Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#565 Ernie Broglio

#565 Ernie Broglio
There are many fans who only know of Ernie Broglio because of "Brock for Broglio". Let's try to remedy that, right here and right now!

Fun facts about Ernie Broglio:

-A Berkeley, CA native, Ernie spent parts of three seasons with the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, and ultimately signed with the Giants in early 1956.

-He had an impressive two-year record of 34-10 at AA and AAA before being traded to the Cardinals in October 1958.

-St. Louis brought him straight to the majors at age 23 in 1959. He struggled a bit, going 7-12 with a 4.72 ERA, but did toss three shutouts. One of these was a two-hit gem against Cincinnati on June 27 in which he retired the final 13 batters consecutively.

-Ernie had a phenomenal sophomore season, going 21-9 with a 2.74 ERA despite starting only 24 of his 52 games. He tied Warren Spahn for the National League lead in wins, and led in adjusted ERA+ (150) and fewest hits per nine innings (6.8). He finished a distant third in Cy Young voting behind winner Vern Law (20-9, 3.08 for the pennant-winning Pirates) and Spahn (21-10, 3.50) and was ninth in MVP voting.

-He won both ends of a double header on July 1, 1960 by permitting no earned runs in 2.1 total innings of relief. He entered the second game with the bases loaded and allowed an inherited runner to score by walking Alvin Dark, but retired the next batter to keep the game tied and benefited from a two-run Cardinals rally in the top of the ninth.

-Other notables in Ernie's 21-win season included a 1-hit, 14-strikeout masterpiece against the Cubs on July 15 and a 12-inning complete game win over the Pirates on August 11.

-After just managing to break even in 1961-1962, Broglio tied for the team lead in wins in 1963 by going 18-8 with a 2.99 ERA. He also reached career highs with five shutouts and 250 innings pitched.

-This is where we come to the trade. Remember that at the time of the deal (June 15, 1964), Ernie was still only 28 years old and had a career mark of 70-55 with a 3.43 ERA. Lou Brock was 25 and in two-plus seasons with the Cubs he had failed to realize his promise: .257/.306/.383 with 20 home runs, 86 RBI, and 50 steals in 327 games. How were the Cubs to know that their new pitcher would wash out of the league in three years, or that Brock would hang around for another 16 and amass over 3,000 hits and 900 steals in a Hall of Fame career?

-Unfortunately, the aforementioned deal (which was actually a three-for-three trade) did turn out poorly for Chicago. Broglio woke up in August with a stiff elbow and required surgery to repair ligament damage. In parts of three seasons he pitched just 59 games for the Cubs, going 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA. After spending the 1967 season in the minors with the Reds, he hung up his spikes.

-In parts of eight big league seasons he was 77-74 with a 3.74 ERA.
#565 Ernie Broglio (back)


  1. It just shows how much luck is involved in making trades. It could just as easily have turned out to be a "steal" for the Cubs. If Broglio had remained healthy and productive into his mid-30s, the Cubs would have had a rotatation in the later 60s of Jenkins, Broglio, and Holtzman. That might have been too much for the Mets to overcome.

    But, you have to suspect that the workloads these guys pitched-especially switching between starting and relieving as they often did--had to contribute to arm problems.

  2. Marc - No doubt about it. They may have also tried to pitch through pain more often, as preventative medicine wasn't what it is now.

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