Cardinals Where Have You Gone? – Ernie Broglio

As selected by you, the Birdhouse readers, this is the fourth highest-voted and therefore, fourth installment of Rob Rains' new book, Cardinals Where HaveYou Gone? to be featured at The Birdhouse. Three more player stories will be published here each Friday exclusively for Birdhouse subscribers, so join now!

Birdhouse readers selected the ex-players from Rob Rains' new book Cardinals Where Have You Gone? to be featured each of the next four weeks.

The schedule:
May 6 Ted Simmons
May 13 Vince Coleman
May 20 John Tudor
June 3 Tom Pagnozzi
June 10 Garry Templeton
June 17 Todd Worrell

Purchase Cardinals Where Are You Now? from your local independent bookstore, the major chains such as Borders and Barnes and Noble, or from the publisher, for just $19.95. With Father's Day coming, what better gift could one select for their special Cardinals fan Dad? – Brian Walton

Forty-one years later, Ernie Broglio knows his baseball legacy will forever be that he was the principal player the Chicago Cubs acquired when they traded Lou Brock to the Cardinals. He also is happy to let the world know that he is okay with that.

At the time of the June 15, 1964 trade, most observers thought the Cubs got the better end of the trade. Broglio was a proven righthanded starting pitcher, who at age 29, figured to be headed for several more good years similar to the 18-win, 2.99 ERA season he had posted in 1963.

There were four other players involved in the deal, two on each side, but the two principles were Brock and Broglio. And while Brock went on to establish himself as a Hall of Famer, Broglio came down with a sore arm, won only seven more games in his career and was out of baseball after 1966.

"I had an elbow operation in November (1965) and was back trying to pitch again in spring training," Broglio said. "Pitchers today have the same surgery and are out for a year and a half. I didn't even think about it, because in those days the ballclub's investment in its players was not as enormous. They didn't take the steps they take today to protect their players.

"You had a different outlook on the game, because they knew if you didn't perform they had somebody waiting to take your place."

Cardinals general manager Bing Devine, who engineered the trade, admitted he had no idea it would turn out the way it did. All he was trying to do was give his seventh-place team a spark, which Brock definitely provided.

The deal initially was more popular in Chicago than in St. Louis, where Broglio's ex-Cardinal teammates were generally of the opinion that the team had given up too much in exchange for the unproven Brock.

"Broglio was a 20-game winner," said catcher Tim McCarver. "We couldn't believe we'd give up a quality pitcher for an unproven guy like Lou Brock. But it didn't take long." Added first baseman Bill White, "I didn't think it was a good trade. Most of us were upset. We traded three guys for a guy who was very raw and didn't know how to play. I didn't like it. If anybody tells you they approved of that trade, they're lying."

Devine, of course, did not stick around long enough to see Brock help the Cardinals win the pennant and the World Series. He was fired by owner Gussie Busch in August of 1964; Busch believed the Cardinals were going to continue their pennant-less streak, a drought that had endured since 1946.

What upset Broglio about the trade was not that he was dealt for a future Hall of Famer, it was that he was traded at all. The Cardinals had acquired him from the Giants before the 1959 season and he spent five years in St. Louis, becoming attached to his teammates and the organization.

"I didn't want to leave because it was a lot of fun there," Broglio said. "The organization and Mr. Busch treated you like a human being. There was not the same atmosphere around the Cubs. I also was not the greatest fan of day baseball. As a pitcher I always thought it was easier for the hitters to see the ball during the day.

"It hurt even more when the Cardinals won the World Series (in 1964). A lot of the players called me from their party at Stan Musial's restaurant after the last game. They passed the phone around, and I really appreciated it. I popped open my own bottle of champagne and drank along with them.

"I looked at it like they won the pennant by one game, and I won [three games] for the Cardinals that year before I was traded, so I thought I had helped them win it."

Unlike today, when anybody who played for a championship team during the season is eligible for a share of the postseason money and a ring, Broglio received neither, and said he never thought about it.

"It would have been nice to have a ring, but I didn't get one, so I didn't worry about it," he said.

Broglio set his attention on his life after baseball, supporting his wife and four kids. He had spent the winters during his playing career working for a liquor warehouse and was able to expand that into a full-time job when he retired.

He also kept involved in baseball by working as a pitching coach for a local high school and for Santa Clara University for several years, in addition to giving private lessons. Now 69 years old, he still gives lessons to several youngsters in the Bay Area.

What he shares with them is not pitching advice, but instructions on how to throw a baseball properly—whether you are an outfielder or a pitcher. When he isn't doing that or playing golf, he is most likely spending time with his children and grandchildren, all of whom live within a couple of hours of San Jose. Broglio still lives in the same house he moved into in 1959.

"Barbara and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary," Broglio said in November 2004. "The kids gave us a trip up to the wine country in Napa Valley for the weekend, and we had a wonderful time."

Broglio and Brock often appear together at autograph shows, and he even has his own autographed photo of Brock hanging on a wall in his den.

"As long as people remember him, I know they also are going to remember me," Broglio said.

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