Lou Brock

Position: Outfielder
Teams: Chicago Cubs, 1961-1964; St. Louis Cardinals, 1964-1969

In 1964, the Chicago Cubs acquired Ernie Broglio, Bobby Shantz, and Doug Clemens from the Cards for Paul Toth, Jack Spring, and Lou Brock. Hitting .251 for the Cubs at the time of the trade, Brock went on to hit .348 the rest of the season, as the Cardinals overcame a six-and-one-half-game deficit in two weeks to win the NL pennant. He hit .300 with a homer and five RBI in the 1964 World Series as the Cardinals won. Brock ruled left field in St. Louis for 15 more seasons.

No player has ever exploded more unexpectedly into stardom after a trade.
No player has ever exploded more
unexpectedly into stardom after
a trade than Brock. Sent to the Cards
in mid-1964, he hit nearly
100 points higher in St. Louis (.348)
than he had in Chicago (.251).

Louis Clark Brock (born in 1939) was a left-handed pitcher in high school, but he switched to the outfield when he went to Southern University in 1958. He played there for three seasons, then signed with the Cubs in 1961. He led the Northern League with a .361 batting average and 117 runs in 128 games that year, and was in Chicago to stay in 1962. He batted reasonably well in those two years, hitting .263 and .258 in 1962 and '63, with 73 and 79 runs scored, though he was an inferior outfielder.

In 1965, Lou scored 107 runs and stole 63 bases while batting .288. He swiped an NL-high 74 bases in 1966, getting his first stolen base crown. Brock was an aggressive player, saying, "Base-running arrogance is just like pitching arrogance or hitting arrogance. You are a force, and you have to instill that you are a force to the opposition. You have to have utter confidence."

Lou led the Cards to consecutive NL pennants in 1967 and '68. He led the NL with 113 runs in '67, and had a career-high 21 homers. In 1968, he led th curcuit with 46 doubles and 14 triples. In each of those World Series, he hit over .400 and stole seven bases.

Brock stole 51 bases in 1970, but he didn't lead the league, losing out to Bobby Tolan. Lou led the NL from 1966 to 1969 and from 1971 to 1974. In 1970 and '71, he had more than 200 base hits and 100 runs scored a season, leading the NL with 126 in 1971. In 1974, a 35-year-old Brock stole 118 bases, breaking Maury Wills's 1962 single-season stolen base record of 104. Brock stole his 893rd base in 1977, breaking Ty Cobb's career record.

When Lou turned in a .221 campaign in 1978, at age 39, he refused to retire on a down note. He returned for a final season in '79, batted .304 at age 40, earned his 3,000th hit, and stole 21 bases in 120 games. He ended his career with 938 stolen bases, and was present when Rickey Henderson broke both records. Brock earned eight stolen base titles, scored over 90 runs 10 times, batted .300 in eight seasons, and had over 200 base hits four times. Lou was inducted in 1985.

Here are Lou Brocks major league totals:


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