Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, a six-time MLB All Star and St. Louis Cardinals legend, died Sunday. He was 81.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my condolences to the family and friends of Hall of Famer Lou Brock, as well as the loyal fans of the St. Louis Cardinals," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Lou was among the game's most exciting players, becoming the 14th player in history to reach 3,000 hits and holding Baseball's all-time record for stolen bases in a season and career for many years. He was known for his dominant performances in his three career World Series. Lou was an outstanding representative of our National Pastime and he will be deeply missed."
Brock played a total of 19 MLB seasons, including 16 seasons with the Cardinals. During his time in St. Louis, Brock finished in the top-25 of voting for the National League MVP for six straight seasons. He was the runner-up for the NL MVP Award in 1974.
Brock started his career with the Chicago Cubs before the club traded him to the Cardinals in the middle of the 1964 season. A two-time World Series champion with St. Louis, Brock hit .300 with five RBI to help the Cardinals beat the New York Yankees in seven games in the 1964 World Series.
"Lou Brock was one of the most revered members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization and one of the very best to ever wear the Birds on the Bat," Cardinals owner William O. DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.
"Lou was a Hall of Fame player, a great coach, an insightful broadcaster and a wonderful mentor to countless generations of Cardinals players, coaches and members of the front office. He was an ambassador of the game around the country and a fan favorite who connected with millions of baseball fans across multiple generations. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered."
His time with the Cardinals ranks him second to Hall of Famer Stan Musial in all-time franchise plate appearances (9,927), runs (1,427) and hits (2,713). Brock also ranks in the top-five on the Cardinals all-time record lists for doubles, triples and total bases. The Cardinals retired Brock's uniform No. 20 in 1979.
In an MLB career that spanned from 1961-1979, Brock became known as one of baseball's most complete players. A speedster on the base paths, Brock retired as the all-time MLB leader in stolen bases (938). He surpassed Ty Cobb's stolen base mark of 892 during the 1977 season. From 1966 to 1974, Brock led the National League in steals every season except for one. His record would stand until 1991 when Rickey Henderson became the new stolen bases all-time leader. Brock is just one of four players in MLB history with 900 stolen bases.
Brock, who also recorded 3,023 career hits, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1985 in his first year on the ballot.
Brock is the second Hall of Famer to die in the last week. Mets legend Tom Seaver passed away last Monday at 75.
Taylor Rooks, Brock's great niece, shared a message honoring her great uncle.
It’s been a rough time for my family. My great Uncle Lou passed away. It’s so fitting that he’s my great uncle, because he embodied that word in every way. A great man, a great husband and father..and man could he steal a base. STL lost a legend. I love you and I already miss you pic.twitter.com/35b5m5IUHq— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 6, 2020
Hall of Fame Cubs pitcher Fergie Jenkins also shared condolences for his former opponent and rival.
Prior to first pitch for Sunday night's Cubs-Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Brock was honored with a moment of silence.