The TGG Interview

Ernie Broglio

“The Cardinals knew. They were keeping it quiet. In 1961, I took 20 cortisone shots in my shoulder—before every other start. They thought they were getting away with something.”

In 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals sent pitcher Ernie Broglio to the Chicago Cubs for Lou Brock. Other players were involved, but Broglio and Brock were the principals. The Cubs not only had any idea what they were sending away in Brock—who became a Hall of Fame-caliber force in St. Louis—they also quickly realized that Broglio was a pitcher whose arm was going, going, gone. And for the first time, Broglio reveals to Ed Attanasio that the Cardinals knew he was damaged goods before the trade—and tried to keep it quiet.

As told to Ed Attanasio, This Great Game

On his Trade to the Cubs:

“Well, I was in Houston and (Cardinal manager) Johnny Keane brought all three of us in and said you guys have been traded and you’re going to Chicago and I thought, great, okay, fine—day baseball—but when I got there I ended up not really liking day baseball. So, nothing else could really be said, so I said, when do we have to be there? Because I never really had any rapport with Johnny Keane, so in some instances I was glad. The Cardinals were in seventh place at the time I was traded—Lou Brock brought them the pennant and the World Series that year.

Trades are made to better your team. In some instances it works out and in other instances it doesn’t. It just so happens with this trade it worked out for them.

I knew I had arm problems. Nowadays, they’d have you go in and get checked out by a doctor before making a trade, but that wasn’t how things were done back then. The Cardinals knew. They were keeping it quiet. In 1961, I took 20 cortisone shots in my shoulder—before every other start. They thought they were getting away with something. What was told to me originally was that Ray Washburn was supposed to be traded for Lou Brock, but I got in the doghouse with Johnny Keane and so I got traded.”

On Feuding with Johnny Keane:

“I don’t really know how it got started. Something happened when he was a coach. I came into the dugout after getting taken out of a game, and I was mad at myself. I kicked some bats and one of them landed right on Keane’s leg and he didn’t care for that much, I guess. Because after that we just never seemed to see eye to eye.”

On Why the Cardinals Labeled him “Not Tough Enough”:

“Cardinal coach Harry Walker didn’t think I was tough enough as a pitcher. He would yell at me and try to fire me up, and I would say hey, that’s not my nature. I’ll take care of stuff when I get out there. Because I’d always walk to and from the mound with my head down, you know? Evidently, Harry didn’t think I had the tenacity to be a major league pitcher. My ability was there, they knew that, but I guess some people show their emotions more. Like Bob Gibson or Larry Jackson—they were real battlers. I’m just not made up that way.”

On Stan Musial:

“I first met him in Japan. Just a neat guy. He’s one of the few I still communicate with. He is so gracious to me. If I’m in a golf tournament and I need something signed, he always signs it and then asks me if there’s anything else I need. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him. When they won the World Series and I was, of course, with the Cubs, I got a call from Stan’s restaurant. When they won it, I was sitting home having champagne with them.”

On Chicago Cubs Fans:

“They were all right, but much different than St. Louis fans. They were so used to losing all the time they handpicked certain players and booed the living heck out of them for not having a good year. And they kind of got on me.”

On his Life-long Attachment to the Brock Trade:

“One incident, many years later, they had an old-timers game there in St. Louis and they brought Lou Brock and I in, and it was a full house. And they introduced Lou Brock first, you know and he got a standing ovation. And they were still standing and booing me when I was introduced. I have to be the only guy in the world to get a standing/booing ovation!”