Ken Boyer

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Kenton Lloyd Boyer

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ken Boyer, the 1964 National League MVP, played 15 seasons in the big leagues as a third baseman. He won five Gold Gloves and was the top third baseman in the league in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was named to seven All-Star teams, in 1956 and from 1959 to 1964.

Ken Boyer is the brother of major leaguers Clete Boyer, Cloyd Boyer, minor leaguers Wayne Boyer, Lynn Boyer, Len Boyer and Ron Boyer, the father of Dave Boyer and the uncle of Mickey Boyer. Boyer spent two seasons as a St. Louis Cardinals coach in 1971 and 1972 and two and a half as their manager, from 1978 to 1980, finishing as high as third in 1979. His players included Ted Simmons, Keith Hernandez, and an elderly Lou Brock.

His Gray Ink total of 138 is close to the average Hall of Famer total of 144. In Hall of Fame voting by the BBWAA, Ken Boyer got as high as 25% in 1988, one vote higher than Ron Santo had that year. In the 2005 Veterans Committee voting, Boyer received 19%, and was 11th in the voting, behind Roger Maris and Marty Marion

None of his ten most similar players, according to similarity scores, is in the Hall of Fame, with the most similar player being Bobby Bonilla. However, Bonilla played at a time when averages were higher, and Bonilla never won either an MVP award nor a Gold Glove. Other players on the list include Robin Ventura, Ron Cey, and Ron Santo, who has since been voted in by the Veterans Committee. Boyer is unfairly hurt by the similarity scores method because he played during the second dead-ball era when averages were lower - as a result, the most similar player probably should be Santo, who also played during the same era. Santo broke in in 1960, while Boyer had started in 1955. Their careers also ended five years apart, as Santo finished in 1974 while Boyer finished in 1969. Boyer won his Gold Gloves in 1958-1961 and 1963, while Santo won his in 1964-1968. Interestingly, while Ron Santo is only # 10 on the similarity scores list of the most similar players to Boyer, Boyer is # 2 on the list of the most similar players to Ron Santo.

Boyer held the record for the most home runs in four straight seasons with the same number (24, 1961-1964). Adam Dunn eventually shattered the record, hitting exactly 40 each year from 2005 to 2008.

While in the minors, Boyer missed the 1952 and 1953 seasons due to military service at the time of the Korean War.

"Ken Boyer might have been the best third baseman I’d seen or played with." - Bill White

"At third base, I saw the best ballplayer on first impression that I have seen in many a day, Boyer by name." - Branch Rickey, scouting the young Ken Boyer [1]

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 7-time NL All-Star (1956 & 1959-1964)
  • NL MVP (1964)
  • 5-time NL Gold Glove Winner (1958-1961 & 1963)
  • NL RBI Leader (1964)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1956 & 1958-1964)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1960)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1963 & 1964)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (1958, 1961 & 1964)
  • Won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964

1963 1964 1965
Sandy Koufax Ken Boyer Willie Mays

Preceded by
Vern Rapp
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
Succeeded by
Whitey Herzog

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1970 Arkansas Travelers Texas League 67-67 4th St. Louis Cardinals
1973 GCL Cardinals Gulf Coast League 25-30 7th St. Louis Cardinals
1974 Tulsa Oilers American Association 76-58 2nd St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1975 Tulsa Oilers American Association 73-63 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1976 Tulsa Oilers American Association 65-70 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1977 Rochester Red Wings International League 67-73 6th Baltimore Orioles
1978 Rochester Red Wings International League 5-6 -- Baltimore Orioles replaced by Al Widmar (5-2) on April 29
St. Louis Cardinals National League 62-81 5th St. Louis Cardinals replaced Vern Rapp (6-11) and Jack Krol (1-1) on April 29
1979 St. Louis Cardinals National League 86-76 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1980 St. Louis Cardinals National League 18-33 -- St. Louis Cardinals replaced by Jack Krol on June 8

Further Reading[edit]

Related Sites[edit]