Lou Brock

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Louis Clark Brock

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1985

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Biographical Information[edit]

1962 Topps

Lou Brock made his major league debut as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals after one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. A starting outfielder with the Cubs, he showed some flashes of speed, stealing 24 bases in 1963. Midway through the 1964 season, he was traded to the Cardinals along with two other players for Ernie Broglio and two others. Broglio went 7-19 in two and a half seasons with the Cubs, but Brock went on to hit just under .300 and steal 888 bases in a decade and a half with the Cardinals. He reached the World Series three times with the Cards, hitting .391 in 21 games. In 1974, he stole 118 bases, a modern record (since broken by Rickey Henderson). He ended his career after the 1979 season with a then-record 938 steals (also later broken by Henderson). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 7, 1985 by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Early life[edit]

Brock was born in El Dorado, AR and played college baseball at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. Brock won the Southwest Conference batting title one year. He was 1 for 10 for Team USA in the 1959 Pan American Games but they still won Bronze. He signed with the Cubs as an amateur free agent and broke into the Majors in 1961. The scout who signed him was Negro League great Buck O'Neil

Brock for Broglio[edit]

Brock was blessed with great speed and baserunning instincts, but his numbers with the Cubs failed to impress anyone. In 1964 after he seemed to be failing to live up to his potential, the Cubs gave up on Brock and made him part of a trade the Cubs made with the Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio.

After Brock was traded to the Cardinals, his career turned around significantly, as he batted .348 for the Cardinals that season and led them to winning the 1964 World Series. As Brock's career continued to thrive with the Cardinals, Broglio's crashed, and he was out of baseball by 1966. Brock on the other hand, had many more successful seasons playing with the Cardinals until his last season of play in 1979. To this day, the Brock for Broglio trade is considered by Cubs fans to be the worst in franchise history.

Throughout his career, Brock helped the Cardinals win two World Series in 1964 and 1967, defeating the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, respectively, and led them to another, a Series loss to the Detroit Tigers in 1968.

Just The Facts And Stats[edit]

In 1967, Brock became the first player to steal 50 bases and hit 20 home runs in the same season.

That same year, Brock hit 5 home runs in the first 4 games of the season, becoming the first to do so. It would later be matched by Barry Bonds in 2002 and Chris Shelton in 2006. The odd part is that Brock is not considered a power hitter.

His best batting average was in 1964, when he bated .315, one of eight years he batted over .300, he was a 6-time National League All-Star, he led the league in runs scored 2 times (1967 and 1971), led the league in doubles (46 in 1968), and led the league in triples (14 in 1968).

Brock held the record for career stolen bases (938) until it was broken by Rickey Henderson. In 1974 he stole a major-league record 118 bases (Maury Wills held the former record of 104 set in 1962; Brock's single-season record was also later broken by Henderson). Brock led the National League in stolen bases eight times between 1966 and 1974 (former teammate Bobby Tolan led the league in steals in 1970).

Overall, Brock batted .293 in 19 seasons, amassing a total of 3,023 hits. His first Baseball Card appearance was in the 1962 Topps set.

Awards, Honors And Life After Baseball[edit]

Brock was named the 1967 National League Babe Ruth Award winner, won The Sporting News Major League Player Of The Year in 1974, the Roberto Clemente Award in 1975, the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1977, and the Hutch Award in 1979.

Brock was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. His number 20 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1999, he ranked Number 58 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Even though his stolen base record has been surpassed, the National League honors each stolen base leader with the Lou Brock Award.

After retiring from baseball, Brock prospered as a businessman, especially as a florist in the St. Louis, MO area. Lou Brock is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. A deeply religious Christian, Brock is now an ordained minister. In 2015, he had his left leg amputated below his knee because of an infection caused by diabetes. In 2017, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to undergo treatment for multiple myeloma.

Brock is the father of former USC Trojan and NFL player Lou Brock Jr.


Brock hit one of the only three home runs ever hit over the center field wall at the Polo Grounds in New York. His blast came on June 17, 1962, and would be followed by Hank Aaron's shot the very next day. Joe Adcock was the first to hit a ball over that wall, in 1953.

Brock also was the first player ever to bat in a regular season game in Canada. He led off the April 14, 1969 game against the Montreal Expos at Jarry Park by lining out to second, facing former teammate Larry Jaster.

His cousin, Dale Brock, was an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals chain.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 6-time NL All-Star (1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 & 1979)
  • 1979 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award
  • NL At Bats Leader (1967)
  • 2-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1967 & 1971)
  • NL Singles Leader (1972)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1968)
  • NL Triples Leader (1968)
  • 8-time NL Stolen Bases Leader (1966-1969 & 1971-1974)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1967)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1964, 1965, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1973 & 1974)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 4 (1964, 1967, 1970 & 1971)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 12 (1965-1976)
  • 100 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1974)
  • Won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1964 & 1967)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1985

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lou Brock (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, November 1972, pp. 55-57. [1]
  • Mike Eisenbath: "Lou Brock Looks Back on His 19-Year Hall of Fame Career", Baseball Digest, December 1994, pp. 66-70. [2].
  • Bob Fortus: "Success Story - Lou Brock's Climb to the Hall of Fame: Game's all-time leading base stealer admits he tried out for baseball only because he lost academic aid in college", Baseball Digest, November 1985, pp. 39-44. [3]
  • Steve Love: "Lou Brock's Eventual Legacy to the Game: Cardinal star has done much to advance the art of base stealing", Baseball Digest, February 1978, pp. 42-44. [4]
  • Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá: "El sueño de Lou Brock" (Lou Brock's dream), in Peloteros, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, 1996, pp. 53 ff. ISBN 978-0847702923
  • Neal Russo: "'I want to steal 700 bases' - Cardinals' outfielder is climbing fast on the majors' all-time larceny list", Baseball Digest, October 1973, pp. 36-38. [5]
  • John Schulien: "The artistic base thief: Pride, determination and know-how all figure in his act to outwit the pitcher and catcher", Baseball Digest, August 1977, pp. 56-58. [6]
  • George Stone : "Lou Brock: Base stealing demands mental discipline", Baseball Digest, September 1990, pp. 35-37. [7]
  • Chad Thornburg: "Cards icon Brock was trailblazer on basepaths: Hall of Famer still owns numerous NL stolen base records", mlb.com, February 6, 2018. [8]

Related Sites[edit]