One of three Boyer brothers to reach the majors, Clete ranked as a top AL defensive third baseman during his eight years with the Yankees, overshadowed only by Baltimore’s Brooks Robinson. In the 1962 World Series, he batted .318 against the Giants, including a home run in the opening game. When he homered in the seventh game of the 1964 WS two innings after his brother Ken had homered for the Cardinals, it marked the only time that brothers had connected for home runs in the same WS game. He holds the WS record for most career assists by a third baseman (66).
Traded to the Braves after the 1966 season, he enjoyed his best offensive year in 1967 with 26 homers and 96 RBI. He led NL third basemen in fielding in 1967 and 1969.
On August 31, 1969, as he approached the plate locked in a 1-for-17 batting slump, he fell “victim” to Morganna, a buxom blonde who’d earned notoriety by dashing on the field and kissing ballplayers. After the kiss, Clete got an RBI single, two more hits in the game, and racked up eight hits in his next 15 at-bats.
After his release by the Braves in 1971, he played for Hawaii in the Pacific Coast League, where he became the first American professional to be traded to a Japanese league when he was dealt to the Tayio Whales for John Werhas.
Boyer coached for the A’s and Yankees in the 1980s, often under his old teammate Billy Martin.