Jan 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks former pitcher Randy Johnson speaks at a press conference to discuss his induction into the baseball Hall of Fame at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tuesday’s Hall of Fame announcement was all about big names like Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio, but there was also a Cincinnati Reds component to the ballot this year. However, for former Reds Aaron Boone and Rich Aurilia, there will be no happy Cooperstown ending, as both received less than five percent of the vote and thus fall off the HOF ballot.
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Boone was the Reds’ primary third baseman in the early 2000s when the team featured promising youngsters like Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, and at a time when excitement was high due to the homecoming of Ken Griffey, Jr. Those Cincinnati teams underperformed, though, and the Reds traded Boone to the New York Yankees in the summer of 2003. In that post-season, he became an NY favorite as his clutch home run helped the Yankees dispatch the hated Boston Red Sox in the 11th inning of Game 7 in the ALCS.
From there, Boone bounced around to several teams before hanging up his spikes in 2009.
Boone received two Hall of Fame votes. (0.4%)
Aurilia was one of the game’s best-hitting shortstops for the San Francisco Giants in the late 1990s and early 2000s before coming to Cincinnati in 2005. Over two seasons on the Riverfront, Aurilia slammed 37 home runs in 236 games scattered all around the infield. He returned to San Fran in 2007 and retired after the 2009 season.
Aurilia did not receive any HOF votes.
Since a player must receive votes on at least 5% of ballots to remain HOF-eligible, both Aurilia and Boone are one-and-done. They provided Reds fans with some great memories, though, and our team will have a little better representation in the Cooperstown process next time around.
Griffey becomes eligible for the HOF in 2016, and he’s a shoo-in for election, though we’ll probably have to wait a while before we see another Reds cap on a Cooperstown bust. Considering his popularity in the Pacific Northwest and the disappointment of his Reds’ years, it’s a near certainty that Griffey will enter the Hall as a Seattle Mariner.