After Stan Musial, who finished his career with 3,630 hits, retired after 22 seasons, the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals saw a changing of the guard in the "Gateway to the West."
Having gone 18 years without a pennant, the Cardinals entered the season coming off their best season since 1949, after winning 93 games. Now, as they set to begin the '64 season, a major void in the lineup needed to be filled.
After 59 games played, the Cardinals found themselves seven games back in the division, with a record of 28-31, and were looking for a spark. Therefore, with the trade deadline looming, and the Cardinals were hovering around .500, the Cardinals sent pitcher Ernie Broglio, who went 18-8 in 1963 to the Chicago Cubs for Hall of Famer, Lou Brock.
While leading the Cardinals to a 65-38 record for the remainder of the season, Brock hit .348, had 146 hits including 42 extra-base hits in 103 games played, 12 home runs, and 44 RBI.
And led by Brock, for the first time in 20 years, the Cardinals were World Series champions after defeating the Yankees in seven games.
Brock went went on to break the all-time record for stolen bases (since broken by Rickey Henderson), and compiled over 3,000 base hits during his career.
Brock had a stellar career.
But without Brock in a Cardinals uniform, there would have been no pennant or World Series championship in St. Louis during the 1964 season.
Let's hope Cardinal fans will never forget that.