Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who stole bases and Cardinals fans hearts, dies at 81
Bill White, the first baseman on the 1964 team, took Brock under his wing, to a degree, by allowing him to live with White at the latter’s home in Des Peres after Brock had come here from Chicago. “We couldn’t have won in ’64 without him,” said White. “No way.
“He was a good teammate, one of the best anybody could have. One hundred percent all the time. Two hundred percent.”
McCarver, who was on all of those clubs, beginning with 1964, said, “We were so close to Broglio. Our friendship blinded us to what kind of effect Lou would have on the team — until we saw him run.”
Brock, who would establish himself as one of the greatest leadoff hitters ever, recalled his teammates asking him after he got hot in the second half of the 1964 season, “Are you sure you were a Cub?’
“I had gone to another dimension as a ball player,” he said. “When you go to another dimension, you may be the same guy, look the same, act the same, but you play a lot different.”
McCarver said he had encountered only three players who “infinitely changed” their teams by their play. “One was Koufax,” said McCarver. “Gibson … and Brock.”
From 1965, Brock began a stretch of 12 seasons where he averaged 65 steals and 99 runs scored a year, featuring his record-setting season in 1974 when he set the then major-league stolen-base record of 118 while finishing second in the voting for National League MVP.