Cloyd Boyer, last of three-sibling baseball rarity, dies at 94

Cloyd Boyer pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Athletics and, over the course of a baseball career spanning nearly ...


Cloyd Boyer pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Athletics and, over the course of a baseball career spanning nearly half a century, went on to work as a pitching coach for the Yankees and the Braves of Atlanta and as a minor league manager, traveling pitching instructor. and a scout.

But in none of these roles was he particularly well known. What earned him his biggest accolade was something more family-friendly: he joined third baseman Ken and Clete Boyer in a three-sibling major league rarity.

Having survived Ken and Clete, Cloyd Boyer died Monday at the age of 94 in a nursing home in Carthage, Missouri. His death was confirmed by his son Ken.

The Boyers weren’t the only fraternal trio to play in the major leagues at the same time. Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio preceded them. More recently, there were Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou, and Bengie, José and Yadier Molina. But throughout baseball history, notable three-sibling combos have been a small fraternity.

Cloyd was the oldest of seven brothers; he also had seven sisters. All four Boyer boys who didn’t make it to the major leagues played in the minors. Cloyd’s promising pitching career was injured, but Ken and Clete, the youngest of the three, thrived in the big leagues.

Ken Boyer played 15 seasons, 11 with the Cardinals, and then led them. A member of the All-Star teams, he was the National League’s MVP in 1964, when the Cards faced his brother Clete’s Yankees in the World Series. Ken hit two homers and a double and produced six runs in the Cardinals’ seven-game win. He went on to play for the Mets, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. He ended his career with 282 home runs and 2,143 hits.

Clete Boyer, known for his relentless third baseman, spent 16 seasons in the majors. After playing for track and field, he was a Yankee from 1959 to 1966, appearing with stars like Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford on five winning teams, including two World Series champions. He then spent five seasons with the Braves.

Ken Boyer is dead in 1982 at age 51, and Clete Boyer died in 2007 at 70 years old. They both had cancer.

Cloyd, a right-hander with an outstanding fastpitch, pitched for the Cardinals from 1949 to 1952 and was a future Hall of Fame teammate Stan music, Schoendienst red and Enos Slaughter. After being sent to the miners, he pitched for Kansas City in 1955.

A shoulder injury cut his big-league career short, leaving him 20-23.

Long afterward, he argued that his chances of recovering from his injury were spoiled by the wisdom of his day in baseball and a little education from Eddie Stanky, who became manager of the Cardinals in 1952.

“The whole philosophy was to go through the pain and that would eventually go away,” Cloyd said in Lew Freedman’s “The Boyer Brothers of Baseball” (2015). “And if your arm doesn’t come back, we’ll have someone else.”

Not only did his shoulder never fully straighten, but his injury was made worse by Stanky’s insistence on working on his basic skills.

He recounted how Stanky, seeing his potential as a pinch runner, put him through drills in which he trained to come back to first base to avoid being knocked out. As Boyer said, “He would be my coach. He was shouting: “Come back! And I had to dive back. I think that’s when I injured my arm the second time around.

After his one season with Kansas City, Boyer pitched in the minors until 1961. He coached pitchers for the Yankees in 1975 and 1977 and with the Atlanta Braves later in the 1970s and early 1980s. 80. He managed in the Yankees minor league system and worked for them as a roving pitching instructor and scout.

Cloyd Victor Boyer was born on September 1, 1927 on the outskirts of Alba, Missouri, near the town of Joplin in the southwestern state. His father, Chester, was a grocer and worked on road construction projects run by the Depression Works Progress Administration. His mother, Mable (Means) Boyer, looked after the large family.

He graduated from Alba High School in 1945, launched for a navy team in occupation duty in Japan after World War II, and then was signed by the Cardinals out of a test camp.

He retired from baseball after leading a minor league team in the Braves organization in the 1992 season.

Cloyd Wayne’s brothers Lynn, Len and Ron all played in the minor leagues.

In addition to his son Ken, Boyer is survived by his wife, Nadine (Witherspoon) Boyer; another son, Jim; one daughter, Cheryl Boyer; 10 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; his brother Ronnie; and her sisters Deloris Webb, Pansy Schell, Shirley Lockhart, Bobbi McNary and Marcy Layton.

Although he enjoyed a long baseball career and was considered an outstanding student of the game, Cloyd Boyer let his actions speak for themselves.

“I’m not bragging about anything,” he said in “The Boyer Brothers of Baseball”.

“From what I thought, the Lord has been good to me. I was lucky.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Cloyd Boyer, last of three-sibling baseball rarity, dies at 94
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