Stan Musial and Lou Brock
The Cardinals began the 1964 season looking like they hadn’t looked in 22 years. Their superstar, their legend, their “Man” was no longer taking the field at Busch Stadium. Stan Musial retired at the close of the 1963 season.
Despite the loss of Mr. Musial, hopes were high in St. Louis. The Cardinals finished Musial’s last stand with a 93 – 69 record, their best since 1949. But the '64 season didn't start out as planned and the Cards hovered around the .500 mark through the first three months of the season. General Manager Bing Devine knew that he had some big cleats to fill in left field and started looking for a replacement. He was confident in his pitching staff and felt that was the one place where he could afford lose someone. The Cubs needed pitchers and they had a speedy, left handed, left fielder who could hit and run, skills that were lacking in the St. Louis clubhouse. A deal was born. Right before the trading deadline in mid-June the Cubs and Cardinals made a six player deal with the principals being left fielder Lou Brock and pitcher Ernie Broglio.
Cardinals fans were devastated, Cubs fans were elated. Broglio was a popular and competent pitcher, winning 18 games in 1963. Brock was relatively unknown and had not done much on the north side of Chicago. Lou arrived in St. Louis, kept quiet and went to work. Ernie probably should have done the same. His comment when the trade was announced was, “I’m glad to join a winning team.” (The Cubs were not winning and finished the season in 8th place.)
The Cardinals newly appointed left fielder appeared in 103 games in ’64 and finished with a .348 batting average and 33 stolen bases. Broglio was 4 – 7 for the Cubs.
With a little help from the Phillies and their legendary collapse, the Cardinals finished the season at the top of the National League and went on to beat the Yankees in the World Series for their seventh championship title.
And Lou Brock was off and running in St. Louis.
For more on the 1964 World Series check out October 1964 by David Halberstam.
Here’s our recreation of the beautiful home jersey that Lou wore in his first of sixteen seasons in St. Louis