Ken Boyer will be among nine players and one executive who will be considered for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. The group of candidates who played or were club executives between 1947 and 1972 was selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Historical Overview Committee. Among them for the first time is Bob Howsam, the St. Louis Cardinals general manager who traded Boyer to the New York Mets as he dismantled the former All-Star infield after the 1965 season.
Ken was on the ballot three years ago when the committee selected third baseman Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs. In that election, he and fellow players Luis Tiant and Allie Reynolds and executives Charles Finley and Buzzie Bavasi received less than three votes, while Santo received 15, runner-up Jim Katt 10, Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso 9, and Tony Oliva 8.
The Golden Era Committee has 16 members, including former Cardinals shortstop and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Others include Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond, and Bob Watson; and writers Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe, and Tracy Ringolsby. Among them, Sutton was a former teammate with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bunning pitched against him in Ken’s prime, and Carew, Jenkins, Kaline, Morgan, and Watson were contemporaries in the latter part of his playing career.
Unfortunately, if the vote three years ago is any indication, it will be an uphill battle for Ken to be selected. It’s astonishing that a Most Valuable Player, 11-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove recipient, and one of the best overall third baseman of his generation received less than three votes in the Golden Era Committee’s first election. A public relations campaign by the Cubs did much to raise Santo’s stature and elevate him to the Hall of Fame; certainly the Cardinals could do the same for Ken Boyer.