catchers of all-time, but not among the top 30. His managerial career adds nothing to his Hall credentials (nor should it).

                      If you're looking for a good long-career, glove-first catcher, I'd begin with Jim Sundberg.
                      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Cowtipper didn't put in his career summation of Bob Boone that Boone broke Al Lopez's 40 year old record for most games at catcher in 1987 (1918 games) and then the following year became the first player in history to appear in 2,000 career games at catcher.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Statistically, he is similar to two Hall of Fame catchers: Al Lopez and Rick Ferrell.
                          Isn't Lopez in the HOF as a manager??
                          This week's Giant

                          #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
                            Isn't Lopez in the HOF as a manager??
                            you are correct.
                            "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                            -Bill James

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
                              Boone did retain much of his ability into his old age, which is an indicator of greatness.

                              It seems like a bit of a joke now, but when Boone was approaching the Games Caught record he was taken very seriously as a HOF candidate.
                              It's an indicator of greatness only if you were great to begin with, like an Aaron. If you were always mediocre, and remain mediocre until an old age, it doesn't make you great.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by willshad View Post
                                It's an indicator of greatness only if you were great to begin with, like an Aaron. If you were always mediocre, and remain mediocre until an old age, it doesn't make you great.
                                There is a big gap between Hank Aaron and mediocre. While Boone may fall short of a HOFer, he is hardly mediocre historically. He has caught the 3rd most games in baseball history. Among catchers he is also 13th in hits and 23rd in RBI.
                                This week's Giant

                                #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

                                Comment

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