Ken Boyer, a regular in All-Star games and National League Most Valuable Player during the magical World Series championship season of 1964, is getting another shot at the Hall of Fame.
His resume is under consideration by the Hall's Veteran's Committee.
Boyer, who played centerfield and third base for the Redbirds in a stay that lasted from 1955-65, hit .287 and averaged 22 homers a year over the course of a career that ended in 1969 following brief stints with the Mets, White Sox and Dodgers. Despite a major position switch, Boyer won five Gold Gloves during his playing days.
I'm afraid that Boyer's candidacy might be harmed by the fact that he's been out of the public eye for so long. He was extremely well respected during his playing days, finishing in the top 20 of MVP voting seven years in a row. But he passed away at 52 in 1982 on the eve of the Redbirds' victory in the World Series. The last memory baseball fans have of Boyer was his unfortunate stint as Cardinals manager from 1978-1980 when he was fired in mid-season to be replaced with Whitey Herzog.
Boyer also faces stiff competition from a strong class of candidates including Gil Hodges, Buzzie Bavasi, Charlie Finley, Jim Kaat, Allie Reynolds, Luis Tiant, Ron Santo, Minnie Minoso and Tony Oliva.
While voters can select as many candidates as they want, often they are reluctant to give the perception of watering down Hall of Fame standards by letting in a bunch of people at once. I fear Boyer might be blocked by Santo who was very high profile as a broadcaster after his playing career. Santo hit .277 and averaged 25 homers and earned four Gold Gloves with the Cubs and White Sox. While their numbers are very similar, there has been a big push to put Santo in the Hall while Boyer has been out of the public consciousness for 25 years.
Boyer's number 14 was retired by the Cardinals in 1984. He is the on;y Cardinals player to have his number retired who is not in the Hall of Fame.