July 1, 2012

HOVG Heroes: Ken Boyer



GENE HUTMAKER on KEN BOYER

My name is Gene Hutmaker and I am the self-proclaimed Yankee Hater. I am the biggest Yankee Hater on this planet Earth as I go about 230 pounds.

Living in Yankee country in South Brunswick, New Jersey, plus having two Yankee-lovin' sons doesn't make it easy, but that hasn't stopped my ranting about baseball's “Evil Empire”.

Years ago, my sons challenged me to put my money where my mouth was and put pen to paper. My son Dr. Michael Hutmaker, a Dean at Manhattan Community College, is a reluctant (for obvious reasons) co-author.  My other pinstriped son, Chris, a Columbia and Wharton graduate also contributed. 

Both opted to keep it PG. 

Together, we authored Banned in the Bronx, The Yankee Haters Memoirs: 1953-2005.  It has a sub-agenda to get Yankee killer Ken Boyer into the Hall of Fame.

In 1981, I focused my agenda on Baseball Digest who, in April of that year, omitted Boyer in an article they titled “These Greats Belong in the Hall of Fame”.

Here is that letter:

Regarding the article “These Greats Belong in the Hall of Fame”, I was not surprised to see no mention of Ken Boyer, a third baseman.  He must be the most outstanding overlooked third baseman in the history of the game.

During his prime years, mid – 1950 to the mid – 1960’s playing for St. Louis, Ken Boyer received his due recognition, constantly being a member of the NL All-Star team.  But, now whenever great third basemen are written about, Ken Boyer always seems to be left out.  Why?  It is beyond my comprehension?

Consider his batting stats- .287 lifetime average, 2143 hits, 318 doubles, 287 homers, 1104 runs scored, 1141  RBIs .  His overall hitting (average plus power) ranks him as one of the best hitting third baseman of all time.

Consider his defense.  During his prime years he was regarded as the top fielding third baseman in the NL – 5 times winning the Gold Glove Award.

Consider his only World Series in 1964; he made several outstanding defensive plays.  Although only hitting .222 he came through in the clutch.  He won the 4th game with a grand slam, 4-3, and he led St. Louis to a 7-5 victory in the final 7th game over the Yanks.  In that final game he went three for four with a single, double and homer sparking every St. Louis rally.

Ken Boyer’s caliber of performance is worthy of “Hall of Fame” selection.

Gene R. Hutmaker
Kendall Park, NJ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Hutmaker is a lifelong baseball fan.  For more than fifty years, he has observed the game from every possible vantage point…player, coach, umpire and, most importantly, as a fan.  His ability to recall obscure facts and stats has earned him the moniker "The Baseball Rainman".  Hutmaker recently retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 40 years and is a VietNam Army Veteran.

You can pick up Hutmaker’s book Banned in the Bronx, The Yankee Haters Memoirs: 1953-2005 over at his website or at its current home…the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.


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