Jan 3, 2020

Daryl Boston: Early Nineties Mets Outfielder (1990-1992)

Daryl Lamont Boston was born on January 4, 1963 in Cincinnati Ohio. The speedy outfielder was the first round draft pick out of high school for the Chicago White sox (7th pick overall) in 1981.

By 1983 he was stealing bases as well as hitting for power with 20 HRs & 20 steals between AA & AAA BALL. In 1984 at AAA Denver he hit .312 with 19 triples & 40 stolen bases. 

Boston was called up to the Sox, first in May making his MLB debut in a game against the Texas Rangers. He drove in two runs with a triple, had three hits overall & stole a base while scoring two runs as well. He was sent back to AAA In July but did return in September, hitting .169 in 83 at bats overall.

He would spend most of the next three seasons between both the majors as well as in the minors. He never reached the expectations the Sox had for him, hitting his White Sox best .266 with 5 HRs & 22 RBIs in only 56 games in 1986. That season he hit the record, 50th HR off Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven on the year, which is the all time MLB record.

In 1987 he was in the majors for good, hitting .258 with 10 HRs & 12 stolen bases while playing 103 games. He posted a .991 fielding % making just two errors in 212 chances. The next year he had career highs in HRs (15) with 31 RBIs 9 stolen bases, while his average plummeted to .217. After playing parts of six seasons on the South side of Chicago the Sox gave up on him and placed him on waivers in April of 1990 after five games.

The New York Mets picked him up and he enjoyed his best seasons getting a chance in New York. Right away he inherited a regular outfield job alongside Daryl Strawberry & Kevin McReynolds, pushing Mark Carreon to a backup role. Boston debuted as a Met on May 3rd where he went 0-2 playing centerfield & batting seventh.

On May 7th in just his fifth Mets game, he had three hits with a HR & three RBIs in a 7-1 win at Shea over the Huston Astros. He hit three HRs in a seven game span at the end of the month against the Dodgers, Padres & Phillies respectively. 

In mid June he drove in two runs in three straight games at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In those games the Mets scored at least nine runs or more each time winning three of four in the set, against the Cubs.

He hit well enough to bring his average up over the .300 mark July, hitting safely in 12 of 16 games. In August he peaked above .300 in the midst of an eight game hit streak, but dropped off as the season went on. 

On September 22nd he had a big three hit day at Wrigley Field, topped off with a three run HR off Jose Nunez. The next day he added a two run shot helping New York to a 7-3 win . Before the year was out he added another HR in Montreal and brought his average up with a good hitting streak in the final week of the year. 

Boston batted .273 with 12 HRs 21 doubles 45 RBIs & 18 stolen bases in 115 games in 1990. The Mets liked him, signed him and penciled him in for 1991.

His role was to back up the newly acquired Vince Coleman in centerfield. Coleman was an overall nightmare, batting .255 with one HR in 72 games & having his share of personal issues including throwing fire crackers at fans.

Boston struggled at the start, as It took him until June to get over the .200 batting mark & he barely kept his average up over the mark. On June 8th he singled in the top of the 9th inning against the Astros in Houston, driving in Gary Templeton with the games tying run. The Mets went on to win it with a Howard Johnson 11th inning HR. 

He hit his first HR later that month in June & in July hit his second HR of the year in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was batting just .234 at the end of July, but hit well enough in the final two months, to finish at a respectable .275.

On September 24th he hit a grand slam off the Pirates Bob Walk, at Shea Stadium in a 10-8 Mets win where he drove in five runs. Boston had also hit a HR on the previous day. He ended the year with four HRs 16 doubles 21 RBIs & a .350 on base % in 137 games (255 at bats).

Drama: In Spring Training 1992 Boston was involved in a rape scandal along with Coleman & David Cone during Spring Training 1992, but the charges were later dropped. 

Coleman was soon gone after the fire cracker incident & Boston got more playing time along a terrible defensive outfield that also included Howard Johnson & Bobby Bonilla. 

Boston began the year with pinch hit appearances onn Opening Day & the next game going 0-2.

On April 23rd he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 9th inning with the bases loaded & was credited with a game winning RBI. 

On May 7th his HR off Juan Berenguer in Atlanta broke a 7-7 tie & proved to be the game winner as well. Throughout the year he didn't show much power or drive in many runs. In August he hit a best five HRs on the month, although they came in losing Mets efforts in all but one game. On August 28th he helped tie up a game against the Reds with a solo shot off Scott Bankhead. New York went on to a 4-3 win.

He finished the year with 11 HRs 14 doubles 35 RBIs 12 stolen bases & a .338 on base %, playing in 130 games with just 289 at bats. It was a solid power improvement over the past but as the average fell the Mets were not too impressed.

That year the Mets fell to a dismal fifth place & would go on to some poor years. After three seasons at Shea Stadium he hit .266 with 27 HRs 101 RBIs & 45 stolen bases in 382 games (910 at bats). 

The Mets released him after the season and he went to the Colorado Rockies in their inaugural season as an original Rockie.

There he hit a career high 14 HRs with a .261 average. He finished his career on the other side of New York City batting .182 in 52 games in 1994 with the AL New York team.

In an eleven year career, Boston is a lifetime .249 hitter with 655 hits, 83 HRs 131 doubles 22 triples 98 stolen bases & a .312 on base %.

 In the outfield he posted a .977 fielding % with 37 assists, making 38 errors in 1627 chances.

Retirement: After his playing days he was first a roving instructor within the White Sox organization. Later he coached & managed in the minor leagues. In 2013 Robin Ventura named him the White Sox first base coach.

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