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St. Louis Cardinals legend Lou Brock dies at age 81

Lou Brock, Cardinals

More sad news hit MLB circles on Sunday, as St. Louis Cardinals legend and Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock died at the age of 81.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Lou Brock had been battling a number of medical conditions for years.

The former all-time stolen base leader finished with over 3,000 hits and close to 1,000 steals. As Hummel noted, Brock as also involved in perhaps the most lopsided trade in baseball history:

But he may be known mostly as the centerpiece of what was perceived as the greatest trade in Cardinals history. Or just greatest baseball trade ever. On June 15, 1964, the Cardinals acquired Brock, a raw, 24-year-old outfielder from the Chicago Cubs in a trade that cost them popular righthander Ernie Broglio, who had been an 18-game winner for them the prior season although he was 3-5 in 1964 and perhaps injured.

Former Cardinals ace and Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson said members of the Redbirds believed it was an awful trade. Instead, Lou Brock became a linchpin for the Cardinals, helping to lead the team to World Series titles in 1964 and 1967.

Lou Brock was a menace in all three World Series appearances. He hit .414 with a 1.107 OPS and seven stolen bases as the Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in 1967. Brock then one-upped himself the following year, hitting .464 with a pair of home runs and seven more steals, though the Cardinals lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe offered another interesting tidbit. Lou Brock shared a unique connection with former New York Mets ace Tom Seaver, who died just five days ago.

The baseball community has lost a pair of titans in the last week, but Brock will never be forgotten in the annals of MLB history.