May 27, 1975: Lou Brock hits for the cycle

On May 27, 1975, Lou Brock hit for the cycle for the only time in his Hall of Fame career during a 7-1 Cardinals’ victory over the Padres at Busch Stadium II.

Brock entered the game on a roll. Since returning from a shoulder injury that occurred in late April, Brock had improved his batting average to .321 entering that day’s game. While Brock was surging, the 1975 Cardinals entered the game with two consecutive losses and six defeats in their last eight games.

Thanks to a complete-game performance from second-year right-hander Bob Forsch and the veteran Brock’s four hits, the Cardinals began a surge that would include 10 wins over their next 12 games.

Brock led off the bottom of the first with the game’s first hit, a single to center field off Padres right-hander Dave Freisleben. With Ted Sizemore at the plate, Brock stole second, though he would be stranded at third when Keith Hernandez grounded out to end the inning.

The game was still scoreless in the third when Brock came to the plate with one out. Friesleben tried to sneak a curveball past him on the first pitch, and the left-handed hitting Brock hit it an estimated 415 feet.[1]

“That’s about five or six I’ve hit in that section,” he said.[2]

Brock drove another run home two innings later. Forsch led off the fifth with a single before Brock hammered the ball past Padres center fielder Johnny Grubb. Seeing the ball get past Grubb, Cardinals third base coach Vern Benson began to wave Brock home. When the Padres got the ball in faster than expected with a series of quick relays, Benson threw up the stop sign.

It was too late. Brock got halfway home before he tried desperately to get back to third, but Padres catcher Randy Hundley threw him out for the second out of the inning.

“Lou really powdered the ball for that triple,” Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst said.[3]

In the top of the sixth, the Padres got on the scoreboard when Enzo Hernandez hit a leadoff double and scored on a ground ball by Dave Winfield.

The Cardinals broke the game open in their next half-inning. Hernandez led off with a double to right field. Ken Reitz drew a walk before Mario Guerrero hit an RBI single to score Hernandez. That chased Freisleben from the game in favor of reliever Dave Tomlin.

Forsch greeted Tomlin with an RBI single up the middle that improved his batting average to .333 and gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead. Tomlin struck out Brock before he was replaced with Bill Greif. The Padres’ third pitcher of the day walked Sizemore before giving up a two-run single to Reggie Smith, who had been brushed back with a pitch near his head earlier in the game.

“I know it’s part of the game, but nobody likes to be thrown at,” Smith said. “I said something to Freisleben when I reached first base. It’s not printable, but he heard what I said.”[4]

In the bottom of the eighth, Brock took his shot at the cycle against yet another reliever, former teammate Alan Foster. With one out, Brock doubled to right to complete the cycle. He scored on a single to right field by Ken Rudolph to produce the final 7-1 score.

“Brock didn’t hit a soft one all night,” Smith said.

Padres coach Dick Sisler, who had just returned to Major League Baseball for the first time since 1970, said, “Brock looks just as strong and fast now as he did then. He’s amazing.”[5]

Brock’s 4-for-5 night improved his season batting average to .342.

“I hit three breaking balls and a fastball,” he said.[6]

Forsch, who was pitching on just three days’ rest, allowed just five hits while walking four. With the win, he improved to 5-3 on the season with a 3.01 ERA.

“I tired in the last two innings, so that big cushion and defense helped,” Forsch said. “I usually have trouble in the early innings, but I’ve been able to settle down.”[7]

The 1975 season proved to be a breakout year for Forsch, who went 15-10 with a 2.86 ERA over 230 innings. Brock also enjoyed a nice 1975 campaign, batting .309 with three homers, 47 RBIs, and 56 stolen bases.


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[1] Associated Press, “Brock revs up for cycle against Pads,” Escondido Times-Advocate, May 28, 1975.

[2] Neal Russo, “Brock, Forsch Sizzle At Night,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 28, 1975.

[3] Neal Russo, “Brock, Forsch Sizzle At Night,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 28, 1975.

[4] Neal Russo, “Brock, Forsch Sizzle At Night,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 28, 1975.

[5] Neal Russo, “Brock, Forsch Sizzle At Night,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 28, 1975.

[6] Associated Press, “Brock revs up for cycle against Pads,” Escondido Times-Advocate, May 28, 1975.

[7] Neal Russo, “Brock, Forsch Sizzle At Night,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 28, 1975.

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