Lou Brock was an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 — his first year of eligibility, only one of twenty to do so, which dovetails well with his retired number for the Cardinals #20.. He was considered the consummate stolen base specialist surpassing the Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb’s record of 892 in the 1977 season. He was a solid clutch player and led the national League steals every year but one.
“The numbers can hardly tell the full story of Louis Clark Brock. They cannot tell you of the enthusiasm he possessed, the zest for the game, the excitement he generated, the joy of watching him. If you have not seen him play, you have missed one of the great joys of sport. “
New York Daily News reporter Phil Pepe, 197
Born June 18, 1939, in El Dorado, Ark., Louis Clark Brock played college baseball at Southern University before signing as an amateur free agent with the Cubs in 1960. After two years tearing up the minor leagues, Brock surfaced in Chicago at the tail end of the 1961 season, becoming the Cubs’ regular center fielder in 1962. The following year, the 24-year-old Brock played 148 games as Chicago’s right fielder, scoring 79 runs while stealing 24 bases and hitting .258.
I don’t think about goals and records. Competition is what keeps me playing. — Lou Brock
But on June 15, 1964, the Cubs – desperate for pitching – dealt Brock to the Cardinals as part of a trade for Ernie Broglio, an 18-game winner in 1963.
“I guess that fewer than two percent of the people in baseball thought it was a good trade for us,” said Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer.
Brock proved the doubters wrong, hitting .348 with 81 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in just 103 games for St. Louis while leading the Cardinals to the National League pennant. In the World Series, the Cardinals’ new left fielder hit .300 with five RBI to help St. Louis beat the Yankees in seven games.
Brock and his wife became ordained ministers the Abundant Life Fellowship Church in St. Louis. Brock is the father of former University of Southern California Trojan and National Football League player Lou Brock J, and granduncle of sports journalist and broadcaster Taylor Rooks.