Forget Broglio For Brock. This is HUGIER!

Brock for Broglio
BobLee
July05/ 2017

Each of The Best Fans in Baseball knows what Broglio For Brock means. Don’t you? Certain words and phrases don’t need further explanation for Real St. Louis Cardinals Fans.

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There is only one “Game Six”. There is only one “Enos scores from first…”. …one “Stan”. …one “Albert”. …one “Ozzie”.

There is only one The Most Lop-sided Trade in Baseball History.   #2 Most Lop-sided was Frank Robinson (Redlegs) for Milt Pappas (Orioles).

In the 100+ years of Baseball there have been 100s and 100s of trades. The phrase …and a player to be named later has transcended Baseball into the public lexicon describing any business deal.

Trades are trades and then there are BLOCKBUSTER TRADES.

My personal Blockbuster Trade favorite occurred in 1960. Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn… one for one.

Indians’ GM Frank “Trader” Lane sent Colavito, the 1960 version of Aaron Judge, to the Tigers for AL batting champion Kuenn. Trading a HR slugger straight up for a batting champion. That one really fired up “the hot stoves”.

I’ll give a Ted Drewes concrete to the first “real baseball fan” who can tell me the name of the Tigers’ GM in that Blockbuster Deal back in 1960. Tick… tick… tick. Time’s up.

The Tigers GM in 1960 was BILL DeWITT Sr. !  Yep. The daddy of current St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr… FWIW:  Bill DeWitt Sr. was also part of the afore-mentioned  Robinson For Pappas Lop-Sided Trade.

The sounds you just heard were (1) the late, great Jack Buck up in Heaven doing a headslap… (2) on a quiet residential street in Beaumont Texas a man they call “Coach” just WHOOPED.  I digress.

On June 15, 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs swapped Ernie Broglio For Lou Brock. There were four other players in that six-player swap but their names are lost to all but the nerdiest of baseball historians. Baseball Lore has it as Broglio For Brock.

Brock Broglio

Ernie Broglio was a promising right hander with a couple of solid seasons in St. Louis. Lou Brock had been disappointing in his short stint in Wrigley’s outfield. Initially, the Cubs were considered the winners in the deal. But then…

Lou Brock hit .348 that season for the Cards leading them a World Series Championship in 1964 and 1967… and in fifteen more seasons wearing the Birds on The Bat became LOU BROCK: HALL OF FAMER.

Ernie Broglio went 4-7 for the Cubs. It was discovered he had an issue with the ulnar ligament in his pitching arm. Ernie Broglio was out of baseball by 1966.

History records that the Cardinals got the better of The Most Lop-sided Trade in Baseball History.

Ten years later, September 1974, a left-handed sinkerball pitcher for the Dodgers developed that same ulnar ligament issue that had ended Ernie Broglio’s career.

On September 24, 1974, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe performed a revolutionary surgical technique on that pitcher’s elbow. It has become the most famous surgical technique in the history of sports medicine… nay, in all of Orthopedic Medicine.

Unlike Broglio, that pitcher went on to win 288 games through 1989. Yep… his name is Tommy John.

On a quiet residential street in Beaumont Texas, “Coach” just WHOOPED again.

This has to be THE longest set-up for a column in the history of sports writing.  Somewhere Jim Murray and Grantland Rice just high-fived one another. “Go BobLee Go”

Moving along to Spring 2017… Broglio For Brock actually happened. Let’s do a SUPPOSE Blockbuster Trade. This one did not happen, but SUPPOSE it had.

If you read any CardinalsNation websites or Twitter screeds, you know the first ninety days / 83 games of this season have “disturbed” an easily disturbed faction of The Best Fans in Baseball.

“Disturbed” being a polite term for “Madder than Hell and determined to do something about it”.

Alas, for such emotionally volatile fans “something” is limited to depressing their CAPSLOCK key and pounding out FIRE MATHENY… FIRE MOZELIAK… TRADE SO & SO FOR _______. BILL DeWITT IS AN IDIOT… Blah Blah Yadda Yadda.

Good thing there wasn’t an Internet back in 1964, huh?

Coming out of Spring Training 2017, the general consensus of MLB media was along the lines of:

Will The Cubs Go Undefeated?… … Will The Cubs Dynasty Surpass The Patriots?… … Will The Cubs Win More Majors Than Nicklaus?… … Forget Lebron and Jordan, Are The Cubs The G.O.A.T.?

There was every reason to assume such hyperbole based on their dominance in 2016.

Bill DeWitt JrIn our little What If… back in March Bill DeWitt Jr. a.k.a “rich old white guy who owns The Cardinals”,  calls The Ricketts a.k.a “rich old white family that owns The Cubs”.

You thought Theo owns The Cubs?  No, Theo works for “The Ricketts”.

Bill DeWitt says “Hey Ricketts, lets make a deal?”…

The Ricketts, who know their baseball history, reply “Yeah sure Bill. You got another Ernie Broglio you wanna unload?”

DeWitt giggling “No no, I’m serious. I got a deal for you.”

The Ricketts “We’re listening…”

“My whole shebang for your whole shebang. Straight up. No player to be named later.  My Front Office & Roster for your Front Office & Roster. Whattayousay?”

“You will give us your much-maligned John Mozeliak, Mike Matheny and your 25-man roster. We will give you The Greatest GM in Sports… The Best Manager in Baseball… and The Greatest Roster Ever Assembled Not Named The ‘27 Yankees or The Big Red Machine?  You’ve got to sweeten that pot, Bill.”

“OK. You wanna play hardball. I’ll throw in The Arch and The Forest Park Zoo.”

“WOW! The Arch and The Zoo too. Tell you what Bill, the Chicago River is a puny excuse for a river. Throw in your Mighty Mississippi and we got a deal.  You keep Fowler and we’ll keep Heyward and Lachey. No point in having them move again.”

“You got it. Deal?” said Bill DeWitt.

“Deal” agreed The Ricketts.

So, in March 2017 The Cardinals become The Cubs and The Cubs become The Cardinals and…

As of July 5, 2017… The Cubs/Cardinals are 41-42 and The Cardinals/Cubs are 40-43. One Win difference between the much-maligned Cardinals and Theo’s SuperTeam.  That’s Baseball.

Somewhere in Twitter Hell seven fantasy league nerds are screaming that Bill DeWitt Jr. was an idiot for giving up The Zoo.

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BobLee
  • TheCowdog Reply
    3 months ago

    I thought you don’t hit the sauce. That straight up trade scenario was concocted after 3 gin Rickys, I should know.
    I remember exactly where I was, when Rocco Dominico was swapped for Harvey…6 yrs. old and glued to a radio. Colovito had the most classic of classics, pre pitch routine. I’m mimicking it right now.

    • CNR Reply
      3 months ago

      I bet you are. When your folks drove you to Cleveland games, you had a New York hero. Frank Lane was a Cincinnati guy who made trades to be trading. He just really liked Harv from the days he was playing up in West Allis as a teen-ager. Would never have happened if another Bronx great had not been replaced with Mr. Lane.

      When I think of meat on the hoof and free agency, FL comes to mind.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 months ago

        Speaking of “guys named Frank” and “big powerful sluggers”…. wonder whatever happened to Frank Howard a/k/a “The Washington Monument”.
        .
        Was he bigger than Aaron Judge?

        • TheCowdog Reply
          3 months ago

          I can relate mountains of info on Hondo.
          Just not sure open forum is the place.
          Helluva guy.

      • Doug Reply
        3 months ago

        Coach can probably recall Don Larsen to the Yankees in a 17 player trade in ’54. It worked out pretty good for the Yankees with his perfect game in the ’56 World Series. I remember none of it. :>

        • BobLee Reply
          3 months ago

          The last batter for the Dodgers in that perfect game – Dale Mitchell – still swears the 3-2 pitch was a ball. Not even close.

          • Doug
            3 months ago

            And TA’s knee was never down either. 😎

          • BobLee
            3 months ago

            Jim Knight said it was.

        • CNR Reply
          3 months ago

          Remember the trades well. It was a life changing break for an old friend and former teammate, Bob Turley. Bob pitched aspirins up to the plate. His problem was a serious failure to know not where the pill was headed. Fortunately, his pitching coach for the Yankees was the great Jim Turner. Voila, baseball pitching was changed forever. The no wind-up was used by Bob. He became dominating. His control increased dramatically. The Yankees wanted Bob since he pitched for our team in ’47. It was the best team for whom I played. We were just kids who won the Industrial League in St. Louis easily, as well as a National Championship. In my opinion we could have won a pennant if we had stuck together. That is not my opinion only. Many baseball people believed the same. We played on some great teams, but not the equal to that one.

          • BobLee
            3 months ago

            CNR knows of what he speaks …. 🙂

  • CNR Reply
    3 months ago

    Terrific idea. Brings to mind the Rosenboom-Irsay trade of Rams and Colts back in early seventies. That one eventually led to Rams to St. Louis back to LA, the Colts to Indianapolis, the Browns to Baltimore, the Raiders to LA and back to Oakland. Sure some were missed. The NFL and NBA have always been traveling road shows reminiscing of the old Roller Derby of same scatters representing different cities during same season. They were Bay City Bombers or St. Louis Bombers or Jersey Devils or some such.

    Great call Mr. B! Doug, and BK. OF COURSE ’64 would not have been without the total collapse of the Phils and Red’s along with Phil’s harmonica on Yankee bus in Chicago.

  • Bob Kennel Reply
    3 months ago

    Never thought highly of either Kuenn or Colavito so trade didn’t bother me that much. Was a National League fan in any case. Team trade of Cards for Dodgers would bring “color” manager to St Louis plus my beloved “red” color to Los Angeles.
    In looking at NL stats for past several months, did you know Dodgers had Kershaw ranked as # 1 or 2 but not another pitcher with sufficient innings pitched in the next 75 ranked pitchers (too many injuries or specialists).
    Do sympathize with your RedBird rants column having to start with such a mediocre first half.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      As a long-suffering Wuff Loyalist you should know that NOTHING drives a fan site like pissed-off board monkeys. My experience is that “normal fans” avoid the FIRE EVERYBODY hair-on-fire loonies that dominate those sites. RbRants is no different.
      .
      If a “color” manager is so important how come LAD just got one last year? A Latin (brown color) manager might be a better choice with today’s player market.

  • Doug Reply
    3 months ago

    I’m still riled up about Leo and the Tony’s girls. Selling “The Babe” to the Yankees for $125K and a $300K loan was a pretty big stinker for the BoSox.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      How come “riled up”? I can assure you he was the consummate gentleman …
      .
      That’s a LOT of $$$ in those days…

      • Doug Reply
        3 months ago

        I was <2% and that's probably a stretch. ☺️

  • Kenny.85 Reply
    3 months ago

    I used to visit 4-5 sports news websites daily. For a variety of reasons, I lost interest in all of them. Too many pop-ups and other reader unfriendly elements, plus the content was CRAP.
    .
    BLSays is my sole source of “stuff I give a damn about”. I hope that is not too much pressure on you. Ha!

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      Naah. I can handle it. 🙂
      .
      In the past month I have deleted three sites I used to visit, for many of those same reasons. I plan a column soon on media trends now and upcoming. Alas… more pop-ups, automatic videos and other reader unfriendly elements are upcoming BUT NOT HERE.
      .
      Much of the format crap you don’t like is SEO-driven. Sites are pressured to grab viewers and hold them requiring readers to go deeper and deeper into the site. That translates into greater ad revenues for the site. Quality of content and being “reader/visitor friendly” are minor considerations to SEO scores.
      .
      Any changes here will be “better content” and increased reader convenience. 🙂

  • 58 Wolf Kennel Reply
    3 months ago

    BL, a true and funny classic column. Best part was Coach’s two “Wooops”.
    Should have countered with Cards for Dodgers. They needed a river also.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      Do you recall where you were when you read “Colavito For Kuenn”? Surely an “old leaguer” like you never forgets such moments.
      .
      Trea is out with a bad wrist but Carlos is back with ChiSox. Can’t seem to get both in gear at same time.

  • Thomas.P Reply
    3 months ago

    BL. I agree with Bill! If you were on ESPN, I might actually watch it again. Any chance of that?

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      OH MY! I am reminded of Groucho’s line about “joining a country club”. Any ESPN channel that would have me, I wouldn’t want to be part of.
      .

      Maybe I could get UNC’s Chancellor Chihuahua to call ESPN CEO John Skipper(UNC’75) and put in a good word for me. Bwahahahaha!… or maybe Dickie Baddour would?
      .
      “Wise guys with websites” don’t play well with corporate minions. Not very well at all.

  • Bill.in.Atlanta Reply
    3 months ago

    And THIS is why I have read every BobLeeSays column since 2001. This one is richer than a New York Cheesecake. The exit velocity was 200 mph.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      But what was its WAR, its OPS, its WHIP ??? Thanks Bill. 🙂

  • TarSpartan Reply
    3 months ago

    I have a good friend and former pastor who is a lifelong Indians fan and still laments the Colavito trade. I grew up a Braves fan in the SuperStation 80s, so my version of “The Worst Trade in History” is Len Barker for Brett Butler and Brooks Jacoby. The Braves traded away the latter two for the former the year after Barker pitched a perfect game. By the next year Barker had blown out his elbow and was done. Butler went on to become an All-Star CF for the Indians and Dodgers, while Jacoby ended up with an All-Star appearance or two at third.
    .
    Honorable mention goes to the Braves trading away Dale Murphy for a journeyman reliever and a pack of Topps cards in 1990. Yes, Murph was past his prime in 1990, but he was the face of the franchise for over a decade. That’s like the Yankees trading away Jeter at the end of his career.
    .
    In all seriousness, though, it’s hard to top the Brock trade. All of these deals make sense at the time, but are proved otherwise in hindsight.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      And every fantasy league nerd thinks he could be “the next Theo”. But, alas, 20/20 Hindsight on “trades” is not included in the package.

    • Former96heel Reply
      3 months ago

      The Braves made up for that bad karma with Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz a few years later. That certainly was one of the turning points in flipping the Superstation era 80’s into the powerhouse 90’s Braves.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 months ago

        Ya think getting Matt Adams for a “Who he?” could be the start of a new era?

      • TarSpartan Reply
        3 months ago

        Good point about the Alexander-for-Smoltz trade. That was an even bigger deal than most people realize because Smoltz is a Lansing, MI, native.

        • BobLee Reply
          3 months ago

          A Factoid ONLY a Sparty would know. 🙂

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