R.I.P. Lou Brock

September 10, 2020
This is one of my favorite baseball memories of all time. It’s not about something on the baseball field or about one of the best or worst trades in baseball history. It’s a small glimpse of the type of man that Lou Brock was.
 

This is a very short story about the 60-year-old Lou Brock and my 8-year-old son Jason. My wife, Sue, and I were invited to attend the Players Choice Awards in 1999. We traveled from Chicago to Las Vegas to attend the event and our kids came along.

It was a black-tie affair that was aired on ESPN. I rented a tuxedo and Sue looked terrific in a beautiful evening gown. The hotel had a very nice childcare center on the first floor that could take care of Jason and our 6-year-old daughter Erica during the event.

Our room was on an upper floor and the four of us were waiting for the elevator on our way to dropping off the kids and then going straight to the event. And here comes a very distinguished older African-American gentleman to the elevator. I immediately knew it was Lou Brock. I turned to Jason and said,

"Jason, this is Lou Brock. He is one of the greatest base-stealers of all time!"

Jason looks at Lou and asks, "How many home runs did you hit?"

Lou smiles widely and says, "Oh, I hit a few."

In a loud voice Jason says, "Not as many as Babe Ruth!"

We all broke out laughing, especially Lou. During the entire elevator ride Lou engaged our son, smiling and laughing. It was an absolutely joyful experience.

And then I noticed the tie that Lou was wearing. It was covered with the handprints of children. That tie and his interaction with my son showed just how much Lou loved children.

It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about this short three-minute interaction between Lou Brock and Jason Dewan.

 
 

COMMENTS (6 Comments, most recent shown first)

mikeclaw
My first autograph … probably 1973 … sitting in the box seats behind first base with my parents and my younger brother. Before the game we went down by the side of the dugout with a pen and our scorecard and lots of hope. I dropped the pen onto the field and, being older and therefore in change, instructed my brother to go back to our seats and get another pen from our parents. While he was gone, Lou Brock saw me and saw the pen on the ground. He picked up the pen, grabbed a baseball and signed his name, and then handed it to me and said "Here's something from Lou." I tried to argue that because he handed it to me, the ball was mine. My parents insisted that it belong to both me and my brother to share. I wish I could say we still had that ball, but it disappeared a long time ago. The memory, though, lasts forever. He was a great man.
3:49 PM Sep 11th
 
evanecurb
Love it!

Bill Parker and Mike Bates retold this story in their tribute to Brock on This Week in Baseball History podcast this week. They correctly attributed it to John D.
12:48 PM Sep 11th
 
Manushfan
He sounded like a great person around the game and outside it too. I remember rooting for him Strongly as a middle schooler to both break Cobb's Stolen base record AND get to 3000 hits. He will be missed.
11:30 AM Sep 11th
 
Fireball Wenz
Great story. And those home runs he hit, he timed pretty damned well, when the leaves turned.
8:39 PM Sep 10th
 
bjames
That's beautiful, John. Thanks.
6:36 PM Sep 10th
 
patzeram
Great story about Lou Brock. Very touching and personal.
3:30 PM Sep 10th
 
 
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