Lou Brock, The Guy, A Sports Hero
It’s very seldom in our life that we meet a sports legend up close and personal. I was blessed to attend the St Louis Cardinal Baseball Fantasy Camp in Jupiter, Florida through the courtesy of Beverly Hills Pharmacy where Roselyn, my wife works. The pharmacy was one of the event sponsors where proceeds of the camp benefits the Cardinals Kids Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital.
I was asked who is your all time favorite Cardinal? I answered, “Lou Brock because of his accomplishments and just being a humble person.”
The Cardinal Nation knew Lou Brock finished his career with a .293 average, 3,023 hits, 1,610 runs scored and 938 stolen bases. He said, “If you're successful in what you do over a period of time, you'll start approaching records, but that's not what you're playing for. You're playing to challenge and be challenged.” I just think about that quote for a minute, not all of us will be professional athlete, but most of us will have longevity in our profession, our trade, and our business which we are playing for, and to be successful --- we need to challenge, and be challenged.
The number 20 St Louis Cardinal jersey was retired in 1979, and he was a first-ballot selection for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. That’s big, that’s huge, and that’s amazing accomplishments. And Lou did all that with integrity as he exclaimed, “They will look at my career as the guy who gave it all but at the same time did it with integrity. That's what we all aim for - the respect of the game as well as the honesty that's played a part of that game.” Wow! Just reflect on that quote because it applies to all of us.
I joined the camp without experience playing baseball. Despite that, the Cardinal greats, staff, and fellow campers graciously welcomed me. Everyone at the camp was down-to-earth, friendly, and they really like to joke around. With all the people in the camp, the trait that really struck me is the humility of Lou Brock. During team instructions or just plain casual conversations he is soft-spoken and just talk like an ordinary guy, but everyone listens to him because of the knowledge, and wisdom he brings to the game, and to the culture of Cardinal baseball.
Lou’s love of his life is the graceful and beautiful Jacqueline Gaitor whom I also met at the team dinner. Lou Brock, my sports hero got it all!