Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29, 1977: Lou Brock Becomes The All Time Stolen Base Leader

On August 29, 1977, in a game against the Padres in San Diego, Lou Brock tied then surpassed Ty Cobb to become the all time stolen base leader. Brock came into the game with 891stolen bases on his resume, just one short of Cobb's record that had stood for 49 years. The base burglar led the game off with a walk and promptly stole second to tie the long standing record. As he stole the bag the Padres catcher Dave Roberts attempted to gun him down but sailed the ball wide of the second baseman and into center. Brock alertly moved to third on the error, then was mobbed by his teammates. With the game temporarily halted due to the historic milestone second base was taken up and presented to the 38 year old Brock. When play resumed Jerry Mumphrey knocked Brock win with a single that started the scoring for the Cardinals. By the time the first inning came to an end Brock was tied with Cobb and the Birds held a 3-0 lead. The record breaking moment came in the seventh with the Birds leading 3-2, Brock reached first on a fielder's choice then surpassed Cobb as he swiped second. Once again Dave Roberts attempted to gun him down but sailed it wide of the bag, this time his shortstop kept the ball from getting out of the infield but not before Lou became the all time stolen base leader after stealing his 28th bag of the season and the 893rd bag of his career. Brock was mobbed once again, his teammates presented him the bag for the second time as he was the All Time Leader in Stolen Bases. The Cardinals skipper Vern Rapp gave his left fielder the rest of the day off as the team headed into the bottom of the seventh with the team still ahead 3-2. Unfortunately for Brock and the Birds, Mike Ivie hit a two run shot for the Padres in the eighth that led his team to a 4-3 win. It took Cobb 3,033 games over 23 years to amass 892 stolen bases, while Brock reached the mark in 2,376th game during his 16th year in the league.  Brock had just 50 steals under his belt after spending his first four years with the Cubs, when he got to St. Louis he was off and runnin as the Cardinals management realized he could wreak havoc on the basepaths.  He would lead the National League in steals eight times and lead all of the majors six times on his way to stealing his way to Cooperstown with a grand total of 938 stolen bases. As they say all records are made to be broken and a 23 year old by the name of Rickey Henderson broke Lou's single season record in 1982 by stealing a 130 bases The astounding thing about Lou's 118 in '74 was that he did that at the age of 35. Henderson also broke the all time record when he swiped 939 in May of '91. Henderson had a lot more gas in the tank after that and he finished his career with an eye popping 1,406 stolen bases. While his records were broken there is only one man you think of in St. Louis when the words stolen base popup, and that man is named Louuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu Brock!!!

Check out the box score and Lou's career numbers:

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