On August 13, 1979, Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals collects his 3000th hit. The future Hall of Famer reaches the milestone against his former team – the Chicago Cubs – with a fourth-inning single against righthander Dennis Lamp. Brock’s his drive caroms off Dennis Lamp’s pitching hand in the 3-2 Cardinal victory over the Cubs at Busch Stadium. The 40 year-old Cardinal outfielder, who will retire at the end of the season with a lifetime .293 batting average, is the fourteenth major leaguer to reach the coveted plateau.
“As a fan, I was first in line,” Brock told the crowd. “I had never seen 3,000 hits before. I was glad to be a part of it.”
Bush Stadium was packed with 44,457 fans to see the stole base king and two time world series champion and future hall of famer try for his 3,000 hit. The Cardinals were also playing their rivals the Chicago Cubs, as part of a twilight double header. Chicago was 2 and half ahead of St Louis for 3rd place in the east. Brock had sat out the first game.
The Cardinal Fans are amongst the best fans in baseball. They know how to appreciate their players during and after their careers. Most were hoping to see history.
Brock had been on fire the last 8 games going 12-34 hitting a robust .353. Brock entered the game 2 hits shy of 3,000.
Facing Dennis Lamp in the first, Brock stepped to the plate and stadium organist Ernie Hays played music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The tunes were in response to Brock’s telling Hays, “This is my last close encounter.” Brock singled to left field as the second batter of the game.
After the Brock single in the first, lamp retired the next 9 batters. Leading off the bottom of the 4th was Brock, he hit a shot headed to center field that ended up hitting lamp in the pitching hand and the ball bounced over the the third base line.
Brock flew down the line and collected his 3,000 career base hit. Stan Musial collected the ball and handed to Lou Brock.
“The fans here deserved to see the 3,000 hit,” Brock said. “Stan (Musial) came close but didn’t quite make it. Mr. Busch said, ‘You’re going to do it here.’ I said, ‘I am?’
“I’ve always wanted to leave baseball in a blaze of glory. I’ve always wanted to orchestrate my own exodus, and I’ve done a pretty good job of it.”
Lou Brock retired after the 1979 season with 3,023 hits, a batting average of .293, and 938 stolen bases. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. He was the 20th player to be selected in his first year of eligibility