It’s a book I’ve wanted to write for a long time, a biography of St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer.
He was my father’s favorite Cardinal in the 50’s and 60’s. He exemplified class and leadership during a 15-year baseball career with the Cardinals, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was arguably the best all-around third baseman in the game during his 11 seasons in St. Louis. He blasted a grand slam home run to win Game 4 of the 1964 World Series for the Cardinals and helped drive a nail in the coffin of the Yankee Dynasty. He died much too young from lung cancer at the age of 51.
There’s not been a biography written about Ken Boyer in over 40 years. The last, written by David Lipman and published in 1967, was intended for younger readers more than adults. None has been written that recounts his life past that memorable ’64 World Series, which saw him finish his career away from St. Louis but return as a coach and minor league manager before achieving his dream of managing the Cardinals. His tenure was short and he was replaced by Whitey Herzog in 1980; he died two years later before his former team won the 1982 World Series.
I’ve already begun researching his life and playing career. It’s my hope that the book will be published in the next two years. There are many interesting aspects to Ken’s life beyond just baseball: his family, the respect his teammates held for him; how important the game was in the lives of children from his generation; how he battled the illness that eventually took his life.
I’ll begin posting the results of my research and the process of writing the book here on my blog. I’m also very interested in hearing from those who knew Ken or watched him play. Personal stories of meeting him or asking for an autograph would be wonderful too.
I already have a website dedicated to Ken Boyer at www.kenboyer.net. I’m working on a new site design that I hope to unveil soon to complement this book project.