Swap Shop: Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio
It was probably the most lopsided trade of the 1960s. (After all, Milt Pappas was 30-29 in two-plus seasons for the Cincinnati Reds.)
At first, it looked like a “steal” for the Chicago Cubs. It turned out that the St. Louis Cardinals added a base thief who would be pivotal in helping them steal the 1964 National League pennant.
Ernie Broglio was the key player the Chicago Cubs coveted in the Lou Brock deal. Coming off an 18-8 season with the Cardinals in 1963, Broglio would win only seven games for the Cubs before retiring in 1966.
The Cardinals sent two former 20-game winners, Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz, along with outfielder Doug Clemens, to the Cubs for pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth, and an outfielder named Lou Brock.
From the Cubs’ perspective, Broglio was the key player in the deal. He was a proven winner, notching 21 victories in 1960 and leading the Cardinals in 1963 with an 18-8 record and a 2.99 ERA. From 1960-1963, Broglio averaged 15 wins and 218 innings per season, with a combined ERA of 3.15.
But that wasn’t the Ernie Broglio that the Cubs received in exchange for Brock.
In 11 starts for the Cardinals in 1964, Broglio was 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA. A change of scenery didn’t help. Over the rest of the 1964 campaign, Broglio was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the Cubs.
And the other players acquired by the Cubs didn’t help to compensate for Broglio’s slide. In 20 relief appearances with the Cubs, Shantz was 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA and a single save. And Clemens batted .279 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 54 games.
(In August, the Cubs sold Shantz to the Philadelphia Phillies. He retired at the end of the 1964 season.)
For Brock, the move to St. Louis launched him on his Hall of Fame career as he led the Cardinals to the World Series. In 103 games, he hit .348 and scored 84 runs, with nine triples, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 33 stolen bases.
Lou Brock was a speedy outfield prospect when he was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964. Sixteen seasons later – all with the Cardinals – he would retire with seven stolen base titles, more than 3,000 hits, and a place reserved in Cooperstown.
In the World Series against the New York Yankees, Brock was instrumental in helping St. Louis take the championship, batting .300 with 5 RBIs and nine hits in seven games, including two doubles and a home run.
Brock would be a standout performer for the Cardinals for the next decade and a half, batting a combined .297 (while batting .300 or better seven times), leading the league in stolen bases seven times and collecting over 2,700 hits (on his way to 3,023 hits for his career).
It was a trade that neither team – or its fans – would ever forget. (Or, in the case of Cubs’ fans, forgive.)
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