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“Base Burglar” Lou Brock dies

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/07/20, 01:07 pm

Lou Brock, the St. Louis Cardinals’ signature leadoff hitter and base-stealer who helped the team win two World Series in the 1960s, has died. He was 81. Along with starting pitcher Bob Gibson and center fielder Curt Flood, Brock helped build the Cardinals into a powerhouse of speed, defense, and pitching during the ’60s. Opposing managers warned their players not to let Brock get on base: He had 938 steals in his career—so many he had a base-stealing award named after him while still an active player.

What did he do after he retired? Brock worked as a florist and a commentator for ABC’s Monday Night Baseball and was a spring training instructor for the Cardinals. A nominal churchgoer since childhood, he said his faith deepened after enduring personal struggles in the 1980s. He and his third wife, Jacky, became ordained ministers serving at Abundant Life Fellowship Church, a charismatic congregation near St. Louis. He spoke of having a “Holy Ghost-Filled Alarm Clock” whenever tempted to resume his previous ways. He lost a leg to complications of diabetes in recent years and was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

Dig deeper: Read one WORLD member’s first-hand account of Game 7 of the 1964 World Series, when Brock and the Cardinals defeated Mickey Mantle and the New York Yankees in St. Louis.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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