Cardinals All-Time Top 40 – Lou Brock #3

The Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals of all time nears its end with their Hall of Fame base stealing outfielder, Lou Brock.

Louis Clark Brock

The Basics

Position

Bat

Thw

Total Yrs

Yrs in StL

HR

RBI

SB

Avg

Outfield

Left

Left

1961-1979

1964-1979

129

814

888

.297

The Awards

Hall 

Retired #

World Champ

All-Star

MVP

Cy Young

Gold Glove

1985

1979

2

6

 

NA

 

Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Brock's career stats available from baseball-reference.com.

Voter Comments

Rob Rains (3): One of the misconceptions Lou Brock had to battle his entire career, and even after his playing days were over, is that he only excelled in one phase of the game - stealing bases.

It is true he broke Ty Cobb's career steals record, and held it until he was passed by Rickey Henderson, but Brock was a much more complete player than is revealed by his stolen base total alone.

He is one of only a handful of major league players with 3,000 or more career hits, he ranks second on the Cardinals' all-time charts for total bases, he is ninth all-time in RBIs (despite being a leadoff hitter), is second in doubles, second in runs scored, second in hits and fourth in triples.

Brock said he always considered himself a hitter first, and a basestealer second. "If you can't hit, you don't get on base often enough to make a reputation as a basestealer," Brock said. "You have to hit. It's as simple as that."

Jerry Modene (3): The greatest base-stealer of his time, and a solid hitter, if not a great defensive left fielder, Brock still rates, for the time being, as the third greatest Cardinal on the strength of his .297/.347/.414 line (very impressive, considering he spent much of his career in the dead-stick 1960's), his 888 stolen bases (Cardinal only), and his 2713 Cardinal hits.

Lou rates second on the list in at-bats, runs, hits, and doubles, first (naturally) in steals, and fourth in triples. He even rates 14th on the team home-run list with 129; of course, there are only 19 players – Scott Rolen was the latest to join the list – who have ever hit 100 or more home runs as a St. Louis Cardinal.

Brock, of course, is the subject of the greatest trade in Cardinal history, the 1964 Broglio-for-Brock deal that at the time was not a popular one, as Broglio was a former 20-game winner who had won 18 games in 1963 while Brock was a career .255 hitter with occasional power and limited defensive ability. Shows what we knew. Brock will be surpassed on the all-time list any day now by Albert Pujols.

Ray Mileur (2): Throughout his career with St. Louis, Brock established himself as the most prolific base stealer of his time. Brock's 938 stolen bases remains a National League record and he holds the major league record with 12 seasons of 50 or more steals.

On the Cardinals' career list the six-time All-Star Brock still ranks first in stolen bases (888), second in games (2,289), at-bats (9,125), runs (1,427), hits (2,713), doubles (434) and total bases (3,776); fourth in triples (121); fifth in walks (681); and eighth in RBI (814).

I actually ranked Lou Brock at #2, higher than my three colleagues. It was a close call, but for me it came down to Lou Brock and a pitcher to-be-named later to rank second on the All-Time Cardinals list. I gave the edge to the everyday player, Brock, considering he played in 2,289 games, compared to the pitcher, though great as he was, pitched in a total of 528 games for the Cardinals.

Brock's number 20 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979, six years before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Brian Walton (4): I don't want to degrade Lou Brock's many achievements in any way, as he was a fine player for a very long time. But, in my opinion, there were others whose stars shone brighter, hence my number four ranking. In fact, over the annals of time, even that scoring might prove to be too generous.

Yet, there is no debate that in the biggest games, Brock excelled. At the time, his World Series batting average of .391 was the highest of any player who played in two or more World Series. He is the only man to steal three bases in a single World Series game two different times. His seven stolen bases in both 1967 and 1968 are the seven-game Series record and his career total of 14 tied for the most ever. All those records still stand to this day.

In 1967, Brock became the first player in baseball history to amass 20 home runs and 50 stolen bases in the same season. The next year, he was the first man to lead the National League in doubles, triples and stolen bases in 60 years.

One of the best reminders of Brock is that he was and still remains today one of the gentlemen of the game, regularly visible to his legions of adoring fans at Busch Stadium.

Voter Comments Key: Voter (Individual Ranking); NR = Not Rated

Master List: To see our entire list of the greatest 40 Cardinals players of all-time as they are unveiled daily, click here.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

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