Happy Father’s Day: ESPN MLB analyst Aaron Boone reflects on his family’s unique sports legacy

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Aaron Boone (Allen Kee / ESPN Images)
Aaron Boone
(Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

Baseball Tonight and Monday Night Baseball analyst Aaron Boone is part of a very special legacy. Between his grandfather Ray, his father Bob, his brother Bret, and Aaron’s own career, the Boone tribe is one of only four three-generation Major League Baseball families and the only one to send a player from each generation to the All-Star Game.

Aaron joined ESPN as an analyst in 2010 but according to Bob, now assistant general manager of the Washington Nationals, that career was in the works from a very young age.

“We always figured he’d be an analyst one day,” Bob Boone said. “He could mimic anything. He did that from the time he was maybe four years old and coming around ballparks. He would analyze the game while he was sitting there. When Bret’s team won the Connie Mack World Series, Aaron [then 14 years old] did the play-by-play for the entire game and taped it. It was there his whole life. He just used his major league career as practice for what he is doing now.”

For Father’s Day, Front Row asked Aaron to discuss how his childhood shaped his work as an analyst and what his family’s accomplishments mean to him. Aaron will appear on Monday Night Baseball tomorrow when the Chicago Cubs visit the St. Louis Cardinals at 7 ET on ESPN.

You were analyzing games as a child, according to your father. When did that start?
Growing up with my dad playing Major League Baseball, me and my brothers were going to the ballpark every day. It was just an awesome childhood. From a very young age, I was watching every game — from the stands or on television and really paying attention. I think it all comes down to a certain love of the game. I always wanted to play ball, but I guess in a distant way, I always pictured myself doing something like this.

Has your father ever given you feedback or advice about your work on ESPN?
Every now and then, he will call and say “What the heck did you just say?” I remember — it might have been August or early September last season. At that point, I was saying that [Angels outfielder] Mike Trout would be the MVP. My dad called me after the game and said ‘You’re nuts!’ But by season’s end, I was [picking Detroit Tigers third baseman] Miguel Cabrera given the totality of his season.

What does your family’s legacy in baseball mean to you?
I just look at my grandpa, my dad and my brothers individually and I’m proud of them. We’re fortunate and blessed that we’ve all had good relationships. I always felt the greatest thing about us all playing was that we could relate to each other. I could talk to my brother about my work and he knew what I was going through — same with my dad, same with my grandfather. Baseball was always something that bonded us.

What was it like to interview your father on air during spring training [March 28 during a Mets-Nationals game on ESPN in the booth with Dave O’Brien and Rick Sutcliffe]?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I don’t know if I was a little bit apprehensive but I wanted it to go well. Once he came on, it was comfortable. I think I had fun with it and Rick and Dave had fun with it, too.

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