By Bernie Wilson
The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - Two-time All-Star Ray Boone, patriarch of a three-generation baseball family, died early Sunday following a long illness. He was 81.
Boone had been hospitalized for six months with complications following surgery, said his wife, Pat.
"It's a blessing," she said. "He had a great life."
Boone played from 1948-60 with six teams and was followed into the big leagues by son Bob and grandsons Bret and Aaron.
"We were the first three-generation family," Pat Boone said. "We're not the only one, but we were the first."
Boone was an infielder who had a career .275 batting average, with 151 home runs and 737 RBIs. He played for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves and the Boston Red Sox.
He was an All-Star third baseman for Detroit in 1954 and 1956.
Bob Boone played from 1972-90, and Bret Boone broke into the big leagues with Seattle in 1992. Aaron Boone made his debut in 1997.
The Boone family was the first to send three generations to the All-Star game.
In 2000, when Bret Boone played for San Diego, he and his father and grandfather threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Padres' home opener.
Ray Boone, born July 27, 1923, followed Ted Williams at San Diego's Hoover High.
"They've always been a wonderful family, and all the boys were so good to Ray," said Bob Breitbard, president emeritus of the San Diego Hall of Champions and a high school classmate of Williams. "Where do you see a family like that, that raises great athletes?"
Boone's death was also announced at Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Yankees in the AL championship series, and a moment of silence was held before Game 4. Exactly one year earlier, Aaron Boone homered to beat the Red Sox in Game 7 and send the Yankees to the World Series.
Yankees manager Joe Torre played briefly with Ray Boone as a rookie on the 1960 Milwaukee Braves.
A funeral for Boone has been scheduled for Friday in suburban El Cajon.
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