JUNE 26, 1961
When Ernie Broglio visited Wrigley Field for an Old Timers' Game in 1987, the crowd rose as one—and booed. The fans stayed on their feet for the next player, Hall of Famer Lou Brock, and the boos turned to cheers. "I'm probably the only person in the history of baseball who got a standing boo at an Old Timers' Game," Broglio says with a laugh.
Chicago Cubs fans weren't laughing long in the summer of 1964 when what looked like a sweet deal for Broglio turned sour. On June 15 the Cubs shipped Brock, a 24-year-old outfielder with a .257 lifetime average, and two others to the St. Louis Cardinals for the 28-year-old Broglio, a righthander who had gone 18-8 with a 2.99 ERA the previous season, and two throw-ins. While Brock soon started running toward Cooperstown, Broglio awoke a few weeks later in a New York hotel room and told roommate Joey Amalfitano that his pitching elbow had locked. Amalfitano tossed him the room key. Surgery to reset the ulnar nerve in his right elbow followed in the off-season, and Broglio went 7-19 in 2� injury-plagued years with the Cubs, his final seasons in the majors. "I was the highest-paid batting practice pitcher in baseball," Broglio says.
Even before Broglio's career went south on Chicago's North Side, he was saddened by the trade. "The Cardinals really treated players like they should be treated," Broglio says. "It was tough to leave." It didn't get easier when St. Louis beat the New York Yankees in the 1964 World Series, though Broglio was pleasantly surprised when many of his former teammates phoned him from a post—Game 7 party at Stan Musial's restaurant. "The operator kept asking for more money, so I asked why they were calling from a pay phone," Broglio says. "They said, Aw, Stan won't let us use the phone in his office.' "
These days the 64-year-old Broglio teaches pitching at Hardtke's World of Baseball in San Jose, where he lives with his wife, Barbara, in the tidy one-story home he bought in 1959 with his first-year major league salary. That still leaves him time to enjoy visits from his four children and three grandchildren, as well as catch Cardinals games on TV. He doesn't much mind when people recall him as being on the wrong end of perhaps the most lopsided trade in baseball history. "I talk to Lou occasionally, and we kind of laugh about it," says Broglio, who proudly displays an autographed photo of Brock, on which Brock inscribed YOU ARE AND WERE A HELLAVA PLAYER, in his den. "The way I look at it, as long as he's alive, people will remember me."