Born in San Diego, California, Bob Boone is the son of Detroit Tigers All-Star third baseman Ray Boone and the father of Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Bret Boone and New York Yankees All-Star third baseman Aaron Boone. Bob Boone was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the sixth round of the 1969 amateur draft after attending Stanford University. He was brought to the majors in late 1972 and while he never had excellent hitting numbers, he was a phenomenal defensive catcher, committing only eight errors and allowing only three passed balls in the 1977 season. He made the National League All-Star team three times in a Phillies uniform.
In 1982, the Phillies decided to trade the veteran catcher to the California Angels, following an unproductive year from Boone. But Boone rebounded by throwing out 21 of the first 34 steal attempts and helping the Angels to the AL West title, and followed in 1983 with his fourth and final All-Star appearance.
Boone stayed with the Angels for seven seasons and was let go in 1988. As a free agent, he signed with the Kansas City Royals, but a broken finger in 1990 led to his retirement at age 42 following his shortened season.
Boone returned to the Royals in 1995 as the manager of the team, but was let go during the 1997 season after a third straight sub-.500 season. In 2001, he was hired to be the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds, replacing Jack McKeon. However, after another two and a half sub-.500 seasons, the Reds fired Bob Boone on July 28, 2003.