Sarah and Lou

Not too many days ago, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced the results of its annual voting and named Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson to the Hall. I wrote about it then and paid Henderson a left-handed compliment by posting a picture of Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock, my boyhood idol and the man whose stolen base records Henderson broke.

What first caused me to follow Brock, I believe, is the similarities we shared. When I learned of him, I too, was a left-handed hitting left fielder. In left field, we both stood with our backs to the river - he the Mississippi and I the White, although it had been dammed to form Lake Taneycomo.

OK, the thing about the river just came to me.

Anyway, Brock was my guy. I learned to stand in the batter's box as he did, his uniform number, 20, became my favorite number, I collected his ball cards, and made pieces of art to honor this St. Louis ball player. With my portable cassette recorder stationed near a transistor radio I recorded Brock's 105th stolen base to break Maury Wills' season record. I recorded Brock's 893rd career steal to break Ty Cobb's lifetime mark. And I recorded Brock's career hits 2991 through 3000 as he joined the elite club of hitters to collect 3000 hits.

I drove the 4 1/2 hours to St. Louis for Lou Brock Day in 1979, his last year in the bigs. My '70 LTD stalled once in downtown traffic, but I got it started again. No problem. I was there to see Lou Brock. And I came home with a T-shirt given on that day that is too small for me now. My son has it. And all during these days I harbored the dream of being a baseball broadcaster or journalist and all these experiences would just be fodder for my future career.

So, if anyone had suggested 30 years ago that my daughter would meet Lou Brock before I did, well, I would have thought they were nuts!

But she did!

1 comment:

Deb. Miller said...

I love your Blog!! Way cool that your daughter got to meet Lou! While living in St. Louis, I have collected a good deal of St. Louis Cardinal's memorabilia, and some Lou Brock stuff that I will pass along to you one day. Cardinals Baseball is the BEST thing about living in St. Louis and, you, Mike taught me everything I ever wanted to know about baseball...so, Thanks!