New York Yankees: 16 years ago today Bombers trade for Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone, New York Yankees. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees fans are accustomed to seeing manager Aaron Boone in the team’s dugout. 16 years ago today, player Aaron Boone was traded to New York.

It’s July 31, 2019, and the New York Yankees enjoy a seven-and-a-half-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the American League East. On this date in 1993 things weren’t as comfortable. The Bronx Bombers were tied with Toronto for first place as each team had a 59-45 record. Then the trades came. The one which landed Aaron Boone led to a legendary moment in Yankees history.

Young Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had been busy on the phone lines making deals. Earlier in the month, he acquired relief pitchers Jesse Orosco from San Diego, and Armando Benitez from of all teams, the New York Mets. Additionally, two days prior to the July 31 trade deadline, the Yankees sent disappointing Raul Mondesi packing to Arizona.

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It was his pair of trades on deadline day, that propelled the New York Yankees into the 2003 World Series. In one deal, third baseman Robin Ventura was sent to Los Angeles for prospects Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor. The other trade brought in a new third baseman, Aaron Boone, from Cincinnati in exchange for pitchers Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning.

At the time, Ventura was 35-years-old and his skills were in decline. Boone, on the other hand, was five years younger and played in the 2003 All-Star Game. Even so, Boone didn’t produce as well in the final two months of the regular season as Ventura did earlier in 2003.

Nevertheless, the New York Yankees went 42-16 over the final two months winning the division by six games over Boston, who took the A.L. Wild Card slot. Additionally, their 101 wins were tops in the league and tied with Atlanta for best in baseball. Toronto, by the way, fell out of the race and finished 2003 with an 86-76 record, 15 games off the pace.

As many New York Yankees fans remember, Aaron Boone’s biggest moment in pinstripes came during Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. His 11th inning walk-off solo home run gave the Bombers a 6-5 victory and punched their ticket to the fall classic.

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The Yankees lost the World Series 4-2 to Florida, but Boone’s contributions as a player to team history weren’t over. The following January, the Boone tore his ACL in a pickup basketball game, a violation of his contract. Without a proven player to man the hot corner for 2004, Cashman traded for one, several weeks later, acquiring Alex Rodriguez from Texas. Boone was then released shortly after.