St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer named on Golden Era Hall of Fame ballot


St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer was among the ten finalists for inclusion on the National Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot with the elections being held on December 8, 2014 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

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In addition to Boyer, the finalists include Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

Boyer, who played 11 of 15 seasons with the Cardinals, was selected for 11 All-Star Games and was named the 1964 National League Most Valuable Player as the Cardinals won the World Series. Covering the hot corner, Boyer took home 5 Gold Glove Awards and led the NL with 119 RBI in his MVP season. Before retiring, Boyer topped 20 home runs in eight seasons before finishing with 282 career home runs.

Allen played for the Cardinals during the 1970 season. Kaat closed out his career with the Cardinals and pitched for the team during the 1980-83 seasons before retiring. He appeared in four games of the 1982 World Series.

The only executive up for consideration, Bob Howsam, replaced Bing Devine as the Cardinals general manager during the 1964 season. He left following the 1966 season. In 1966, Howsam acquired both Orlando Cepeda and Roger Maris. This helped pave the way for the 1967 World Series championship and follow up National League pennant in 1968. However, it is Howsam’s years with the Cincinnati Reds (1967-77) for which he is surely being considered for the Hall of Fame.

Of the returning candidates, here is how the voting went down in 2011:
Kaat, 10
Hodges, 9
Minoso, 9
Oliva, 8
Boyer, less than 3
Tiant, less than 3

Allen, Howsam, Pierce, and Wills are newcomers to the Golden Era ballot.

The 16-person Golden Era Committee includes Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond and Bob Watson; and veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby.

In order to be inducted in the Class of 2015 on July 26, candidates must appear on 12 of 16 ballots. With 10 votes, Kaat is the closest although speedster Wills is sure to be considered his stats. Hodges should, once again, be a no-brainer for a sure induction. Why the committee hasn’t seen it that way is beyond me.

It’s hard to predict how the committee will vote on Boyer’s candidacy but with Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo in the Hall of Fame, a case can surely be made for Boyer. From 1958 to 1969, there was only one time that someone not named Boyer or Santo took home the award for defense at third base.