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Cubs historical sleuthing: Lou Brock edition

Brock tormented the Cubs after he was swapped to the Cardinals.

Bettmann / Contributor

Getty Images provides the following caption for this photo:

The Cardinals’ Lou Brock (20) stole home on double steal attempt after being caught between 3rd and home, when Cubs’ catcher Jim Schaffer (5) overthrew to 3rd baseman Ron Santo in 1st inning of Cards-Cubs game. Brock scored and Cards’ Bill White stole 2nd the play going from Schaffer to 2nd baseman Ron Campbell, to Santo, to Schaffer, and Schaffer erring on throw back to Santo. Umpire is Tom Gorman.

You’d think there isn’t much to go on here; there’s no year nor date.

But the name Ron Campbell makes this one fairly easy. Campbell played in just 52 games for the Cubs in 1964, 1965 and 1966. The Cubs are wearing their gray “CHICAGO” road uniforms, so this game was in St. Louis.

Campbell played in just three games in St. Louis in his brief MLB career — September 4, 5 and 6, 1964, so it has to be one of these three games.

The thing is, looking at the play-by-play of those games, Lou Brock didn’t steal home in any of them. He did steal two other bases, his 38th and 39th of the season, in that series.

What we are looking at here is Brock scoring on a throwing error by Cubs catcher Jim Schaffer in the first inning of the game Saturday, September 5, 1964. With one out, Brock singled off Cubs starter Larry Jackson. Bill White singled Brock to third. Then with Ken Boyer batting, White stole second, drawing a throw to second baseman Campbell. Brock took off for the plate, the Cubs got him in a rundown, but Schaffer made a bad throw to Santo — that’s what you see in the photo — allowing Brock to score.

The boxscore also indicates the third-base umpire that afternoon was Tom Gorman.

The Cubs blasted Cardinals starter Mike Cuellar and reliever Bob Humphreys (who would pitch for the Cubs the following year) for eight runs in the second inning, including a home run by Ernie Banks. They’d go on to win 8-5, holding off a furious Cardinals four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth.

The Cardinals won two of the three games in this series, both on walkoffs. They were in fourth place and trailed the then league-leading Phillies by 7½ games when this series was over. You know, of course, how that season ended, with St. Louis winning the pennant on the season’s final day. The Cubs, who had traded Brock for Ernie Broglio in June in a futile attempt to help their team by acquiring pitching, finished 76-86, 17 games out of first place.