It’s that painful time of the year when I look at the Hall of Fame candidates and who belongs in and who doesn’t.
The first one is going to be one of my sentimental favorites, Ken Boyer. I’m not sure why I always liked him, but I did. He played 15 seasons for 4 teams, most of them for the Cardinals.
Why he belongs:
7 All-Star Games – Other players with 7 All-Star Games:
(All Hall-of-Famers or on their way)
MVP in 1964
Finished in the voting 8 times
1 World Series, key member of the team
5 Gold Gloves
Top 10 in Batting Average 5 times, highest finish 3rd
Top 10 in Runs Scored 4 times, highest finish 4th
Top 10 in Hits 5 times, highest finish 4th
Top 10 in Home Runs 4 times, highest finish 4th
Top 10 in RBI’s 7 times, leading once in 1964
Top 10 in Walks 5 times, highest finish 4th
Why he doesn’t:
7 All-Star Game selections makes him good enough to be tied for #122.
The only World Series he appeared in, 1964, he batted .222.
While 5 Gold Gloves is impressive, there are 6 who have more: Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen, Buddy Bell, Eric Chavez & Robin Ventura. And those last 4 are a LONG way away from the HOF (Sorry, Buddy, I love you.)
While he was always in the mix, he didn’t really dominate in too many categories, only leading the league in major categories once. And wouldn’t your RBI total be great if you were batting behind Curt Flood, Lou Brock and Bill White?
His career numbers aren’t too great, either. 2143 hits, only #193. There are more than 30 eligible players NOT in the Hall of Fame with a higher career total than Boyer. He has 1104 runs, only #239. He has 282 home runs, good enough for #155. In a world where Fred McGriff can’t get in with 493, Boyer’s home run numbers won’t get him in. At 1141 RBI’s, he comes in at 174.
The Hall-of-Fame Monitor lists Boyer at 86. A Hall of Famer is 100 or higher.
Similar players according to baseball-refernce.com include Paul O’Neill, Robin Ventura and Fred Lynn. There isn’t a single Hall-of-Famer in the 10 players compared with him.
The year he finished highest in Hall-of-Fame balloting was 1988. He got 25.5% of the vote. That was good enough for #11 that year. 4 players above him were elected or would go on to be elected. That means there were 6 non-HOF players the HOF Committee felt deserved the HOF more than Ken Boyer.
In conclusion… Well, this hurts to say, but looking at the numbers, I don’t see how you can put him in the Baseball Hall-of-Fame.