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