Philadelphia Phillies: 50 greatest players of all-time
Bob Boone spent more than half of his 19-year career with the Phillies and backstopped the first of just two World Series championships in franchise history.
Boone got the chance to take over the reins behind the plate in 1973 and cemented his place for years to come. His offensive numbers weren’t great (.261/.311/.365, 86 OPS+), but he shined on defense. He led National League catchers in assists and runners caught stealing, along with finishing second in double plays turned and caught stealing percentage. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting.
Boone’s offensive peak came from 1976 to 1979, earning three All-Star appearances and MVP votes in 1978. In this time, he had 36 home runs, 240 runs batted in, a .282/.351/.414 line and 108 OPS+. Boone also back-to-back Gold Glove awards in 1978 and 1979.
While Boone was quiet offensively during the 1980 season, he came alive during the World Series. He drove in four runs and scored three more with seven hits, including two doubles. Both of those doubles and two of those runs batted in came during the team’s 7-6 win in Game 1 of the series.
Boone had the worst offensive season of his career in 1981, leading to a trade after the season to the then-California Angels. He continued to be a sound defensive catcher late into his career, winning five more Gold Glove awards, including four straight from 1986 to 1989. Boone retired after the 1990 season after suffering a broken finger.
Boone finished his career with 2264 games played, 1838 hits, 105 home runs, 826 runs batted in, a .254/.315/.346 line, and 82 OPS+. He ranks ninth in Phillies history in defensive wins above replacement and third for a catcher.
Boone was inducted to the Philadelphia Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. He was on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for five years, but fell below the five percent threshold in 2000.