Boone was hitting .355 in the Texas League in late 1948 when Cleveland shortstop-manager Lou Boudreau was hurt. Boone, who had been converted from catcher to shortstop that year, was called up in time to earn a World Series share. Before long he forced Boudreau to switch to third base.
Boone had a powerful throwing arm, but bad knees and ankles limited his range. He led AL shortstops in errors in 1951. Traded to Detroit in an eight-player deal in 1953, he was switched to less-demanding third base, and his hitting improved. He more than doubled his HR and RBI output, hitting 26 HR, including four grand slams. A righthanded line-drive hitter who could handle the curveball, in 1955 he led the AL in RBI with 116.
Ray’s son Bob Boone starred as an ML catcher.