Anyone whose last name is also the name of a city or state always sounds cool.
Russell Maryland, Johnny Knoxville, John Denver, Reggie Cleveland, hell even Irving Berlin and Hannah Montana sound cool!
Daryl Boston’s name always sounded bad ass. Like it was an alias or he was so dominant there that he took the name of the city for his own.
Naturally he was born in Cincinnati… where else? A high school star in Ohio, he was a first round pick by the White Sox in 1981. Big Leaguers like Ron Darling and Steve Lyons were drafted right behind him. (FYI, Mark Langston, Frank Viola and Mark Gubicza all were picked in the second round in what seemed like a pretty deep draft.)
The left handed hitting outfielder brought power and speed to the White Sox. As the parent team won the 1983 AL West title, Boston clubbed 20 homers and stole 21 bases between Double A and Triple A.
In 1984, he got his first taste of big league action but was overwhelmed and hit only .169. In Triple A however he tore it up in Denver, batting .312 with 19 triples, 15 homers, 40 steals and an OPS of .923.
Between 1985 and 1987, Boston seemed to tease the rebuilding White Sox. He would put up huge numbers in the minors but struggle on the major league level. He was still young enough and had the ability to hit double digit homers and steal a bunch of bases. But by 1989, as manager Jeff Torborg juggled Dan Pasqua, Dave Gallagher, Ivan Calderon, Lance Johnson and a young skinny kid named Sammy Sosa in the lineup, Boston had trouble getting playing time.
A month into the 1990 season, the White Sox put him on waivers, presumably to send him back to the minors. But the Mets, dealing with injuries themselves, claimed him and put him on the big league roster. Along with Mark Carreon, Boston became the platoon outfielder for the contending Mets, playing between Kevin McReynolds and Darryl Strawberry.
What resulted for the 27 year old was one of his best seasons. He homered 12 times, stole 18 bases, saw his average rise to .273 and posted a .768 OPS. He returned to the Mets in 1991 and while his home run totals dipped, all of his other numbers stayed steady. His former White Sox manager Jeff Torborg took over the Mets in 1992 and he saw more starting time and hit 11 homers along the way.
In 1993 he joined the expansion Colorado Rockies for their first season. In the thin air, the 30 year old Boston hit 14 homers and started in all three outfield spots.
He was on the Yankee team in 1994 that was in first place when the strike hit. After the strike he played one season in the Marlins organization and a few years in independent ball before hanging him his spikes in 1996 at age 33.
Since then he has been a coach, mainly in the White Sox organization. Currently he is the first base coach for the White Sox.
My clearest personal memory of Daryl Boston came during a game between the Mets and Dodgers. Comedians Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg joined Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver in the booth while promoting Comic Relief.
During their guest spot, Whoopi kept going on about how cute Daryl was and made her crush a through line for the inning.
In that inning, Billy Crystal tried to say “Funky Chicken” and it came out “Fucking Chicken.” It was good TV.
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