HBCU Baseball Mourns the Loss of One of Its Greatest


One of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) best players to grace a uniform, Lou Brock passed away at the age of 81 this past Sunday leaving a lasting legacy from his playing days at Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Southern University and elevating his game to become one of the best overall players in the history of the Major Leagues.

Brock began his 19-year MLB career with the 1961 Chicago Cubs after being signed as an amateur free agent in 1960. He spent his big league career as a left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and the center-fielder for the Chicago Cubs. Brock’s play on the field earned him an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.

In Lou Brock’s first year of college baseball he hit .189, but turned things around the following year hitting .524 and leading Southern to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics baseball championship his junior year.

Brock’s professional career started with a try out with the Cubs. In the minor leagues, Brock’s first season with the St. Cloud Rox, He won the 1961 Northern League batting championship with a .361 batting average.

Brock made his major league debut with the Cubs on September 10, 1961. Traded to the Cardinals in 1964, he became one of the most iconic figures in the history of Major League Baseball.  

His speed on the base path, going from station to station at will, solidified Brock as a base stealing threat every time he reached base. During the 1967 season, Brock became the first player in MLB history to steal 50 bases and hit 20 home runs in the same season. During his career, Lou Brock set stolen base records and joined the exclusive 3,000 hit club.

In his 19-year career, Brock played in 2,616 games and accumulated 3,023 hits for a .293 career batting average along with 486 doubles, 141 triples, 149 home runs, 900 runs batted in, scoring 1,610 runs and stealing 938 stolen bases. A six-time All-Star, Brock hit over .300 eight times during his career. He ended his career with a .959 career fielding percentage.

Lou Brock had the single-season stolen base record with 118 until Rickey Henderson broke the record with 130 in 1982. He led the National League in stolen bases for a record eight times and also had a record 12 consecutive seasons with 50 or more stolen bases. Brock is still the National League’s leader in career stolen bases and has the highest World Series batting average .391, and his 14 stolen bases in World Series play are still records.

He was known for his speed and the pressure he put on his opponents when he was on base, but Lou Brock was much more than a stolen-base specialist. He was a daring leadoff man, a complete player and a clutch hitter. He was gentle, driven, universally admired and respected by his peers.

Lou Brock will always be remembered as a Cardinals legend. The Cardinals and Cubs, Brock’s first team, played each other in Chicago this past Sunday night and held a collective moment of silence for Brock before the game.

Thanks for the enjoyment and for torturing my Chicago Cubs.

Rest In Peace.

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