Today it was announced Hall of Famer Lou Brock has died. He was 81. I did not see where a cause of death was announced, but in recent years he has battled both diabetes (and had a leg amputated in 2015) and multiple myeloma (diagnosed in 2017),
For most of his career he played for the St Louis Cardinals, joining the team in a trade in 1964 that most Chicago Cubs fans would like to forget. In the 1960’s he was integral to three Cards pennant winners and two World Series winners (over the Yankees and Red Sox). Even in the 1968 7-game defeat to the Tigers he picked up 13 hits. He was the first player with 20 homers and 50 stolen bases in a single season. When he retired, he held both the single season and career stolen base records (118, 938)…having broken records owned by Maury Wills and Ty Cobb, respectively. His own records, of course, were later eclipsed by Rickey Henderson. Of course, to steal a lot of bases, one has to be on base a lot. He was, garnering 3023 hits, averaging.293 for his career.
Brock is the second Hall of Famer to die this week, following Tom Seaver. It’s an interesting aside that the hitter Seaver faced the most in his career was Brock, and the pitcher Brock faced the most was Seaver. When Seaver picked up his no hitter for the Reds in 1977, it was against Brock and the Cards. Seaver also once related a story about his making the NL All Star team as a rookie in 1967–he was the first player there. Brock was next, thought the baby-faced Seaver was a club house attendant or something and told him “hey, kid, get me a Coke.” Seaver said they reminisced/laughed about it often.
RIP Lou Brock. Condolences to his family, friends, and legion of fans.