Memories
 

 
This page is for baseball fans from the '50s and '60s who actually saw Ken Boyer play, either for the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox, or Dodgers, to share their memories of him. 

What do you remember? Do you recall any great fielding plays he made at third base? Or a great day he had at the plate? Did you ever get the opportunity to meet him or get an autograph in person?

Do you feel Ken Boyer had the kind of career that warranted his induction into the Hall of Fame?

Please send your memories here!

 


 
I was 10 years old when I became a big baseball fan in 1963. I lived two blocks from Yankee Stadium, but my father said he was a St. Louis Cardinals fan. I followed the team and Ken Boyer became my baseball idol. 

To make a long story short, I followed his remaining career religously and when he was traded to the Mets, I became a Mets fan and have been (ever) since. 

The memory I would like to share is as follows. We all remember the grand slam home run in the 1964 World Series he hit off of Al Downing into the left field stands. I saw it on TV. 

I never got to see Ken in person until he played for the White Sox. It was a double header. If I remember, Ken played in the second game. I was in the right field grand stand. Darned if Ken didnít hit a home run into the same left field stands almost in the same spot. It was a memory I will never forget.

-- Fred Mattson, August 9, 2006

 

 
Kevin, I had the chance to check out your website, excellent stuff...I hope you continue on your book project about Boyer, I think it would sell pretty well in the St. Louis area, although I don't have the slightest idea of what a publisher expectation for sales of a bio of that type is.

Some random Boyer thoughts:

He was the named team Captain in just his 4th season, when by longevity, ability and respect, that honor should have been Musial's. I think it isn't a reflection against Stan, but just how Boyer's leadership ability was recognized by the Cardinals.

Boyer had a bad cigarette habit, supposedly 4-5 packs a day, no doubt the major factor in his early death [age 51] from lung cancer. I wonder how much it factored in his dramatic career decline after his MVP season of 64?

If you can, check out the DVD of the '64 World Series. In game 1, Boyer makes an incredible play, grabbing a shot down the 3B line, then wheeling around and throwing out the runner [Tresh?] by an eyelash. Similar to the play Brooks Robinson made on Lee May in '70 WS.

Heard this on a Cards broadcast this week, in 1959 Boyer hit his 3rd inside the park HR for the season on this date, June something.

Heard Mike Shannon, the Cards broadcaster and Ken's teammate telling this story that Boyer told him. in 1968, when he was wrapping up his career with LA, someone from the team, maybe Alston or Al Campanis asked him if he was going to play another season. Boyer said no, he was ready to retire. They asked him to stay on, because they were bringing up some talented players from the minors like Garvey, Lopes, Cey, Russell and they specifically wanted Boyer to teach them how to walk, talk and act like big leaguers. Boyer told them he would be happy to stay on as a coach, but wanted to retire because he just couldn't play worth a damn anymore. The Dodgers knew that too, but told Boyer that wanted him to stay with the team as a player, because the young wouldn't pay as much attention to him if he was a coach.

In Whitey Herzog's bio, he said that in 1966, when he was the Mets 3B coach and Boyer was playing for them, he and Boyer shared an apartment with Maris and Clete Boyer, who were playing for the Yankees. Evidently the teams were never both in town at the same time. Could you possibly imagine that happening today, with the salaries ML players pull down? Also, Herzog ended up replaing Boyer as Cardinal manager in 1980, after Kenny was canned.

Got Boyer's autograph when I was a kid, at the St. Louis airport, along with Musial, Schoendienst, Gibson, Ernie Broglio, Bill White, Javier, on my little Rawlings glove. Searched high and low for the damn thing when my parents finally moved out of the house I grew up in and of course couldn't find it.

Boyer was a terrific player, still beloved in St. Louis.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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