Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 1963: Broglio and Oliver Lead The Birds To Victory In Chi-Town

     On May 23, 1963, a fifth inning home run off the bat of Cardinals backup catcher Gene Oliver proved to be all Ernie Broglio needed, as he pitched a five hit gem that led the club to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

     The man who hit the game winning big fly in the fifth, Gene Oliver, was primarily a backup catcher, with a strong arm, and some pop in his bat as well. The game winning shot on this day in '63 was his fifth of the campaign. On June 13th of that season Oliver added another home run to his totals with an inside-the-park shot. It was his last home run as a member of the Cardinals. Two days later, he was sent to the Milwaukee Braves in exchange for Lew Burdette. Burdette's better days were behind him, as he posted a 4-8 record with the Cards, before being dealt to the Cubs in '64, while Oliver had moderate success with the Braves. He hit eleven more homers in '63, and put a career high in the home runs department in '65 with 21. Oliver also wore the uniform of the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago Cubs during a career that spanned over 10 seasons.

     The other hero of the day, Ernie Broglio will forever be known as the player who was traded to those same Cubs for Lou Brock. However, as it has been well documented that many fans in Cardinal Nation were upset to see him shipped to the Windy City. Especially when you consider, Brock was considered a disappointment in Cubland. Broglio posted an 18-8 record during that '63 campaign. Three seasons earlier he had won 21 games with the Birds on the Bat across his chest, and those fans who were upset about the deal saw great potential in the young hurler. We all know how that worked out, Broglio won seven games for the Cubs over three seasons, while Brock forged a Hall of Fame career with his former club. With that said, Broglio had some good days with the Cardinals uniform on and this was one of them.

Check out the box score here:

Oliver's career numbers:
Broglio's 70 wins as a Redbird rank 25th on the franchise's all time wins list. You can view his career numbers here:

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