Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

It's ''High Noon'' Will Ken Boyer Make the Hall of Fame?

He stands tall and alone at the edge of Cooperstown.

Ken Boyer is one of the leading candidates for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. Ray Mileur, a free lance writer who specializes in St. Louis Cardinal features, makes a compelling case for the former Cardinal thirdbaseman.

Coincidentally, Boyer impressed me in one of my earliest memories of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn when as a young player he stole bases and hit the ball all over Brooklyn in one Dodger-Cardinal doubleheader in the mid fifties. (Marty Lurie)

Click “read more” for a terrific look at Ken Boyer and the argument for Cooperstown.By Ray Mileur

Ken Boyer – who starred with the St. Louis Cardinals from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s – won five Gold Gloves, earned six All-Star selections and led NL third basemen in double plays five times. At the plate, he hit 23 or more home runs and knocked in at least 90 runs in seven straight seasons. He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1964 when the Cardinals won their first world championship in two decades.

Once liken by Joe Garagiola to Gary Cooper in High Noon, the soft spoken Boyer, is up in front of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans committee for election into Cooperstown. Like Cooper, Boyer could use a little help from his friends.

This year could be Boyer’s best chance at election, but like Cooper in High Noon, the odds are against him.

Ken Boyer played the game at a time when there were still heroes in the game. Teammate Hall of Famer, Stan Musial said “The ballplayers know he’s a good one, but nobody else does.”

“When Kenny took over as captain of our team,” former Cardinal great catcher and great broadcaster Tim McCarver said, “he was the boss of our infield. He was the guy everyone looked. He was the guy who really filled that role if that role needed to be filled….

Kenny Boyer was a pillar of strength in the Cardinal organization. It was kind of an understood thing that Kenny took care of the players coming into the organization. He took people under his wing – it was kind of like a father image.”

Stan the Man’s comments sum up the problems with Ken Boyer in the past, a quiet man who stands alone at the footsteps of the Cooperstown. The players knew how good he was and that may be the key to his election this year.

A career that spanned 15 years, Kenny played in 2034 games, hitting 282 home runs with 1141 RBI with a lifetime batting average of .287. An NL MVP award and five Gold Gloves.

Bill James, “baseball’s most interesting iconoclast” has ranked Ken Boyer as the 12th best third baseman of all time. James has stated in the past that both Ken Boyer and former Cub, Ron Santo both belong in the Hall of Fame.

And while Boyer was known for taking care of the players, it is time for the players to take care of Boyer He deserves and has earned their support, but will they back him up and get him into Cooperstown, this year.

Among the Cardinals, those who knew him best, serving on the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee are, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Orlando Cepeda, Stan Musial, Steve Carlton, Red Schoendienst and broadcaster, Joe Garagiola and sportswriter Bob Broeg. It will be these men that he will look to for help.

It’s not like Boyer hasn’t earned his spot in the Hall of Fame, on his own. If after a 100 years and you are recognized by most experts as the 12th best man to ever play third base, shouldn’t that get you in?

A look at the evidence, inside the numbers of Kenny Boyer.

Kenny, led the league in RBI in 1964, NL MVP 1964, five time-Gold Glove, seven time-All Star, Top Ten; MVP Voting (4 times), NL HRs (4 times), NL Avg. (5 times), NL OB% (5 times), NL Slg (4 times), NL Runs (4 times), NL Hits (5 times), NL doubles (3 times), NL triples (4 times), Base on Balls (5 times), Stolen bases (2 times). Five times he led third basemen in

double plays.

Ray Mileur is a free-lance writer. Since 1998 he has applied his skills to covering the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization as a sportswriter for numberous publications.

He is the webmaster for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Birdhouse, Home of the fans @


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