St. Louis Cardinals legend Lou Brock — a two-time World Series champion who once held the all-time record for stolen bases — died on Sunday at age 81.
Brock was known as "baseball’s most dangerous player for more than a decade" during his tenure with the Cardinals during the 1960s and 70s, according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He helped the Cardinals win World Series titles in 1964 and 1967, and enjoyed a storied career in the MLB that lasted until his retirement in 1979.
"Lou was among the game's most exciting players, becoming the 14th player in history to reach 3,000 hits and holding Baseball's all-time record for stolen bases in a season and career for many years," MLB commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said in a statement. "He was known for his dominant performances in his three career World Series. Lou was an outstanding representative of our National Pastime and he will be deeply missed."
A cause of death for Brock had not yet been publicly announced as of Monday afternoon.
Cardinals principal owner and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. called Brock "a great coach, an insightful broadcaster and a wonderful mentor" and a "fan-favorite" who had an ability to connect with baseball fans from multiple generations.
Brock joined the Cardinals after his first team, the Chicago Cubs, agreed to trade him in 1964.
Family member Taylor Rooks posted a heartfelt tribute to her great uncle on social media, in which she called him a St. Louis "legend."
"It’s been a rough time for my family," Rooks, a reporter from ESPN, wrote on social media on Sunday. "My great Uncle Lou passed away. It’s so fitting that he’s my great uncle, because he embodied that word in every way."
"A great man, a great husband and father..and man could he steal a base," she continued. "STL lost a legend. I love you and I already miss you."
By the time he retired from baseball, Brock had amassed 3,023 hits, 1,610 runs, 900 RBI and 938 stolen bases (his stolen base record would stand until 1991). The Cardinals retired his No. 20 jersey during his final year in the league.
"Lou Brock perfected the art of the stolen base over a 19-year Hall of Fame career and cherished his membership in the Hall," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, according to CNN.
Brock was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1985. At the time, he was only the 20th player to be elected in their first year of eligibility.
“The ability to light the fuse to enthusiasm, to cause teams and myself to play to the limits of their ability,” Brock once said of his talents on the field. “That gives you a purpose for being there. You become a chemist which makes a team tick. I think I had that ability.”
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