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In the summer of 1964 the Chicago Cubs sent a young outfielder named Lou Brock and two other players to St. Louis for veteran pitcher Ernie Broglio and two throw-ins. To promote a joint appearance by Brock and Broglio at a Cub convention in Chicago last weekend, the organizers' pronouncements described that 30-year-old swap as "controversial." In fact, there was nothing controversial about it. Brock for Broglio was incontrovertibly bad for Chicago—and maybe the worst trade in baseball history.
In fairness, before the trade Brock had hit no better than .263. And at the time of the deal the Chicago papers called it a steal—a two-time 18-game winner for a kid who couldn't play rightfield because the sun kept getting in his eyes. There were few clues that Brock would become a Hall of Fame stolen-base king, or that Broglio would win only seven more games and be out of the majors by 1967.
But the fame of the trade, or its infamy, has turned Brock and Broglio into quite a pair. If The Baseball Encyclopedia didn't separate pitchers from other players, the two would probably share the same page. As it is. they appear together routinely on sports call-in shows. "We're linked forever by it," says Brock.
"And you know, I've become almost as recognizable as Lou is," says Broglio. "So the trade couldn't have been all bad."
It certainly wasn't all bad to the fans who gathered at the Chicago Hilton & Towers last Saturday to chat, take pictures and get autographs. And Brock and Broglio have become fast friends. "This trade has not only allowed us to stay in touch, but it has bonded us," Brock said right before he and Broglio left the room. Together, of course.
The players available in the NFL expansion draft on Feb. 15 look like so much refuse from the established teams' trash bins. Each team had to contribute six signed players to a 168-player pool from which the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers will each choose the 30-to 42-man core of its first season's roster. Many of the unprotected are aging players with $2 million-plus salaries—e.g., Green Bay Packer defensive end Sean Jones, 32, and Atlanta Falcon defensive end Chris Doleman, 33—who surely won't be picked by youth-seeking coaches Dom Capers of Carolina and Tom Coughlin of Jacksonville.
A few teams exposed players who probably have some good years left in them, in the hope they'll be picked and money thus freed up under the salary cap could be better spent in the free-agent market. For example, if the Packers arc lucky enough to have cornerback Terrell Buckley and running back Reggie Cobb taken, Green Bay will suddenly have some $2.5 million to spend on free agents in 1995.