Clete Boyer – The Influence of an Athlete

I heard on the news that Clete Boyer, former Yankee, passed away this week. He may not have been a perpetual all-star, but he was huge for this young sports fan.

Back when I was younger, probably 7 or so, I had just started to get into collecting baseball cards. My parents thought it was a good idea to take me to a card show. We went to one nearby where there were Yankees signing autographs. That was all I needed to hear. We piled in the car and went.

I had my items ready to sign, went down the line, and came to this older gentleman. I did not know who he was so I shied away. My dad, who know that it was Clete Boyer, shoved me forward toward the table mumbling something about being a Yankee. I got there and we exchanged an awkward greeting. He sat with Sharpie in hand awaiting something to sign. I fumbled for anything that might be pertinent but came up empty-handed. Upon seeing this he smiled, leaned forward, and pulled out his wallet. In it he had about 5 of his own baseball cards. He pulled one out, signed it, and gave it to me. I was completely dumbfounded. It was one of the most sincere gestures I have ever encountered and is one I will never forget. That gesture singlehandedly ensured that I was going to remain an avid collector. I still have that card, a 1956 Topps if I remember correctly, and always will.

Thank you Mr. Boyer. Your kindness did not go unnoticed. Rest in peace.


One thought on “Clete Boyer – The Influence of an Athlete

  1. I spent many summer afternoons playing baseball with my brothers “being the Yankees”. I learned the Yankee line up along with the history. Yea, Clete Boyer was one of the steady players the Yanks could count on to do his job.
    And now we have lost The Scooter. Should be a good team developing in Heaven.


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