No. 172 Lou Brock (Number 19 Left Field)

In my article on Bob Gibson, (number 45) I said how he and Lou Brock were early heroes of mine because the 1967 World Series was the first, I remembered. Lou Brock was the offensive hero for the Cardinals as they won the series, let us see how he did on a game-by-game basis. One thing I should mention before we get started is that Brock had a pretty good series in 1964 helping the Cardinals defeat the Yankees that year.

Game 1. Brock had a perfect day. He was 4 for 4 with a walk, all singles with 2 stolen bases. He scored both the Cardinal runs in a 2-1 victory. In the third Brock singles, Flood doubled him to third and Roger Maris drove him in with a ground out. The Cardinals had a 1-0 lead until the Red Sox scored in the bottom of the third. In the seventh Brock led off stole second, went to third on a Flood ground out. Roger Maris drove him in with another ground out for the winning run. What a day.

Game 2. St. Louis was shut out on 1 hit. Brock was 0 for 4.

Game 3. Brock was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. In the bottom of the first Brock tripled and scored his and the team’s third run in the series on Curt Flood’s single. St. Louis took a 1-0 lead. In the second St. Louis scored 2 runs without Brock’s help to jump ahead 3-0. In the seventh Brock scored another run on a Roger Maris single to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead. The Cardinals won the game 5-2.

Game 4. Brock was again 2 for 4 as the Cardinals won 6-0. He scored the first fun of the game for the Cardinals again.

Game 5. Brock was 0 for 4. The Cardinals lost 3-1.

Game 6. Brock tried to end the series in game 6 but the Red Sox scored too many runs. Brock went 2 for 5 with a home run and stolen base. He scored 2 runs and drove in 3 and was involved with all 4 runs the Cardinals scored. Unfortunately for Brock the Red Sox scored 8 runs for the win. The Red Sox were down 1-0 in the third when Brock drove in Julian Javier with a single, stole second and scored on Curt Flood’s single to give the Cardinals the lead. Boston hit three homeruns in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. In the 7th Bobby Tolan walked pinch hitting for the pitcher and Lou Brock hit a home run to tie the game. However, Boston scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win the game 8-4.

Game 7. In the seventh game Brock had two hits and a walk in 4 at bats. He also stole 3 bases. He scored only 1 run, but the Cardinals won easily 7-2. Brock scored the team’s fourth run in the fourth.

Brock hit even better in the 1968 World Series and again stole seven bases, but the Cardinals lost that series.

In 1974 Brock stole 118 bases and I was upset he wasn’t named the MVP. The fact that I wasn’t a Garvey fan had nothing to do with it. Ok, maybe a little to do with it. Looking at WAR for Baseball Reference, Brock isn’t really a contender. I think he is a little underrated here, but I wouldn’t vote for him now. He did receive 8 first place votes. Garvey received 13 first place votes. Schmidt had the best year, but the Phillies finished under .500. Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan had good years, but the Reds went from first to second, so they weren’t going to win. However, Jim Wynn was traded to the Dodgers that year. He had better hitting statistics, even though Garvey had the higher batting average. More people paid to batting average at the time. Garvey was also a big story that year as he was elected to the All-Star game as a first baseman despite not being on the ballot. Wynn had a very good fielding year in Center Field and had more WAR than Garvey. However, Garvey was probably helped that he had a higher batting average, had an interesting story and was helped a some by the color of his skin. Looking at it now, I would have voted for Wynn as MVP. He came in 5th.

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