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Lou Brock R.I.P.

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This is one of my favorite baseball memories of all time. It’s not about something on the baseball field or about one of the best or worst trades in baseball history. It’s a small glimpse of the type of man that Lou Brock was.

This is a very short story about the 60-year-old Lou Brock and my 8-year-old son Jason. My wife, Sue, and I were invited to attend the Players Choice Awards in 1999. We traveled from Chicago to Las Vegas to attend the event and our kids came along.

It was a black-tie affair that was aired on ESPN. I rented a tuxedo and Sue looked terrific in a beautiful evening gown. The hotel had a very nice childcare center on the first floor that could take care of Jason and our 6-year-old daughter Erica during the event.

Our room was on an upper floor and the four of us were waiting for the elevator on our way to dropping off the kids and then going straight to the event. And here comes a very distinguished older African-American gentleman to the elevator. I immediately knew it was Lou Brock. I turned to Jason and said,

“Jason, this is Lou Brock. He is one of the greatest base-stealers of all time!”

Jason looks at Lou and asks, “How many home runs did you hit?”

Lou smiles widely and says, “Oh, I hit a few.”

In a loud voice Jason says, “Not as many as Babe Ruth!”

We all broke out laughing, especially Lou. During the entire elevator ride Lou engaged our son, smiling and laughing. It was an absolutely joyful experience.

And then I noticed the tie that Lou was wearing. It was covered with the handprints of children. That tie and his interaction with my son showed just how much Lou loved children.

It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about this short three-minute interaction between Lou Brock and Jason Dewan.

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