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Clete Boyer

Clete Boyer

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Cletis Leroy "Clete" Boyer (February 9, 1937 – June 4, 2007) was a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 player.

A third baseman
Third baseman
A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run...

 who also played shortstop
Shortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball fielding position between second and third base. Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball, because there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the...

 and second base
Second baseman
Second base, or 2B, is the second of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. A second baseman is the baseball player guarding second base...

 occasionally, Boyer played for the Kansas City Athletics (1955–57), New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 (1959–66) and Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 (1967–71). Boyer also spent 4 seasons in the Central League
Central League
The or is one the two professional baseball leagues that constitute Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The winner of the league championship plays against the winner of the Pacific League in the annual Japan Series. It currently consists of six teams from around the country,The Central League...

 in Japanese baseball
Japanese baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball or NPB is the highest level of baseball in Japan. Locally, it is often called , meaning Professional Baseball. Outside of Japan, it is often just referred to as "Japanese baseball." The roots of the league can be traced back to the formation of the in 1934 and the...

 with the Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama BayStars).

Boyer was one of 14 children. He and four of the brothers played professional baseball, with Ken
Ken Boyer
Kenton Lloyd Boyer was an American Major League Baseball third baseman and manager. During a 15-year baseball career, he played for 1955-1969 for four different teams, playing primarily for the St. Louis Cardinals...

, also a third baseman, and Cloyd
Cloyd Boyer
Cloyd Victor Boyer, Jr. is a retired American professional baseball player and pitching coach. He was a pitcher who played in Major League Baseball between and for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Athletics . Boyer batted and threw right-handed...

, a pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

, also making the majors.

In his 16-year career, Boyer hit 162 home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s with 654 runs batted in
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

 and a .242 batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 in 1725 games played
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

.

Early career


A "bonus baby", Boyer broke into the major leagues in as a utility infielder at age 18. With no minor league experience, he played a total of 124 games for the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to . On June 4 of that season, the Athletics traded Boyer to the New York Yankees to complete a deal that had been made prior to the start of the season. On February 19, the Athletics had dealt five players (two of whom were pitchers Bobby Shantz
Bobby Shantz
Robert Clayton Shantz was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics , Kansas City Athletics , New York Yankees , Pittsburgh Pirates , Houston Colt .45's , St...

 and Art Ditmar
Art Ditmar
Arthur John Ditmar is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Athletics and the New York Yankees . He batted and threw right-handed.A finesse control pitcher, Ditmar divided his career between the Athletics and Yankees...

) to the Yankees. In return, the Athletics acquired seven players (two of whom were Irv Noren
Irv Noren
Irving Arnold Noren is a retired American professional baseball and basketball player. He played outfield in the Major Leagues from 1950-1960. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Senators, New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers...

 and Billy Hunter
Billy Hunter
George William "Billy" Hunter is the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association , the players' union of the National Basketball Association . He is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins...

) in the trade, which also involved three players to be named later
Player to be named later
The concept of the "player to be named later" is most often associated with Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball trades.-Description:...

, two going to the Yankees, and one to the Athletics. On April 4, the Yankees acquired Curt Roberts
Curt Roberts
Curtis Benjamin Roberts was a Major League Baseball second baseman. He was signed by the Boston Braves as an amateur free agent before the 1951 season, and played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1954 to 1956. A native of Pineland, Texas, he stood 5'8" and weighed...

 from the Athletics, who sent Jack Urban
Jack Urban
Jack Elmer Urban is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1957 to 1959 for the Kansas City Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals....

 to the Yankees the following day. The Athletics completed the deal by sending Boyer, the third player to be named later, to the Athletics.

The Yankee years


After joining the Yankees, Boyer spent three seasons in their farm system until he was called up late in . He became the Yankees' regular third baseman in , beating out three others (including Gil McDougald
Gil McDougald
Gilbert James McDougald was an American infielder who spent all ten seasons of his Major League Baseball career with the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1960. He was a member of eight American League pennant winners and five World Series Champions. He was also the AL Rookie of the Year in 1951 and...

, who in spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 had announced that this, his 10th season in the majors, would be his last) for the starting job. He batted .242 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs as the Yankees won the pennant. However, he had a humbling moment in the first game of the World Series
1960 World Series
The 1960 World Series was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the New York Yankees of the American League from October 5 to October 13, 1960...

 against the Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

. With two runners on base and the Yankees trailing 3-1 in the second inning, manager Casey Stengel
Casey Stengel
Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel , nicknamed "The Old Perfessor", was an American Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in ....

, never confident in Boyer's hitting, replaced him with a pinch-hitter, Dale Long
Dale Long
Richard Dale Long was a first baseman in professional baseball. Between 1951 and 1963, Long played in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates , St. Louis Browns , Chicago Cubs , San Francisco Giants , New York Yankees and Washington Senators...

, who flied out to right fielder Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente Walker was a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball right fielder. He was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of seven children. Clemente played his entire 18-year baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates . He was awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in...

. The Yankees didn’t score in the inning and lost 6-4, ultimately losing the Series in Game 7 on Bill Mazeroski
Bill Mazeroski
William Stanley Mazeroski , nicknamed "Maz", is a former Major League Baseball player who spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates...

’s home run off Ralph Terry
Ralph Terry
Ralph Willard Terry is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Yankees , Kansas City Athletics , Cleveland Indians and New York Mets...

 in the bottom of the ninth. Boyer didn't play in the Series again until Game Six.

After the Series, the Yankees fired Stengel. Ralph Houk
Ralph Houk
Ralph George Houk , nicknamed The Major, was an American catcher, coach, manager, and front office executive in Major League Baseball...

 replaced him as manager and restored some of the confidence in Boyer that Stengel had taken away. Whereas Stengel preferred other players at third base over Boyer, Houk saw something special in Boyer's defensive prowess and gave him the opportunity to play every day.

The team (with Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle
Mickey Charles Mantle was an American professional baseball player. Mantle is regarded by many to be the greatest switch hitter of all time, and one of the greatest players in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.Mantle was noted for his hitting...

, Roger Maris
Roger Maris
Roger Eugene Maris was an American Major League Baseball right fielder. During the 1961 season, he hit a record 61 home runs for the New York Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs...

, Elston Howard
Elston Howard
Elston Gene Howard was an American Negro League and Major League Baseball catcher, left fielder and coach. During a 14-year baseball career, he played from 1955–1968, primarily for the New York Yankees...

, Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is a former American Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees...

 and Moose Skowron
Moose Skowron
William Joseph "Moose" Skowron Jr. is a former Major League Baseball player, primarily a first baseman. He is currently a Community Relations Representative for the White Sox....

), which defeated the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. The club was established in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association and joined the National League in 1890....

 in the World Series
1961 World Series
The 1961 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Cincinnati Reds , with the Yankees winning in five games to earn their 19th championship in 39 seasons. This World Series was surrounded by Cold War political puns pitting the "Reds" against the "Yanks"...

, was considered by many as the best ever, with sluggers Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

's record of 60 home runs (Maris eventually broke the record on the final day) and pitcher Whitey Ford
Whitey Ford
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who spent his entire 18-year career with the New York Yankees. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.-Early life and career:...

 winning 25 games and losing four. Boyer batted only .224 during the regular season, but more than made up for it with his defense in an infield that also featured the double play
Double play
In baseball, a double play for a team or a fielder is the act of making two outs during the same continuous playing action. In baseball slang, making a double play is referred to as "turning two"....

 duo of Tony Kubek
Tony Kubek
Anthony Christopher "Tony" Kubek is a retired American professional baseball player and television broadcaster....

 at shortstop and Bobby Richardson
Bobby Richardson
Robert Clinton "Bobby" Richardson is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Yankees from through . Batting and throwing right-handed, he was a superb defensive infielder, as well as something of a clutch hitter, who played no small role in the Yankee baseball...

 at second base. In the first game of that World Series, Boyer displayed his defense by making two spectacular plays—one on a Gene Freese
Gene Freese
Eugene Lewis Freese is a former third baseman in American Major League Baseball for 12 seasons . A journeyman, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates , St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox , Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, batting .254 with 115 home runs in 1,115 games...

 ground ball in the second inning, in which Boyer stopped the ball backhanded and threw Freese out from his knees, and another on a Dick Gernert
Dick Gernert
Richard Edward Gernert was a first baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Boston Red Sox , Chicago Cubs , Detroit Tigers , Cincinnati Reds and Houston Colt .45's . He threw and batted right-handed...

 ground ball in which Boyer dove to his left and threw Gernert out, also from his knees.

Boyer's offensive numbers improved in : career bests in batting average .272, home runs (18) and runs batted in (68). He also came within nine assist
Assist (baseball)
In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is awarded to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional...

s of the third base record of 405 set by Harlond Clift
Harlond Clift
Harlond Benton Clift born in El Reno, Oklahoma, was a third baseman for the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators ....

 of the St. Louis Browns
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

. Once again, the Yankees won the World Series
1962 World Series
The 1962 World Series matched the defending American League and World Series champions New York Yankees against the National League champion San Francisco Giants, who had won their first NL pennant since 1954 and first since moving from New York in 1958, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in a...

, this time in seven games over the San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

. In Game One of the Series, Boyer's seventh-inning home run off starter Billy O'Dell
Billy O'Dell
William Oliver O'Dell , is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1954 and 1956-1967...

 broke a 2-2 and gave the Yankees the lead for good; they won the game 6-2 in what would be the last of Whitey Ford's World Series-record 10 victories. The Series ended with Bobby Richardson catching Willie McCovey
Willie McCovey
Willie Lee McCovey , nicknamed "Mac", "Big Mac", and "Stretch", is a former Major League Baseball first baseman. He played nineteen seasons for the San Francisco Giants, and three more for the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics, between and...

's line drive with runners on second and third. Just a few feet to either side, and Richardson could not have gotten his hands on it, and the Giants would have scored two runs and won the Series. In Boyer batted .251 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs as the Yankees won another pennant, however, they were swept in the World Series
1963 World Series
The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games to capture their second title in five years, and their third in franchise history....

 by the Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

, the first time this had ever been done to a Yankee team in a World Series. Dodger ace Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax
Sanford "Sandy" Koufax is a former left-handed baseball pitcher who played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers...

 won the first and fourth games, striking out a series record 15 batters in the opener. Boyer was the only Yankee regular not to strike out against Koufax.

During each of Ralph Houk's first three seasons as Yankee manager (1961–1963), Boyer led all American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 third basemen in putout
Putout
In baseball statistics, a putout is given to a defensive player who records an out by one of the following methods:* Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base...

s, assists
Assist (baseball)
In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is awarded to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional...

 and double plays, finishing ahead of even rival Brooks Robinson
Brooks Robinson
Brooks Calbert Robinson, Jr. is a former American professional baseball player. He played his entire 23-year major league career for the Baltimore Orioles . Nicknamed "The Human Vacuum Cleaner", he is generally acclaimed as the greatest defensive third-basemen in major league history...

—yet Robinson, not Boyer, won the Gold Glove Award
Gold Glove Award
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League , as voted by the...

 each year.

After the 1963 season Houk was promoted to general manager
General manager
General manager is a descriptive term for certain executives in a business operation. It is also a formal title held by some business executives, most commonly in the hospitality industry.-Generic usage:...

 and Berra replaced him as field manager. Early on, the team slumped under Berra, especially Boyer who batted .218 on the season. As Berra's managing improved, the team improved with it and won its fifth straight pennant by one game over the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 and two over the third place Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

. The Yankees faced the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 in the World Series
1964 World Series
The 1964 World Series pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion New York Yankees, with the Cardinals prevailing in seven games. St...

 with Clete playing against his brother Ken. The Yankees lost in seven games, but not before Ken and Clete became the first brothers to hit home runs on opposing teams in a World Series game. In the 7th inning of that seventh game, Ken homered off Yankee pitcher Steve Hamilton
Steve Hamilton
Steven Absher Hamilton was a Major League Baseball and NBA player....

 and exchanged nods with Clete. Clete returned the favor in the 9th after homering off Cardinal ace Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson
Robert "Bob" Gibson is a retired American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "Hoot" and "Gibby", he was a right-handed pitcher who played his entire 17-year Major League Baseball career with St. Louis Cardinals...

.

After the 1964 Series, Houk unceremoniously fired Berra (in mid-season the management, dissatisfied with Berra's work, made up their mind to fire him at the end of the season no matter what the Yankees did) and replaced him with Johnny Keane
Johnny Keane
John Joseph Keane was an American manager in Major League Baseball. Born in St. Louis, Missouri and known as a patient manager of young players, Keane participated in one of the strangest turns of events in baseball history in , his final season at the helm of the St...

, who had managed the Cardinals to the World Series victory over the Yankees. In spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 of Boyer was involved in a fight in a Fort Lauderdale bar with a male model, Jerome Modzelewski, while in spring training. During the season, he did bat .251 with a career-tying 18 home runs, but the Yankees slumped to sixth place, their lowest finish in 40 years. In the Yankees fired Keane two weeks into the season, and Houk returned as manager. However, Houk's second managerial stint was far less successful than his first. Their talent and farm system both depleted, the Yankees finished dead last—the first time they had done so since . After a season in which he hit .240 with 14 home runs, Lee MacPhail
Lee MacPhail
Leland Stanford MacPhail, Jr. is an American retired front-office executive in Major League Baseball...

, who replaced Houk as general manager, traded Boyer to the Atlanta Braves for Bill Robinson, that year's Minor League Player of the Year.

Post-Yankee days


In Boyer had his best offensive season. Playing in hitter-friendly Atlanta Stadium, he established career highs in home runs (26) and RBIs (96) in a lineup that featured the likes of Hank Aaron, Joe Torre
Joe Torre
Joseph Paul Torre is a former American professional baseball player and manager who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. A nine-time All-Star, he played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, first baseman and a third baseman for the...

, Felipe Alou and Mack Jones
Mack Jones
Mack F. Jones , nicknamed "Mack The Knife", was a Major League Baseball left fielder who played for the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves , Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos . He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jones was signed by the Milwaukee Braves as a...

; Boyer batted cleanup behind Aaron. He also continued his mastery of the glove, leading National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 third baseman in fielding
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

 both in 1967 and . In the latter year, he finally won the Gold Glove Award that had eluded him in his Yankee years; with brother Ken having won the award five times, the Boyers became the first brothers to win a Gold Glove. On August 31 of that year, he fell victim to Morganna
Morganna
Morganna Roberts is an entertainer who became known as Morganna or Morganna, the Kissing Bandit in baseball and other sports from 1970 through the 1990s...

, the famed buxom “Kissing Bandit.” Prior to the kiss, he had been mired in a 1-for-17 slump; in that very at-bat, Clete drove in a run with a single. He got two more hits later in the game, then eight more hits in his next 15 at-bats. In the 1969 season the Braves won the Western Division title (both leagues now had Eastern and Western Divisions after each expanding from 10 teams to 12) for their first post-season berth since losing to the Yankees in the 1958 World Series
1958 World Series
The 1958 World Series was a rematch of the 1957 Series, with the New York Yankees beating the defending champion Milwaukee Braves in seven games for their eighteenth title, and their seventh in ten years...

 as the Milwaukee Braves. However, they lost in the playoffs
1969 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 4, 1969 at Atlanta Stadium in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Mets struck first in the second off Phil Niekro when Jerry Grote singled in a run and Ken Boswell scored on a passed ball by Braves catcher Bob Didier...

 to the eventual World Champion
1969 World Series
The 1969 World Series was played between the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles, with the Mets prevailing in five games to accomplish one of the greatest upsets in Series history, as that particular Orioles squad was considered to be one of the finest ever...

 New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

.

Boyer continued to sparkle at third base until he was released by the Braves on May 28, 1971, after a bitter feud with General Manager Paul Richards
Paul Richards (baseball)
Paul Rapier Richards was an American professional baseball player, manager, scout and executive in Major League Baseball. During his playing career, he was a catcher and right-handed batter with the Brooklyn Dodgers , New York Giants , Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers...

 and manager Lum Harris
Lum Harris
Chalmer Luman Harris was an American right-handed pitcher, coach, manager, and scout in Major League Baseball....

 over mismanagement. Boyer complained that the organization didn’t teach the players the proper fundamentals. Richards countered that Boyer was a troublemaker. He left Major League Baseball and resurfaced in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, where he played professionally for the Taiyō Whales
Yokohama BayStars
The are a professional baseball team in the Japanese Central League. Home field is the Yokohama Stadium, located in central Yokohama. The clubhouse is located near the stadium....

 from to . His roommate was Sadaharu Oh
Sadaharu Oh
Sadaharu Oh, or Wang Chenchih , is a retired Japanese-Taiwanese baseball player and manager. He batted and threw left-handed and primarily played first base. Oh, who was born in Sumida, Tokyo the son of a Taiwanese father and a Japanese mother, had originally signed with the powerhouse Yomiuri...

. After retiring in 1975, he was the defensive coach for the Whales in 1976. Afterwards, Boyer returned to the Major Leagues as a third-base coach with the Yankees and the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

, mostly with former teammate Billy Martin
Billy Martin
Alfred Manuel "Billy" Martin, Jr. was an American Major League Baseball second baseman and manager. He is best known as the manager of the New York Yankees, a position he held five different times...

 as manager.

In 2000, Boyer opened a restaurant named "Clete Boyer’s Hamburger Hall of Fame" in Cooperstown, NY just a few miles south of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The restaurant features sandwiches and hamburgers named after various Yankees' immortals such as: "Yogi
Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is a former American Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees...

's Special meatball sub", "the Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle
Mickey Charles Mantle was an American professional baseball player. Mantle is regarded by many to be the greatest switch hitter of all time, and one of the greatest players in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.Mantle was noted for his hitting...

 Cheeseburger Deluxe", "the Reggie
Reggie Jackson
Reginald Martinez "Reggie" Jackson , nicknamed "Mr. October" for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the New York Yankees, is a former American Major League Baseball right fielder. During a 21-year baseball career, he played from 1967-1987 for four different teams. Jackson currently serves as...

 Veggie Burger", "the Bobby Richardson
Bobby Richardson
Robert Clinton "Bobby" Richardson is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Yankees from through . Batting and throwing right-handed, he was a superb defensive infielder, as well as something of a clutch hitter, who played no small role in the Yankee baseball...

 Cheeseburger", "the Roger Maris
Roger Maris
Roger Eugene Maris was an American Major League Baseball right fielder. During the 1961 season, he hit a record 61 home runs for the New York Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs...

 Hamburger Deluxe", and "the Whitey Ford
Whitey Ford
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who spent his entire 18-year career with the New York Yankees. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.-Early life and career:...

 Blue Cheese Burger". Boyer could often be found at the restaurant chatting with visitors and graciously signing photos and other memorabilia.

Boyer died on June 4, 2007 from complications of a brain hemorrhage in an Atlanta area hospital. Boyer was survived by six children, ten grandchildren and older brother, former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher, Cloyd Boyer
Cloyd Boyer
Cloyd Victor Boyer, Jr. is a retired American professional baseball player and pitching coach. He was a pitcher who played in Major League Baseball between and for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Athletics . Boyer batted and threw right-handed...

. Brother Ken Boyer
Ken Boyer
Kenton Lloyd Boyer was an American Major League Baseball third baseman and manager. During a 15-year baseball career, he played for 1955-1969 for four different teams, playing primarily for the St. Louis Cardinals...

 (1964 National League MVP), another former St. Louis Cardinal, predeceased Clete in 1982.

Boyer is the first professional athlete to be interred in an Eternal Image MLB-branded urn
Urn
An urn is a vase, ordinarily covered, that usually has a narrowed neck above a footed pedestal. "Knife urns" placed on pedestals flanking a dining-room sideboard were an English innovation for high-style dining rooms of the late 1760s...

. His family had his cremated remains placed in a New York Yankees urn.

External links