Lou Brock Rookie Card

With an invitation to tryout for both Chicago teams, Cubs and White Sox, Lou Brock impressed scouts and was offered contracts by both teams in 1960. Lou Brock has one official rookie card.

The Super Power of Lou Brock

Lou Brock chose to play for the Chicago Cubs for two reasons, there was a better chance at getting to the Big Leagues with the Cubs, and they offered him a higher $30k signing bonus.

Debuted in September of 1961 but only played in four games. But his story was just beginning. He was the ultimate lead-off man, and in his rookie year in 1962, he produced 114 hits and 96 stolen bases.

Running the bases was his superpower. His speed skillset on the bases changed his destiny and eventually the game. His second-year stats did not indicate a sophomore slump as he stole 122 bases with 141 base hits in 1963. He was becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The Trade that Stole Lou Brock

But the Chicago Cubs were in desperate need of pitching. They traded Lou to the St. Louis Cardinals for starting pitcher Ernie Broglio in 1964. In hindsight St. Louis did some stealing of their own.

The change of scenery helped Brock take his game to the next level. In 1964, playing in 103 games with the Cardinals, Lou’s batting average went from .251 with Chicago to .348 at seasons end, and you can add 33 stolen bases too as Lou Brock led his team to the NL Pennant and the World Series title.

Between 1966-1974 Lou Brock led the league in stolen bases 8 out of 9 years! His best season was in 1974 where he stole 118 bases with 194 base hits. Another memorable milestone was in 1977 when he broke Ty Cobb’s All-Time Base Stealing record which at the time was 897.

Another way to look at his stolen base stats is, in 12 straight years, he had 50 or more stolen bases!

The Origins of Lou Brock

If you were to listen to Lou Brocks Hall of Fame speech one could capture this heartfelt explanation as to how he was introduced to the game of baseball. One summer night he was inspired by a radio broadcast, growing up in the deep south that’s all he had.

The radio broadcast was hosted by Harrey Carey and Jack Buck. Yes! It was a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Lou describes it as tuning into another world, he was overwhelmed by the game, it captivated him.

Baseball radio broadcast continued to feed him and he identified with it, when he listened to games he felt free and alive. The game of baseball touched his soul. It allowed him to escape the oppression of life and hold it together. He made a choice then, to follow his dreams.

Lou Brock Teaches His Recipe to Succeed

I know I’ve already mentioned his Hall of Fame speech, but I just want to say, I really enjoy listening to them because typically it’s a speech that many Hall of Famers really put a lot of thought into, there are teachable moments in them.

Lou shared that very early on he pursued excellence and he had a strong desire to excel in baseball. According to Lou, three factors cause someone to sustain success.

First, for us to sustain success, we must have the ability to keep it together. Secondly, determination – one must believe they can be the very best. Lastly, the support of the people – the roar of the crowd always seemed to start a rally.

Lastly, Lou Brock thanked three people for his success. The high school coach who taught him, “no one can make you feel inferior without first getting your permission.” Also, his college coach taught him how to play with pride, dignity, and how to approach the game. Finally, he thanked Deacon Jones for literally teaching him how to run.

Career Stats & Accomplishments

Summary: Games 2,616 | Hits 3,023 | Home Runs 149 | Batting Avg .293 | Runs 1,610 | Stolen Bases 938 (2nd All-Time)

Accomplishments

  • 1967 NL Babe Ruth Award
  • 1974 MLB Player of the Year
  • 1975 Roberto Clemente Award
  • 1977 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
  • 1979 Hutch Award
  • 1985 Hall of Fame Induction
  • 6x All-Star
  • 2x World Series Champion

After baseball, Lou and his wife Jackie became ordained ministers and served at Abundant Life Fellowship Church in St. Louis. Brock died at the age of 81 on September 6, 2020.


Rookie Card of Hall of Famer

Lou Brock

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1962 Topps, #387

The 1962 Topps set features 598 cards, it was released in three series and was the biggest set offering to date. Like all Topps sets between ’52-’73, it was divided into three series which equates to three degrees of scarcity.

Cards 1-370 are the most common; cards 371-522 are somewhat scarce and have some early on printing issues where cards have a greenish tint, and the high numbers 523-598 are the scarcest.

Card #387 features Lou Brock’s official rookie card. The card front has a love it or hates it design. It’s a wood grain design with a glued poster-like photo that has the lower right corner curling up. That same corner reveals name, team, and position.

What makes this card specifically stand out to me is the portrait photo showing Lou looking upwards as if he was looking at the Star Rookie logo. I love the design, the only thing I’m on the fence on is the orange background color on the photo.

The card back is classic Topps vintage giving us those famous cartoons, player bio, commentary, and stats.

As of the date of this post raw copies sell between $50-$250 depending on condition. However, extreme caution should be taken with the purchase of raw copies of Lou Brock rookie cards, read auction listings carefully to be sure it’s not a reprint. Due to counterfeits, I recommend purchasing a graded copy because authenticity is verified.

Graded Very Good-Excellent copies (4s) are selling for $95-$140; Excellent-Mint copies (6s) are selling for $250-$345; Near Mint-Mint (8s) are selling in the $1,360-1,640 range, and on September 10, 2020, a PSA Mint 9 sold for $7,800.


1963 Topps, #472

The 1963 Topps set features 576 cards which are 22 cards lighter than the previous year. It’s one of Topps most popular sets among collectors due to design and a limited amount of subsets. Apparently, collectors didn’t care for the “gimmicky” cards.

Photography was a definite upgrade in ’63 and the black and white picture in the picture within the circle was a hit. The card back features that popping bright yellow color and features everything a great card back should have. Did I mention how much I love the card backs?

A trend today with many rookie card collectors is second-year cards. Players are still early enough in their careers and prices are typically much more affordable.

As of the date of this post raw copies of this Lou Brock 2nd Year card sell between $10-$50 depending on the condition of course. Graded Very Good-Excellent copies (4s) are selling for $35-$50; Excellent-Mint copies (6s) sell between $70-$125 and graded Near Mint-Mint copies (8s) sell in the $290-$350 range.


1965 Topps, #540

The 1965 Topps set returned to the 598 set size. It’s a 4th-year card so it doesn’t carry lots of “rookie related” appeal but I decided to include this one on this list because it’s the first card featuring him in the St. Louis Cardinal uniform. So it’s kind of a Lou Brock rookie card some would say. He was traded midseason in ’64 so his card featured a Cubs uniform.

Add to that it’s a beautiful looking card! Fantastic photo of Lou seeming much happier after the trade. The team pennant offered in the ’65 card design is perhaps one of my favorites of the decade. The card back features fantastic colors, the overall design is flawless. Check out the wings on the feet of the cartoon. I love it!

As of the date of this post raw copies are selling between $20-$50. Graded Very Good-Excellent copies (4s) sell between $15-$25; Excellent-Mint copies (6s) sell for $40-$100 and Near Mint-Mint copies (8s) are selling in the $140-$165 range.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:
Lou Brock Stats | Baseball-Reference.com https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/brocklo01.shtml (Accessed September 21, 2020).
Lou Brock – Society for American Baseball Research https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/lou-brock/ (Accessed September 21, 2020).
Vintage Card Prices | Lou Brock https://vintagecardprices.com (Accessed September 21, 2020).
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