Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lou Brock Singles for his 3000th Hit August 13, 1979

On this day in Baseball History, Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals singles against Dennis Lamp of the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium to become the 14th player to reach the 3000-hit plateau. Here are the fourteen players that had reached the 3000-hit plateau before Brock:
  1. Unknown Cap Anson
  2. 06/09/1914 Honus Wagner
  3. 09/27/1914 Nap Lajoie (first game of the doubleheader)
  4. 08/19/1921 Ty Cobb (second game of the doubleheader)
  5. 05/17/1925 Tris Speaker
  6. 06/03/1925 Eddie Collins
  7. 06/19/1942 Paul Waner
  8. 05/13/1958 Stan Musial
  9. 05/17/1970 Hank Aaron (second game of the doubleheader)
  10. 07/18/1970 Willie Mays
  11. 09/30/1972 Roberto Clemente
  12. 09/24/1974 Al Kaline
  13. 05/05/1978 Pete Rose
Brock was originally signed as a free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1960 and after faltering with the Cubs, he would be traded to the Cardinals in 1964 for pitcher Ernie Broglio. Brock would blossom into the feared base stealer of his era, leading the National League in steals eight times with 118 steals being his career best in 1974. Brock would be the career base steal leader with 938 stolen bases until Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson eclipsed the record on May 1, 1991 while with the Oakland Athletics. 

Brock was a six-time National League All-Star and a top ten finalist for the NL MVP award five-times, coming in second for the award in 1974. Brock was a model of consistency playing in 150+ games a season for eleven straight seasons from 1964-1974 and playing in 123 games in 1962, 148 games in 1963, 136 games in 1975, 133 games in 1976, 141 games in 1977 and 120 games in 1979. Aside from his rookie season of 1961, Brock failed to play in 100 more games in only one season, 1978. 

Brock would retire after the 1979 season with 938 steals, 3023 hits and a career .293 batting average. Lou Brock would be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers of America as a player in 1985 with 80% of the vote (315/395 ballots).

A month later, Carl Yaztremski of the Boston Red Sox would join Lou Brock as a member of the 3000-hits club. I'll touch upon that next month. 

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading: