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Sunday, September 06, 2020

Cardinals legend Lou Brock dies Sunday afternoon at 81

St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who had fought through a number of medical conditions in recent years, died Sunday afternoon. He was 81.

Brock will be remembered for many accomplishments. He was the National League’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 938. He had 3,023 hits. He was a first-ballot electee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

But he may be known mostly as the centerpiece of what was perceived as the greatest trade in Cardinals history. Or just greatest baseball trade ever. On June 15, 1964, the Cardinals acquired Brock, a raw, 24-year-old outfielder from the Chicago Cubs in a trade that cost them popular righthander Ernie Broglio, who had been an 18-game winner for them the prior season although he was 3-5 in 1964 and perhaps injured. 

Immediately, the trade was not well received by the Cardinals’ players. “We thought it was the worst trade ever,” said Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2020 at 06:51 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lou brock, obituatries

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: September 06, 2020 at 07:05 PM (#5974775)
This must be the first time three first-ballot HOFers (Kaline, Seaver, Brock) died in the same year.

RIP.
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 06, 2020 at 07:19 PM (#5974777)
Seaver faced Brock more than any other batter, and Brock faced Seaver more than any other pitcher--and they die within 4 days of each other. Very 2020
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2020 at 07:58 PM (#5974783)
Brock was a helluva player and put his name in the record books -- I don't like portraying that trade as the key aspect of his career. After all, the trade is only well-known because Brock went on to be such a fine player (and Broglio was done, probably hurt).

Certainly one of my favorite non-Cub players as a kid.
   4. flournoy Posted: September 06, 2020 at 08:07 PM (#5974787)
Without looking it up, I never would have guessed that Lou Brock's 118 SB season came at age 35.
   5. phredbird Posted: September 06, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5974788)

well, poor lou. i was very sorry to find out he had had double amputations because of diabetes.

when i was 12 -- the age when baseball is perfect, as we all know -- the cards beat the red sox in the WS and lou stole 'em blind, and after bob gibson he was my favorite player.

i know sabermetrics devalues his accomplishments, but whatever. i liked him.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: September 06, 2020 at 08:27 PM (#5974792)
Without looking it up, I never would have guessed that Lou Brock's 118 SB season came at age 35.


That season is one of Brock's go to stories. He's in New York a few days after Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth and get's called to the NL front office, he goes in and says that was a mighty fine feather for the league to celebrate Hank's accomplishment. According to Brock, the NL and AL were fierce rivals in those days for press attention, and the league president tells Lou that he wanted Lou to set the record for steals in a season. Lou is like "me, can't it be someone younger?" and the league says no, it needs to be you... he's like "man I'm old... I don't know about this." The league tells him that from this day forth it is going to make sure that every newspaper article is about his attempt to set the single season record, every day they will publish whether Lou has a stolen base or not.

Basically according to Lou, he set the record because the NL didn't want the AL to get more press than them. (he had about three stories that were his go to stories, that he had well rehearsed, this one, the one where Maury Wills helps him break out of his stolen base slump that year----Wills asks him what he is thinking when he is on base, and Lou says to not get caught... Wills says that is the wrong answer, the thought should be 'they can't catch me.'.... and the third is when he is talking to a rookie in 1978 and the rookie asks him why he isn't out there taking practice with them, and his reply is "you know what happens when it becomes night.... that is when the stars come out.")
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5974795)
Or just greatest baseball trade ever.


Not sure about that one. The Astros did pretty well out of that Jeff Bagwell trade...

I'm sure there are others that posters with more time can reference.

As for Brock, I liked him too. As a kid in the 60's and 70's he was the ideal, fun player to watch. Got lots of hits and stole lots of bases...how good was that!
   8. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 06, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5974799)
-- Aaron was still a Brave for 715, so the NL wanted to keep the As out of the paper until the WS?
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: September 06, 2020 at 09:17 PM (#5974803)
Aaron was still a Brave for 715, so the NL wanted to keep the As out of the paper until the WS?


assuming you meant as = al then yes. That was a point of his story that the league loved the fact that they were the off season story with Aaron about to set the record, and wanted to continue to be the talk of the sporting world during the season. Obviously they couldn't keep everything out, but the point was just to have a face representing the league.

My big take away from his story was that it was a conscious decision to go for the record, and that the league was pushing for him to do it.
   10. Astroenteritis Posted: September 06, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5974808)
Always liked watching Brock play, as I loved fast guys, probably because I was not fast. Seeing all these guys I watched as a kid pass away is sobering, or melancholy, or something. RIP Lou.
   11. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: September 06, 2020 at 10:52 PM (#5974829)
Well, damn. Among the best to ever come out of my native Arkansas (two counties north of mine), though his parents moved to Louisiana when he was 2.
   12. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 06, 2020 at 10:54 PM (#5974830)
cfb - Well, the way I recall it the AL was the A's 191973. ;)

thanks for the clarification.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: September 06, 2020 at 11:10 PM (#5974839)
Anthony McCarron
@AnthonyMcCarron
·
2h
Lou Brock was always one of the nicest HOFers. Funny, too. One Induction weekend, there was a stern sign in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel: "Absolutely no autographs". Someone had written something on the sign. I peered closely: Brock had autographed the sign. RIP, Lou.
   14. Srul Itza At Home Posted: September 06, 2020 at 11:34 PM (#5974845)
Baseball started to make a big impression on me in the 68-69 time frame, my ages 13-14, partly from that Detroit-St Louis series, and then the 69 Mets. I was aware of baseball before, but I was only 6 when Maris set the record, and when my father took me and my friends to Yankee stadium back when the monuments were still on the field, the trip was fun, but I remember the car ride better than the game.

But 68 and 69 were the start of my real love affai with baseball, and Seaver and Brock were big parts of that.
   15. Moeball Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:03 AM (#5974848)
My fascination for baseball really developed 1965-1969, and these were my key obsessions at the time: 65 S Koufax vs. the Twins, 66 F Robinson was the big story, 67 Yaz, 68 Year of the Pitcher, B Gibson, D McLain, 69 Miracle Mets. The World Series in 67 and 68 were a big part of the story as Brock went wild. Fond memories indeed.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:05 AM (#5974849)
I was still waiting to be born in those years.... :)
   17. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:23 AM (#5974850)
Seaver faced Brock more than any other batter, and Brock faced Seaver more than any other pitcher--and they die within 4 days of each other. Very 2020

Well, according to the ESPN nimrod on the air today, it was actually Seaver and Gibson who were each other's most faced opponents.

I knew Brock was 35 when he set the single-season record. Never heard it was under duress from the league president.
   18. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:23 AM (#5974851)
Seaver faced Brock more than any other batter, and Brock faced Seaver more than any other pitcher--and they die within 4 days of each other. Very 2020

Well, according to the ESPN nimrod on the air today, it was actually Seaver and Gibson who were each other's most faced opponents.

I knew Brock was 35 when he set the single-season record. Never heard it was under duress from the league president.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:45 AM (#5974852)
I knew Brock was 35 when he set the single-season record. Never heard it was under duress from the league president.


I've been going to the St Louis bbwaa dinner since 2004, and Brock is often given a chance to tell a story there, and that is a story he repeated time and time again... had it down to a pitch perfect pace, knew when the laughs were going to be coming etc. You really see the difference between the senior story tellers and the youth when you go to one of those things... Some of the younger people (Wainwright and Berkman being most notable) can tell good stories, but generally speaking the best stories came from the retired players. (sadly the last few years they have changed the format up, so that it's more a question and answer session to keep time limited, and to protect a few of the younger players who are still not open enough to talk freely...but when you have someone like Waino who is a great open mic, it really shuts the event down when you keep him from talking...and considering that they don't let the vets talk too much anymore, it's a shame... sure a few times we had clearly inebriated people on stage--- yes TLR, Coleman and Brummer being notable examples...still they were funny.


The best one was the 50th anniversary of the 1964 team... they had McCarver, Uecker, Groat and Shannon all on the stage... clearly a bunch of gifted story tellers.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5974859)


"There was an unwritten quota system" in baseball, O'Neil wrote in a 2002 essay in Baseball as America, a book published for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. "They didn't want but so many black kids on a major league ballclub."

O'Neil was a Cubs coach in 1964 when the team had five black players. One of them was a young outfielder named Lou Brock. When O'Neil heard that general manager John Holland was planning to trade Brock, he advised him not to. "I don't think we'll have our best ballclub on the field," he told Holland. O'Neil wrote in his essay that Holland then "started pulling out letters and notes from people, season ticket holders, saying that their grandfather had season tickets here at Wrigley Field, or their grandmother . . . and their families had come here for years. And do you know what these letters went on to say? 'What are you trying to make the Chicago Cubs into? The Kansas City Monarchs?'"

The Cubs traded Brock to Saint Louis that summer for a sore-armed white pitcher, Ernie Broglio. It's regarded as one of the worst trades in baseball history. Brock helped the Cardinals win the World Series that year, and went on to set many base-stealing records and total more than 3,000 hits on his way to the Hall of Fame. Broglio won seven games for the Cubs before his bum arm forced him to retire in 1966.

Banks told me he recalled the club trading away many young black players. "They were with us two years, and then we'd trade them, I don't know why. Maybe they just wanted more, uh, veteran players."



Unfriendly confines: Did racial discrimination start the Cubs' slide?
   21. bjhanke Posted: September 07, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5974873)
I think the Brock for Broglio trade is generally misunderstood. Racism aside, the Cubs had a problem - they had no place to play Lou Brock. He didn't have the arm for RF, nor the glove for CF. The Cubs had Billy Williams in LF. They couldn't move either Williams or Brock to 1B, because they had Ernie Banks there. They couldn't move Banks to 3B, which was probably where he belonged, because they had Ron Santo. They just had no position for Lou. But they needed pitching. The Cards, on the other hand, had pitching, but were looking very hard for a LF. Stan Musial had retired after the 1963 season, and the farm system was not cranking out outfielders at the time. It was producing pitching. So, the Cards were willing - actually eager - to take a gamble on a young LF. I got a chance to ask Bing Devine (Cards GM at the time) about the trade, and he told me that I essentially had it right. As to the racism aspect, the Cards were also very willing, at the time, to add black players - it was a high priority for owner Gussie Busch - so taking a gamble on a black kid with obvious defensive weaknesses was not a problem for them. I didn't ask Devine about that, because it was common knowledge at the time. But the main point is that the Cubs really needed to trade Lou Brock for something of value, and they needed pitching, and the Cards were desperate for a LF, and had pitching.
   22. phredbird Posted: September 07, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5974877)

20 and 21 are really good posts, and i appreciate the information.

it's just another illustration of the fact that trades almost always make sense when they are made. the GMs aren't idiots, in fact they have all kinds of information we don't have.

and we always know who 'won' the trade later. duh.
   23. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 07, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5974878)
21 - Though Williams then played most of 65 and all of 66 in RF with good results.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 07, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5974881)
Not to mention that Broglio had actually been quite good, if declining. 144 ERA+ in ‘62, 119 in ‘63, and 110 in ‘64 before the trade. Was he known at the time to likely be injured?

The whole “worst/best trade ever” thing has always struck me as the epitome of lazy ex post facto thinking.
   25. bunyon Posted: September 07, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5974887)
Something I've always wondered: When did pre-trade physicals become a thing. Of course, even if they did one in 1964, how sophisticated would it have been?
   26. Jaack Posted: September 07, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5974889)
Brock really hadn't been all that impressive up until the trade. A poor fielding corner outfielder hitting .250 with so-so power who is blocked is exactly the type of player you should be trying to swap for an upgrade.
   27. The Duke Posted: September 07, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5974913)
24. As a STL fan, I’m steeped in cardinals lore. But it wasn’t until today when I went to read Ernie broglio’s wiki page that I found out that the cardinals knew that broglio had a sore shoulder due to him getting, 20, count em, 20 cortisone shots in his shoulder in one season. Wow
   28. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 07, 2020 at 04:10 PM (#5974917)
what does it mean Brock did not have the glove for CF? Was he not fast enuf? I guess that's possible if he's like very quick but doesnt have flat out speed. was that it?
   29. The Duke Posted: September 07, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5974921)
Brock had hands of stone on defense and ran bad routes to the ball - he was a bad left fielder and would have been a terrible centerfielder. He also had a bad throwing arm.
   30. salvomania Posted: September 07, 2020 at 05:36 PM (#5974934)
what does it mean Brock did not have the glove for CF? Was he not fast enuf? I guess that's possible if he's like very quick but doesnt have flat out speed. was that it?

In one 12-year span he led NL LFs in errors nine times and finished 2nd three times.

I'm looking at his bb-ref page, and he had one season of positive dWAR in the outfield---in 1963, when he was the Cubs' starting RF. Every other season of his 19-year career he had negative dWAR numbers, for a cumulative -16.8 dWAR.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 07, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5974939)
But it wasn’t until today when I went to read Ernie broglio’s wiki page that I found out that the cardinals knew that broglio had a sore shoulder due to him getting, 20, count em, 20 cortisone shots in his shoulder in one season. Wow
Hm. You’d think that would have been a bit of a red flag.
   32. Gch Posted: September 07, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5974947)
I'm looking at his bb-ref page, and he had one season of positive dWAR in the outfield---in 1963, when he was the Cubs' starting RF. Every other season of his 19-year career he had negative dWAR numbers, for a cumulative -16.8 dWAR.


dWAR includes the positional adjustment which is (roughly) -8 runs per season for a LF at that time. At the time of the trade (by bb-ref's numbers) Brock was roughly a slightly above average OF and he continued to be a positive defensive OF for his first five seasons in St. Louis. For his entire career he was -51 rField or roughly -2 runs below average per season. That's not good but it's better than I expected given his reputation. Baseball Gauge/Michael Humphreys' DRA has him as a good LF (and RF, and even slightly positive in CF) until he turned 30, when his range tanked (and indeed, after that point he's 7 runs below average per season by bb-ref's metrics).
   33. The Duke Posted: September 07, 2020 at 07:38 PM (#5974953)
I have a question. I have always defined “ inner circle” as a HOFr that was voted in on his first ballot. Is that correct ?
   34. Jaack Posted: September 07, 2020 at 08:04 PM (#5974958)
I have a question. I have always defined “ inner circle” as a HOFr that was voted in on his first ballot. Is that correct ?


Eh.... It's not an godawful guesstimate, but it has it's not very good. For early players, the inconsistency in balloting makes it so only the first five guys (Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, and WJohnson) are techinically first ballot guys - no one would get in the first time they received votes until Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson in 1962. So Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx - all not first ballot hall of famers. Even after that point, the BBWAA missed out on Eddie Mathews for five years in the seventies. So you'd exclude a ton of obvious inner circle guys from earlier baseball with that definition.

On the other hand, it's pretty tough to make an argument for some guys who were first ballot - the elections of Kirby Puckett and yes, Lou Brock are questionable to begin with. Willie Stargell and Jim Thome are more safely in, but they clearly don't belong in the upper echelon with Mays and Musial.

   35. Ron J Posted: September 07, 2020 at 08:06 PM (#5974959)
#23 Doesn't matter whether the results were OK. Williams was considered to have had an arm that wasn't acceptable for RF. Just the best option they had at the time.

#33 Don't think that's a viable definition. Among other things you're left with no Eddie Matthews or Yogi Berra.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: September 07, 2020 at 08:19 PM (#5974961)
I think Brock is the only first ballot HOFer who is not in the Hall of Merit?

after all these years, he still gets a vote here or there - unlike up to 20 percent of HOFers who do not.

Brock's basestealing was widely accepted in his era as being of incredible value, even though he only succeeded on 75 percent of his tries - so the net gain was seen as larger than it really was.

I think it was 2 years after Brock's uncontroversial first-ballot HOF selection that I read what was probably Bill James' first widely distributed version of his Baseball Abstract.

he pointed to what he saw as an oddity - the correlation between number of steals a team produced had very little correlation to how many wins the team had. so what was the point?

my mind was blown.

Brock had a bad 1977 and a horrific 1978. he then hit an empty .304 at age 40 in 1979 for an OPS+ 100 (career was 109), and retired.

just in time, maybe. he got 79.7% of the vote in that first try. had he hung around for a couple of bad seasons and Bill James got famous just a little sooner.....

but like Catfish Hunter, I see both as deserving of the Hall of FAME
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: September 07, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5974962)

just in time, maybe. he got 79.7% of the vote in that first try. had he hung around for a couple of bad seasons and Bill James got famous just a little sooner.....


I suppose if he retired in 2007, that might have been enough.

Actually, a delay could have hurt his chances once it became clear Rickey would have both the single-season and all-time records. But I don't think so.

but like Catfish Hunter, I see both as deserving of the Hall of FAME


I don't feel too strongly about Catfish (sorry TR), but Brock was definitely one guy both the HoM and HoF voters got right.
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: September 07, 2020 at 08:39 PM (#5974965)
The thing about Brock's candidacy is he adds a lot of storytelling to his case, one of the best ever world series performers, the trade for Brock changed the path for both franchises, one of the few players who owned both a single season record and a career record in what was perceived as a semi-major stat. Long quality career if not an exceptional career etc.

Even Jay Jaffe in his "The Cooperstown Casebook" put Brock on the in side of the hof. I get that as people move farther away from his actual playing days he doesn't look so good, I've argued that basically him and Ortiz are similar value players, with similar stories, neither really worth hof based upon the numbers, but their stories might move them past the line.

Either way he was a hell of a player for years, healthy enough to average 152 games a season from 1963 to 1977, a guy the team can count to be in the lineup everyday etc... (which is a real skill in my opinion) and who basically never had a down year from 1964-1976. Those guys have value, whether they are hof worthy is of course one discussion, whether they are plus players is evident.
   39. Jaack Posted: September 07, 2020 at 09:02 PM (#5974967)
I think Brock is the only first ballot HOFer who is not in the Hall of Merit?


Kirby Puckett is the other. I don't think anyone is voting for him at this point, but he did have support in the past.

But there's a big difference between Puckett and Brock. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Brock wasn't as valuable as his repuation, but it's very easy to explain to someone who didn't see him play why he was a huge star. The postseason, the steals, it's pretty much all there.

You pretty much had to have been there to understand why Kirby Puckett is even in the Hall of Fame, let alone a first ballot guy.
   40. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 07, 2020 at 09:38 PM (#5974977)
one of the best ever world series performers


To me, that performance is what tips the scale in his favor as far as the HoF. .391/.424/.655 in 21 games; 34 hits, 4 hr, 14 sb. That's extraordinary.
   41. The Duke Posted: September 07, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5974983)
I can’t be dismissive of the entire baseball world in 1984. Just because sabr-stats don’t have him in the upper echelon of WAR doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of the most valuable players in the game during his era. I’m a cardinal fan so I’m biased but the baseball world thought he was a first ballot hall of famer in 1984 and it wasn’t particularly close. Only a handful of players have 3000 hits and he led the world in a major statistical category when he retired. But more than that, he was seen as a catalyst of several very good red bird teams, had the great World Series resume and played a lot of games over a very long career.

I think WAR just doesn’t capture his value and/or he’s lost in the peak/durability argument.

   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 07, 2020 at 10:39 PM (#5974998)
R.I.P.
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: September 07, 2020 at 11:10 PM (#5975008)
You pretty much had to have been there to understand why Kirby Puckett is even in the Hall of Fame, let alone a first ballot guy.


Nah. He was an 11-time All-Star, the acknowledged best player on a two-time World Series champion team, a lifetime .318 hitter, a six-time Gold Glover who was one of the sport's most popular players and still performing at a high level when his career ended suddenly. There was nothing odd about his election. It's only looking on in retrospect, which includes our knowledge of his awful behavior, and with the benefit of WAR, that makes his selection look remotely odd.
   44. Jaack Posted: September 08, 2020 at 12:49 AM (#5975025)
Nah. He was an 11-time All-Star, the acknowledged best player on a two-time World Series champion team, a lifetime .318 hitter, a six-time Gold Glover who was one of the sport's most popular players and still performing at a high level when his career ended suddenly. There was nothing odd about his election. It's only looking on in retrospect, which includes our knowledge of his awful behavior, and with the benefit of WAR, that makes his selection look remotely odd.


Oh, it makes sense if you saw it, but the pieces aren't as obvious as they are with Brock. Brock has two huge accomplishments that he can hang his hat on - all time stolen base record and 3000 hits. Anyone can get that without having to have seen the whole Brock story. It doesn't take too much contextualizing to understand why he breezed into the Hall.

For Puckett, there is a lot of narrative that doesn't translate onto a statsheet - he was hugely popular and exciting to watch, in a way that someone like Magglio Ordonez wasn't, even if they were pretty similar players.
   45. Rally Posted: September 08, 2020 at 09:05 AM (#5975029)
Baseball Gauge/Michael Humphreys' DRA has him as a good LF (and RF, and even slightly positive in CF) until he turned 30, when his range tanked (and indeed, after that point he's 7 runs below average per season by bb-ref's metrics).


In general, outfielders slow down with age and play worse on defense. But in Brock's case it's hard to understand. His worst 2 defensive seasons came in 1971-72, when he was 32-33 years old. But he stole 127 bases those two years, and his record setting season was still in his future.

I know Brock had a reputation as a bad fielder and the numbers are in line with that. I just thought he was similar to another STL left fielder who I did see play, Lonnie Smith, and found a way to be bad despite the speed.

Maybe he actually did lose a step in his 30's, and it hurt him in the OF, but base stealing is more about reading the pitcher and getting good jumps than pure speed. Rickey has a similar pattern, though he grades out as a very good fielder. His best defensive seasons came in his 20's, he was -53 runs from ages 32-44. But he kept stealing bases the whole way through.
   46. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 08, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5975046)
I read recently that Brock actually had a really strong arm, but that it was incredibly scattershot.

The breakdown of his BBREF fielding vale is -17 for range and -37 for arm.
   47. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: September 08, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5975047)
I know baseball was not big into research back then but weren't Brock's flaws pretty obvious if a team was paying attention? Not to say the Cubs were genius but Brock played quite a bit for two years and was terrible against left handed pitching, didn't really do anything special offensively that made you think he could be an interesting player and made a lot of errors. He's going to be 25 and the whole thing giving the Cubs hope is that a few year ago he crushed a low minor league.

Seems like a fair trade really. Vet pitcher with history of success who could turn it around against a not so young guy without a real position and no signature thing in his skillset. Fate decided things not logic. Cubs logic not terrible.
   48. Perry Posted: September 08, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5975051)
just in time, maybe. he got 79.7% of the vote in that first try. had he hung around for a couple of bad seasons and Bill James got famous just a little sooner.....


Feel I should point out that James himself said that Brock was a deserving first-ballot selection.
   49. Ron J Posted: September 08, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5975057)
Bill James said Brock had an odd problem on balls hit right at him (He'd freeze). Speed doesn't help.

Dave Collins was fast but seemingly couldn't judge the ball well off the bat. Fast enough to outrun some bad reads.
   50. bjhanke Posted: September 08, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5975086)
Jack (comment #34) - "inner circle" is a part of a method for looking past just the HoF membership, to get a better idea of just who ranks where. This terminology (inner circle, middle circle, outer circle) was introduced by a baseball sabermetrics group from the 1970s, based in STL, called The Baseball Maniacs. The idea of the circles included what they meant. We figured that about half of all HoF players would be in the Outer Circle, one third in the Middle Circle, and one sixth in the Inner Circle. I am sure of this because I WAS one of the Baseball Maniacs. So, that's what Inner Circle meant to the people who came up with the term. It wasn't related to when or how the player got elected.
   51. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 08, 2020 at 07:30 PM (#5975150)
didn't really do anything special offensively that made you think he could be an interesting player

Brock was one of 3 players* ever to hit an out-of-the-park homer to center field in the Polo Grounds, so it was obvious he had more power than a guy his size was expected to. His power numbers were definitely hurt by playing all those years in the version of Busch Stadium that opened in 66.

*I believe the other 2 were Joe Adcock and Henry Aaron; don't remember if it was 62 or 63 when Brock did it. I saw the game on TV, so it was a Saturday or Sunday afternoon
   52. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5975175)
50. Thank you

Brocks defense. I watched Brock all through the late 60s and early 70s. He was one of the worst full time outfielders defensively I have seen but, left field Defense isn’t that consequential either. He didn’t do anything well maybe other than speed to cut off balls In the gap. He was terrible on ballis in the corner which was exacerbated by being left handed. He ran bad routes. Unlike his base running, he got bad jumps especially on live drives. People on second would run on him on a single to left. His arm was bad.

Having said all that, he played very conservatively so he made the routine plays. He never did things like dive for fly balls so he never hurt himself trying to be a hero. I think it largely boiled down to the fact that he just didn’t have a good depth perception. I never could judge fly balls and Lou always looked exactly how I felt when I got stuck in the OF.

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