At least once a week, I’m try to update everyone on my progress with the proposed biography of Ken Boyer.
After two years (on and off) gathering materials–books, interviews, newspaper articles–I’ve begun actually writing the book. I’m starting at the beginning with his childhood in Jasper County, Missouri and playing baseball for the Alba Aces. The Aces were similar to an American Legion team. They played in the Cardinal Junior League, a 10-15 year old boys league started in 1940 (later expanded to include 17-year-old as well). It began with teams from small communities in northwest Jasper County–Alba, Cossville, Neck City–and over the decade, teams were added from nearby Joplin and other communities in the tri-state region of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Baxter Springs Whiz Kids from neighboring Kansas joined the league in 1946; two years later, Mickey Mantle was playing shortstop for the Whiz Kids as Kenton Boyer manned the same position for Alba. I’ve been lucky enough to gather enough information about the Alba Aces and the Cardinal Junior League that I’m able to write quite a bit about it for the first chapter.
Meanwhile, I’ve contacted several of Ken’s former teammates with the Cardinals and am arranging interviews with them this month. I even managed to find one of his teammates on his first professional team, the Lebanon Chix of the Class D PONY League. It’ll be interesting to hear his prospective, having known Ken when he was just starting his career–and was a pitcher no less who knew very little about it except that he threw hard!
I’ve also been able to acquire a few photographs of him when he played in the Cardinals’ minor leagues, and I’m working on acquiring a few others too.
My goal is to complete writing later this year and publish the book in 2014, which will be the 50th anniversary of Ken’s 1964 MVP season and the Cardinals’ World championship over the New York Yankees.
You can also follow my progress on my Facebook page.