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Featured Story: Meeting the Boyer Brothers
Brothers Ken and Clete Boyer played on opposite teams during the 1964 World Series between the Yankees and the Cardinals. Clete was a Yankee and his brother played for the Cardinals. I had always been a Yankee fan because of Mickey Mantle. My dad, having grown up listening to KMOX radio in St. Louis (he lived in Oklahoma but the station’s signal reached across much of the U.S. west of the Mississippi River) was a Cardinals fan. Since we backed opposing teams, my Dad and I made a little wager on the outcome of the series. We would both become fans of the winning team.
Following the Cardinals’ win both the Boyer brothers came to our hometown to sign autographs at a local department store and my Dad took me to meet them. I was excited to meet real Major League Baseball players in person. However, my excitement quickly turned to embarrassment when my Dad explained our bet to the brothers, telling them that I was a Cardinals fan only because I had lost the bet.
Clete Boyer feigned total disappointment that I would give up my allegiance to the Yankees that easily. As I stood there squirming, Ken Boyer jumped in and took my side. My embarrassment turned into relief as he reminded his brother that if the Yankees has played better, I wouldn’t be in the predicament of having to give up allegiance to the club.
I remained a Cardinals fan until the day they traded Ken Boyer to the Mets. I remained a Ken Boyer fan through his playing days with the Mets and White Sox. I also followed his career closely as a manager including his return to manage the Cardinals.
In the movie “City Slickers” there is a scene where one of the characters says that no matter how disconnected he was from his father, baseball was the one thing that could bring them together. I have always had a great relationship with my Dad but baseball was a major part of that until 1994. When the strike cancelled the season and World Series, I lost interest in the game. Dad and I still have a great relationship, but as it relates to baseball, our conversations are always about the pre-1994 years.