PRO BASEBALL PLAYER
Ken Boyer was one of the most dominant infielders during the 1950s and 1960s, playing in more than two thousand games, primarily for the St. Louis Cardinals. He played in more than a half-dozen All-Star Games, was named the National League MVP, and even hit a pair of home runs in the 1964 World Series that helped give St. Louis the title.
THE EARLY YEARS
Kenton Lloyd Boyer was born on May 20, 1931, in Liberty, but he grew up in the small town of Alba. He was born into a large family full of athletes. Two of his brothers also made it to the major leagues and some of his other brothers made it into the minors.
RISE TO FAME
Boyer was signed to a minor league contract at an early age. The coaches thought his strong arm made for great pitching. After he showed a remarkable ability as a hitter, he was transitioned into a third baseman. That’s where he made his mark on baseball and his place with the St. Louis Cardinals.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
When he was twenty-three years old, Boyer finally broke into the big leagues as a Cardinal. His first year, he played in almost every game and batted .264. In only his second year in the league, he made it to the All-Star Game and played alongside the likes of Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays. In that first All-Star Game, he went three for five at the plate, scored a run, and made amazing plays in the field.
He failed to make the All-Star team for a couple of years, but he made it again in 1959 and solidified his place on the team for the next six years. His amazing 1964 season is one that longtime Cardinal fans still talk about. He was practically flawless at third base and had a good year at the plate as well. He led his team to the World Series against the New York Yankees and his brother Clete Boyer. Ken ultimately proved to be one of the stars of the Fall Classic. In Game 4, he blasted a grand slam to give the Cards a 4–3 win. Then in Game 7, he hit another home run to win the game and the World Series title for the Cardinals.
His final years in Major League Baseball sent Boyer all over the country and even to the American League. Only two years after his World Series heroics, he was traded to the Mets, then two years later to the White Sox, and two years later to the Dodgers. He returned to St. Louis after his playing days were over to manage the club, where he had limited success. He retired from baseball three years later because of illness, and he left the game as one of the most beloved Cardinals
of all time.
*He won the Gold Glove Award for five of the first six years it was handed out.
*His No. 14 was retired by the Cardinals in 1984.