Baseball great Lou Brock dead at 81

Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals

Lou Brock, the Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder who topped 3,000 hits and retired as the all-time leader in stolen bases, has died at 81.

Dick Zitzmann, Brock’s longtime agent and friend, confirmed Brock’s death on Sunday to The Associated Press, but he said he couldn’t provide any details. In 2017, Brock was diagnosed with cancer, and in recent years, he lost a leg from diabetes.

“Over my 25-plus years of being his agent, he was perhaps the happiest Hall of Famer I’ve ever encountered,” Zitzmann told AP. “I think he led a life that will never be duplicated.”

Brock stole 938 bases in his career, including 118 in 1974 — both of those were MLB records until they were broken by Rickey Henderson.

Brock, who had a career batting average of .293, led the majors in steals eight times and scored 100 or more runs seven times. He also accumulated 3,023 career hits. In the postseason, Brock was even more impressive. He had a .391 batting average, with four home runs, 16 RBIs, and 14 steals in 21 World Series games. He led the Cardinals to World Series titles in 1964 and 1967.

Brock’s death came after Hall of Fame pitcher and New York Mets legend Tom Seaver died on Monday. Brock and Seaver faced each other 157 times, the most prolific matchup for both of them in their careers.

Tom Seaver, Pitcher Who Led ‘Miracle Mets’ to Glory, Dies at 75

Tom Seaver, one of baseball’s greatest right-handed power pitchers, a Hall of Famer who won 311 games for four major league teams, most notably the Mets, whom he led from last place to a surprise world championship in his first three seasons, died on Monday. He was 75.

Tom Seaver, who had 3,640 strikeouts in his 20 big-league seasons, is sixth on the career list.

The cause was complications of Lewy body dementia and Covid-19, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, give or take a few, with a thick waist and tree-trunk legs that helped generate the velocity on his fastball and hard slider and the spin on his curveball, Seaver at work was a picture of kinetic grace. He had a smooth windup, a leg kick with his left knee raised high, and a stride so long after pushing off the mound that his right knee often grazed the dirt.

With precise control, he had swing-and-miss stuff. He struck out more than 200 batters in 10 different seasons, a National League record, and on April 22, 1970, facing the San Diego Padres, he struck out a record 10 batters in a row to end the game. His total of 3,640 strikeouts in his 20 big-league seasons is sixth on the career list.