The Boyer Brothers of Baseball


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About the Book

This the story of the seven baseball-playing Boyer brothers from western Missouri who signed professional contracts in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Led by oldest brother Cloyd, a pitcher, third baseman Ken and third baseman Clete, three of the seven brothers reached the majors. This book recounts their hardscrabble upbringing and how they fought their way to success.
Initially discouraged by arm injuries that curtailed his big-league career, Cloyd became a coach and manager at the minor and major league levels, and remained in the game for nearly half a century. The most accomplished, Ken, became a perennial National League All-Star, and was the 1964 Most Valuable Player. In the 1960s, he was the face of the St. Louis Cardinals, and after his playing days ended he returned to manage the team. Clete gained prominence as a regular for the American League champion New York Yankees, and competed in five World Series before starring in the National League and concluding his career in Japan. While they did not make it to the top, the other four brothers enrich the story with their own baseball histories, and help illustrate how the closeness of the family helped each of them succeed.

About the Author(s)

Lew Freedman is a long-time, prize-winning journalist for such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Wyoming’s Cody Enterprise. Specializing in sports and the outdoors, he has written more than 100 books. He lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Lew Freedman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7099-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1736-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. Beginnings (Cloyd) 7

2. Navy Man (Cloyd) 17

3. Moving to AA (Cloyd) 23

4. Joining the Cardinals (Cloyd) 34

5. Beginnings (Ken) 41

6. Marriage in the Minors (Cloyd) 49

7. Rookie Year (Cloyd) 55

8. Arm Woes (Cloyd) 60

9. Signing with the Cardinals (Lynn) 66

10. Injuries Wreck the Plans (Cloyd) 72

11. 1950s Bonus Baby (Clete) 79

12. Trying It on the Mound (Ken) 85

13. Giving It a Shot (Ron) 91

14. Fighting to Hang On (Cloyd) 101

15. Finding His Position (Ken) 107

16. Right to the Top (Clete) 113

17. Another Brother’s Turn Comes (Lenny) 120

18. The Seven Sisters (The Boyer Girls) 126

19. Next Stop (Cloyd) 132

20. Playing with the Best (Cloyd) 139

21. The Face of the Cardinals (Ken) 148

22. National League MVP (Ken) 155

23. The Boyer Brothers’ World Series (Ken and Clete) 162

24. Back to the Majors (Cloyd) 171

25. Quick Fall (Ken) 176

26. Swapped to Atlanta (Clete) 183

27. From Atlanta to Honolulu to Japan (Clete) 191

28. Cards Boss (Ken) 199

29. Working on 50 Years (Cloyd) 209

30. End of the Line 216

Chapter Notes 227

Bibliography 232

Index 237

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “[A] readable, enjoyable, and sound contribution that will be valued by fans of the game”—Sport in American History