Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Dan Boone, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #42
William's only request was that I write up the 1991 Score "Rookie Prospect" card of Dan Boone. Regrettably, I'd already covered that ground way back in May 2008, which might well have been before William started reading me. But there is good news, and it's twofold: First, in rereading that old blog entry, I feel that I did justice to Boone's improbable story, and it still holds up years later. Also, this gives me an excellent chance to recap it in handy bullet-point form! To wit, the Life and Travels of Daniel Hugh Boone:
-June 1973: Boone, aged 19, is drafted by the California Angels in Round 15. He does not sign. Over the next three years, he is in turn drafted by the Angels (again), the Yankees, and the Padres, and declines to sign three more times.
-June 1976: Drafted in the second round by the California Angels, the now-22-year-old southpaw finally signs a pro contract.
-1977 through 1980: Dan's minor league apprenticeship takes him through Salinas, CA; El Paso, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Amarillo, TX; and Hawaii.
-1981: Boone makes his major league debut with the San Diego Padres at age 27. He has a solid rookie season in relief, putting up a 2.84 ERA in 63.1 innings.
-1982: He's not especially effective in 20 appearances split between the Padres and the Houston Astros, allowing 15 earned runs in 28.2 innings (4.71 ERA).
-1983-1984: Dan continues to struggle at AAA Tuscon (Astros) and Vancouver (Milwaukee). Following the 1984 season, the 30-year-old is out of organized pro ball.
-1989: The lefty re-emerges in the short-lived Senior Professional Baseball League, relying on a knuckleball to log a 3.16 ERA for the Bradenton (FL) Explorers.
-1990: Now 36, Boone signs with the Baltimore Orioles. He goes 11-5 with 8 saves and a 2.60 ERA at AAA Rochester, earning a September callup at age 36. In his first taste of the big leagues in eight years, he logs five shutout innings of relief spanning three games. In the Birds' penultimate series of the season, Frank Robinson gives the veteran a spot start in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Cleveland. He takes the mound in the bottom of the fifth with a 3-1 lead, but allows the Indians to tie it up before being yanked with two outs. This will be his final game in the majors. He departs with a 2.79 ERA for the year, and a 3.36 mark for his career.
-Late 1990: Dan returns to the SPBL and has a 5-1 record and a 1.85 ERA when the league folds at midseason.
-1995: As the MLBPA strike plods onward, owners of 27 MLB teams (only the Orioles hold out) open Spring Training with "replacement players". At 41, Boone is back in Padres' camp...at least until the strike is finally settled in early April.
-1989-2002: Dan also turns up in amateur leagues in California and Alaska, and appears to have finally stopped playing early this century at age 48.
Dan Boone's story is definitely one worth revisiting. Thanks, William!