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Ernie Broglio, Big Deal Pitcher JUNE 26, 1961

Aug. 21, 2000
Aug. 21, 2000

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Aug. 21, 2000

Ernie Broglio, Big Deal Pitcher 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.

This is an article from the Aug. 21, 2000 issue Original Layout

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 1/2
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."

--Pete McEntegart

COLOR PHOTO: HY PESKIN (COVER)COLOR PHOTO: WILLIAM MERCER MCLEOD
"I was the highest-paid BP pitcher in baseball," he says of his
posttrade career.