Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Lou Brock Biography - Reared In Small Southern Town, Slugged Way Onto College Baseball Team, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY BROCK:

Lou Brock - Slugged Way Onto College Baseball Team

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Following high school, Brock decided he needed a college education in order to leave behind the sharecropper's life. The family didn't have a phone, which prevented Brock from calling any colleges, so he took matters into his own hands and caught a ride to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because he had heard that the college offered a work-study scholarship program.

School officials were so impressed by Brock's determination that they found a job for him mowing grass and offered him a work-study scholarship. The deal, however, stipulated that Brock maintain a B average. Brock ended his first semester with a C+ average and was booted from the work-study program.

Not wanting to return home a failure, Brock decided to try out for the baseball team. For days, he parked himself in the bleachers and watched the Southern University team practice. "I sat there scared to death," Brock recalled to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The players paraded in front of me with muscles. They looked like athletes. I wasn't sure I belonged on the field with them."

Finally, Brock joined the players on the diamond and spent several days chasing fly balls, running as fast as he could, hoping the coach would notice him. Because Brock was broke at this time, he couldn't afford to eat properly and collapsed on the field one day.

Passing out got Brock noticed, and in the spirit of goodwill, the coach decided to let him bat a few balls. Brock realized he had just a few minutes—just a few pitches—to prove himself. "I told myself, 'This is it. This is the moment,'" he recalled to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "'Either you hit this ball and stay or miss it and be gone.'" Brock impressed the coach by hitting several pitches out of the park. He was offered an athletic scholarship and was able to continue his college education.

During Brock's sophomore season, he received the attention of some scouts when they came to observe Wiley College pitcher Johnny Berry. Brock's team was playing Wiley's team at the time. During the game, Berry gave up only two hits-both homers to Brock.

That same season, Brock hit .545. With Brock in the lineup, Southern College become the first black college to win the baseball championship of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes.

In 1959, Brock was selected to play on the U.S. baseball team at the Pan-American Games in Chicago. During the games, Brock befriended a runner named Charles Deacon Jones, who helped Brock improve his speed by offering a few lessons in technique. A few years later, after Brock joined the Cubs, the two worked out together in Chicago as Jones continued helping Brock improve his form.

Chronology

1939 Born June 18 in El Dorado, Arkansas
1957 Graduates from Union High School, Mer Rouge, Louisiana
1957 Enters college at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1958 Becomes member of Southern University baseball team
1959 Represents the United States at the Pan-American Games in Chicago
1961 Signs with the Chicago Cubs, spends one season in the minor leagues
1961 Makes major league debut as a Chicago Cub
1964 Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals
1964 Plays in first World Series, comes away a champion
1967 Smacks 206 hits and 21 home runs to help his team become the divisional champs; advances to World Series and helps team win
1974 Divorces his wife
1974 Sets single-season stolen bases record at 118
1979 Connects for his 3,000th hit
1979 Retires from baseball
1994 Becomes base-running and outfield instructor for St. Louis Cardinals
1995 Marries for third time, this time to Jacqueline Brock

Awards and Accomplishments

1964, 1967 Won World Series ring as member of the St. Louis Cardinals
1966 Led league with most stolen bases (74)
1967 Led league with most at-bats (689), most runs (113) and most stolen bases (52)
1967, 1971-72, 1974-75, 1979 Selected for All-Star Game
1968 Led league with most doubles (46), most triples (14) and most stolen bases (62)
1969 Led league with most stolen bases (53)
1971 Led league with most runs (126) and most stolen bases (64)
1972 Led league with most stolen bases (63)
1973 Led league with most stolen bases (70)
1974 Set major league record for most steals in a season (118)
1974 Named The Sporting News' Player of the Year
1975 Earned the Jackie Robinson Award
1975 Earned the Roberto Clemente Award
1977 Broke Ty Cobb's career stolen bases record of 892
1979 Became 14th player in baseball to achieve more than 3,000 hits
1979 Earned the Hutch Award, which honors former Cincinnati Reds manager Fred Hutchinson
1979 Retired with career record of 938 stolen bases, a record at the time
1985 Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
2002 Earned the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award
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