Louis Clark Brock
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11½", Weight 170 lb.
- School Southern University and A&M College
- High School Union High School (Mer Rouge)
- Debut September 10, 1961
- Final Game September 30, 1979
- Born June 18, 1939 in El Dorado, AR USA
- Died September 6, 2020 in St. Louis, MO USA
"The Cardinals had scouted Brock carefully while he was in college at Southern University in Baton Rouge, and been quite interested in signing him, but then had managed to blow their chance. But that meant they knew a lot about him. He might, for instance, look slim, but, in fact, he was so powerfully built that he had the ability to hit a long ball. He once hit a home run to dead center in the Polo Grounds, a ball that carried at least 485 feet. At six feet and weighing 170 pounds, was almost devoid of body fat. It was a body, said his teammate Tim McCarver, that looked as if it had been chiseled out of marble. A few years later, Senator Eugene McCarthy, a former minor league ballplayer himself, signed on to cover the 1968 World Series for Life magazine. Being in the clubhouse with someone as muscular as Brock, he said, was like being in the clubhouse with a superior species of being. 'I was ashamed to be in the same locker room with him,' McCarthy later said." - David Halberstam, October 1964
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, hitting .391 in 21 Fall Classic 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 and was a charter member of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.
Brock was born in El Dorado, AR and played college baseball at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. 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 legend Buck O'Neil.
Brock for Broglio
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 him and made him a key part of a trade with the Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio.
After Brock was traded to St. Louis, his career turned around significantly, as he batted .348 for the Cardinals the rest of 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 1979. To this day, the Brock for Broglio trade is considered by Cubs fans to be the worst in franchise history. During 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
In 1967, Brock became the first player to steal 50 bases and hit 20 home runs in the same season. He also hit 5 home runs in the first 4 games of the season, becoming the first man to do so. It would later be matched by Barry Bonds in 2002 and Chris Shelton in 2006. The odd part is that Brock was never considered a power hitter.
Lou's best batting average came in 1964, when he batted .315, one of eight years he batted over .300. Lou was a six-time National League All-Star, he led the league in runs scored twice (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).
Awards, Honors And Life After Baseball
Brock won the 1967 Babe Ruth Award (for his excellent World Series play against the Impossible Dream Red Sox), 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.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. His number 20 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2014, he was a charter member of the Cardinals team Hall of Fame. Brock was also inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. 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 still 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 area. Lou was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. A deeply religious Christian, Brock became an ordained minister. In 2015, he had his left leg amputated below his knee because of an infection caused by diabetes. He recovered from his leg amputation in time to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Cardinals home opener in 2016. In 2017, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to undergo treatment for multiple myeloma. He passed away at the age of 81 on September 6, 2020, less than a month before the death of his longtime Hall of Fame teammate Bob Gibson.
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, was an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals chain.
Keith Hernandez considers Lou a great friend and mentor dating to his time coming up through the Cardinals system. On SNY broadcasts of Mets games, when Keith brings up memories of Lou, a graphic will appear of Lou racing across the screen with his name. Additionally, a snappy Lou Brock jingle will play.
- 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
- David Adler: "Brock's World Series résumé among the best", mlb.com, September 6, 2020. 
- Lou Brock (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, November 1972, pp. 55-57. 
- Mike Eisenbath: "Lou Brock Looks Back on His 19-Year Hall of Fame Career", Baseball Digest, December 1994, pp. 66-70. .
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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
- Anne Rogers: "HOFer Brock, former steals king, dies at 81", mlb.com, September 6, 2020. 
- Anne Rogers: "'Class act' Brock remembered across MLB", mlb.com, September 6, 2020. 
- 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. 
- 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. 
- George Stone : "Lou Brock: Base stealing demands mental discipline", Baseball Digest, September 1990, pp. 35-37. 
- Chad Thornburg: "Cards icon Brock was trailblazer on basepaths: Hall of Famer still owns numerous NL stolen base records", mlb.com, February 6, 2018.