The Boyfriend of the Week

August 27, 2001

Six months ago, if you'd told me Bret Boone would become the third Mariners baseball player to make it to the Boyfriend Big Leagues, I would've arched an eyebrow and said, "Oh yeah?" with a dubious tone of voice. The reasons for that are simple: first, I didn't even know Bret Boone was a Mariners player (in fact, since I don't actually know when we picked him up, it's possible he wasn't one then anyway); and second, okay I'll admit it, I hadn't even heard of him.

There goes my standing as a baseball hotshot. Well, whaddaya want? I have a hard enough time remembering the names and faces of my family members, let alone players in teams I don't even root for. Crimeny.

Happily, however, somebody in charge this year had brains and they scooped up Bret Boone for us, changing the way I watch an M's game for good.

I was actually right there in Safeco Field for Bret's first game this season. I remember this vividly because when he got up to bat, the crowd started to chant his name and I asked my fiance why everybody was booing the poor guy. 45,000 people all yelling "Booooone!" really sounds a lot like 45,000 people reacting to the presence of Alex Rodriguez in the batter's box these days. Except nobody was throwing dollar bills onto the field, which should've given me a clue right there.

That paragraph probably meant absolutely nothing to the vast majority of you, many of whom have probably never even heard of Alex Rodriguez. But that's okay. You're here to learn, right?

So, taking that into consideration, I'll now explain to you what makes Bret Boone worthy of this induction into the Boyfriend Hall of Fame. First of all, there's the obvious -- he's totally cute. None of the pictures I found of him on the web really do him justice, though. What you need to see is Bret in the dugout after running home to score -- giving high-fives and ploppin' down on the bench with a big dopey grin on his face. Said dopey grin is especially cute when in profile. But if you don't get M's games on your TV set (either because they aren't broadcast or because you refuse to tune them in), you'll probably more easily understand the other reason he's the Boyfriend this week -- DANG, he's good. I had no idea just how good Bret Boone was gonna be when he started. But all 45,000 of us at Safeco aren't chanting "Booooooone!" just because it makes us giggle -- Bret Boone kicks butt. And that is particularly important this summer, when our team is knocking the socks off of everybody who comes to town to check us out.

Just how good is he? Well, on this team of giants like ex-Boyfriend Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki, Bret Boone's got the most home runs and RBI's out of any of them (29 HRs and 112 RBIs -- hot diggity!). But even before he was with the M's, he was setting records -- for example, last year, he became the first second baseman to have two three-home-run games. Can you believe that? He hit three home-runs in not just one, but TWO games! If I'd been there for either of them, I probably would've passed out from sheer glee. Thank goodness he hasn't done it since he's been a Mariner -- fainting at Safeco can be dangerous because there's always a sold-out crowd. That's a lot of feet for tramplin', if you catch my drift.

But you can't really give Bret all the credit for his amazing skills. It helps that he's from a baseball family. In fact, he's the third-generation of Boone baseball players, and all three generations have made an All-Star team at least once in their careers (that's also a baseball first, by the way). So, both nature and nurture are definitely at play in the fields of Bret's career. That can't be hurting him any, that's for sure.

Now, it's hard to find baseball-free biographical information on Bret Boone and I don't want to bore the non-baseball people by telling you about every major league team transition Bret's made in his lifetime. So, let's make this short and sweet. He was born on April 6, 1969 in El Cajon, California, and his full name is Bret Robert Boone. He graduated from El Dorado High School in Placentia, CA, where he was a teammate of Phil Nevin (another major leaguer). He was drafted by Minnesota in the 1987 June draft, but didn't sign and instead went on to college at the University of Southern California. There, he holds the current school records in runs, doubles, triples, and RBI. Rock on, Bret!

His Major League debut was August 19, 1992 (with Seattle -- I'll be damned, I had no idea!). His first big league home run was at Fenway Park against Boston's Mike Gardiner -- hey, that's cool. After playing with Seattle for two years, he moved onto Cincinnati for a five-year tour with the Reds, then to Atlanta for a year, San Diego for a year, and finally back to Seattle, where he now plays second base just like he knew what he was doin'. Bret's got two brothers, both of whom are also Major League baseball players (Aaron plays for the Reds, Matthew for the Tigers). He's also got a wife and two kids, but we don't really have to talk about them right now.

And that's really all I know about Bret, aside from the fact he's totally talented, totally cute, and totally the right age and height for me. And, to be honest, that's all I feel I NEED to know about Bret. If you want to know more yourself, feel free to hit some of the sites listed below to dig up some more information and photos. Just a warning, though -- those pictures of Bret from his teenage years are NOT pretty. You might want to just skip right over those.

Coming up for Bret Boone: a game tomorrow in Tampa Bay, followed by a few more games, followed by the playoffs, followed by the AL West title, followed by the World Series, followed by me having a heart attack and dying happy. Yep, looks to be a pretty good year for Mariners fans. And a lot of the thanks for that has to go to Bret Boone, his cute little grin, and the way his thighs look in that uniform. Okay, okay, well, I'm grateful for that stuff, anyway. The team might think about it in slightly different terms. Still, the one thing we'll all agree on is that Booney is GOOD. And that's all that really matters, when you get right on down to it.

MacGyver Factor Score: 93.245%. Points off for living in FLORIDA during the off-season. Now, I mean no offense to Floridian readers, but I HATE FLORIDA. It's hot, there are bugs the size of Volkswagons, and at least once a day, somebody gets dragged out of their backyard by an alligator, if the newspapers are anything to go by on this. No way, Jose. Thank you very very much, but I think I will just stay up here where all the wild man-eating animals are in the ZOO where they belong. Amen, sistah.

Boyfriend-Related Links

The Totally Unofficial Bret Boone page
The Official Mariners Web Site

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