NEW YORK -- As Aaron Boone made the first trip to his new office on Wednesday morning, motoring over the New York City streets toward Yankee Stadium, there were a few free minutes in which he was able to reflect upon how special it was to be moving from the
NEW YORK -- As Aaron Boone made the first trip to his new office on Wednesday morning, motoring over the New York City streets toward Yankee Stadium, there were a few free minutes in which he was able to reflect upon how special it was to be moving from the broadcast booth into one of the premier managerial posts in all of baseball.
The biting winds and overcast skies in the Bronx signaled winter, but Boone couldn't stop his thoughts from leaping toward spring, eager to prove that he was the correct choice to become the 33rd manager in Yankees history. Boone's enthusiasm was palpable as he addressed a packed house of reporters and photographers in a news conference.
"This is an amazing opportunity," Boone said. "This is a chance to win at the highest level, an organization that is in a great spot. I certainly understand what comes with the job. This is a team that has a chance to win -- and win big."
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, general partner and vice chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, chief operating officer Lonn Trost and assistant general manager Jean Afterman were all on hand as Boone tried on the pinstriped No. 17 jersey that he'll wear next season.
"It's clear in talking to him that he realizes, the way we all should, that there's always more to learn and the willingness to do it," Steinbrenner said. "His calmness, patience, confidence -- I just think with a young, young team that's only going to get younger … he's going to be good for this particular group at this particular time."
• Boone answers questions in AMA
The author of one of the most memorable moments in Yankees postseason history, a deciding home run off Tim Wakefield that lifted the Yanks over the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series, Boone signed a three-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season.
He is the 18th Yankees manager to have played for the club and the first without any previous coaching or managerial experience since Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey in 1946. Though Steinbrenner had said he would prefer a manager with some experience, those concerns were relaxed after Boone's interview.
"There was a difference of opinion among the participants as to who their No. 2 or No. 3 choice was," Steinbrenner said, "but there was little to no difference of opinion as to who their No. 1 choice was. It wasn't even close, in their words."
Boone said that he hopes that the memories of the 2003 ALCS home run, an iconic moment for an entire generation of the fan base, will give him a positive head start as he takes the reins of a team that finished one victory shy of the World Series this past year.
"When I flew out for the interview, I told a couple of people close to me, 'I'm going out to get this job. I want this job,'" Boone said. "This is an amazing opportunity for this team and where they are in their history."
A corner infielder from La Mesa, Calif. who batted .263 during his 12-year Major League career, Boone played part of the 2003 season with the Yankees. He spent seven seasons with the Reds and also appeared with the Indians, Marlins, Nationals and Astros.
Boone's grandfather, Ray (1948-60), father, Bob (1972-90), and brother, Bret (1992-2005), all played in the Majors, and his father managed the Reds (1995-97) and Royals (2001-03). The Boones were the first family in history to produce three generations of Major League players.
"I think he's extremely intelligent, expressive, progressive, extremely open-minded," Cashman said. "He's got great communication skills. Obviously, he comes from a long history of baseball family that will serve him well. So it's a blend of being impacted by obviously the history of this game … vs. the way the game is going currently and in the future. I feel like he's not afraid."
The Yankees also interviewed Carlos Beltran, Hensley Meulens, Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge and Chris Woodward as potential replacements for Joe Girardi. Boone was able to win the team over in part because of his personable demeanor and willingness to learn, including a familiarity with analytics that grew as a result of his television preparation.
"It's been a crazy few days, but something that I can say has energized me," Boone said. "I've loved every second of it and I'm really confident that when we get to Spring Training, we're going to be able to hit the ground running. Hopefully I can help this club take the next step."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.