Lou Brock, Hall Of Fame Baseball Player, Dies At 81

Lou Brock, Hall Of Fame Baseball Player, Dies At 81 – Lou Brock, one of the best hitters and base stealers in baseball history, died Sunday at the age of 81. A Brock family representative confirmed his death to the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Lou Brock, Hall Of Fame Baseball Player, Dies At 81:

 

Lou Brock, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Fame outfielder who became the greatest base-stealer the major leagues had ever known when he eclipsed the single-season and career records for steals in a career spanning two decades, died on Sunday. He was 81.

Dick Zitzmann, Brock’s agent, confirmed his death to The Associated Press, but did not provide any details. In 2017, Lou Brock began receiving treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. His left leg was amputated in 2015 as a result of a diabetes-related infection.

Known as a “stolen base specialist” according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Lou Brock played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, with 16 of those for the Cardinals. He is one of 32 players to hit 3,000 hits or more and has the second most stolen bases in MLB history.

“Lou Brock was one of the most revered members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization and one of the very best to ever wear the Birds on the Bat,” said William DeWitt Jr., the Cardinals’ CEO and principal owner. “He was an ambassador of the game around the country and a fan favorite who connected with millions of baseball fans across multiple generations. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered.”

 

Lou Brock, Baseball Hall of Famer Known for Stealing Bases, Dead

Lou Brock, Baseball Hall of Famer Known for Stealing Bases, Dead

 

Lou Brock, Baseball Hall of Famer Known for Stealing Bases, Dead:

 

An outfielder, Lou Brock began his career with the Chicago Cubs in 1961 before being traded to the Cardinals during the 1964 season. The trade ranks as the greatest in Cardinals franchise history, according to the team.

As a member of the Cardinals, Lou Brock was a six-time All-Star and won two World Series titles in 1964 and 1967. Brock retired from baseball after a 1979 season in which he hit .304 at age 40. When he retired, he had 3,023 hits and his career batting average was .293.

Lou Brock held the record for stolen bases with 938 from 1971 to 1991, when he was surpassed by Rickey Henderson, the current record holder with 1,406.

“Lou was among the game’s most exciting players, becoming the 14th player in history to reach 3,000 hits and holding Baseball’s all-time record for stolen bases in a season and career for many years,” said MLB commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. “He was known for his dominant performances in his three career World Series. Lou was an outstanding representative of our National Pastime and he will be deeply missed.”

Lou Brock remained active in baseball after his retirement in various roles including working in the Cardinals’ broadcast booth along with serving as a base-running consultant for the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos. He served as a special instructor for the Cardinals — teaching base running and outfield play — since 1995, the team said.

Lou Brock was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, his first year of eligibility, according to the Hall of Fame’s website.

“Lou Brock perfected the art of the stolen base over a 19-year Hall of Fame career and cherished his membership in the Hall,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ted Simmons, Brock’s teammate and a fellow Hall of Famer, said he’ll remember two things about Brock.

“First was his vibrant smile. Whenever you were in a room with Lou, you couldn’t miss it — the biggest, brightest, most vibrant smile on earth,” Simmons said. “The other was that he was surely hurt numerous times, but never once in my life did I know he was playing hurt.”

Lou Brock was born June 18, 1939, in El Dorado, Arkansas, and grew up in Louisiana, the Cardinals said. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline, daughter, Wanda, sons, Lou Jr. and Emory, stepchildren Marvin Hay and Jacqueline Means, grandchildren Darian, Alivia, Colston, Spencer and Iris, and preceded in death by his son, Daniel.

For all his natural speed, Lou Brock was also a student of baseball and an innovator in pursuing the art of base-stealing, using technology to “synchronize your movement with the pitcher’s movement.” Late in the ’64 season, he obtained a movie camera and began filming pitchers as they took their set position, threw to first base and threw to the plate, hoping to discover tendencies that might give him an edge.

Lou Brock’s ingenuity wasn’t appreciated by at least one pitcher, as David Halberstam related in his book “October 1964”:

“One day he was filming Don Drysdale, as tough a pitcher as existed in the league.

‘“What the hell are you doing with that camera, Brock.’

‘“Just taking home movies,’ said Brock.

‘“I don’t want to be in your goddamn movies, Brock,’ Drysdale said, and threw at him the next time he was up.”