Another RIP

Lou Brock with his Hall of Fame plaque

With the last entry here being a farewell to Tom Seaver, I hoped I wouldn’t have to write another one of these. But then Lou Brock died. So here we go again.

Brock was never as special to me as Seaver, but he was also a great player. On that Cardinals team of the 1960s, I gravitated more toward Bob Gibson, Roger Maris, and Orlando Cepeda. But Brock was one of the stalwarts of the team and a clutch World Series player (except for one non-slide). He’s known today for two things: base stealing and lousy fielding. Both are true. He was a superb runner whose percent of successful steals was around 67%. That combined with 486 doubles (tied for 77th all-time) meant he was in scoring position a lot. But as stolen bases have a limited value (the caught stealing and dying at second because no one else gets a hit can cut down their value) he only shot above 5.0 WAR three times (1968 being the last time) and was at 4.2 once (1965). He had trouble in the outfield, another reason his WAR is low. He could have a lot of assists (peaking at 17 in 1963), but also could commit a lot of errors (19 in 1966). No body cares much about fielding percentage anymore, but .959 isn’t very good.

In retirement he did a lot of things, including run a florist shop which seems to have been very successful. He made the Hall of Fame in 1985, had some health problems and died this week. RIP, Lou.

Now, I need a favor from whatever great spirit there is. Don’t make it necessary for me to do another one of these for a while. Deal?

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