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St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

Hall of Famers Bob Gibson (right) and Lou Brock talk during Cardinals' opening day festivities in 2016 at Busch Stadium. (Post-Dispatch photo by Chris Lee)


(Editor's note: Story was originally published April 13. This is an edited version published April 21.)


Hall of Famer Lou Brock is undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, the Cardinals announced April 13 in a press release that cancelled the Cardinals legend's upcoming appearance at Busch Stadium.

The beloved former outfielder and first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1985 had been scheduled for an April 25 appearance at the ballpark. His treatment, which is taking place in St. Louis after his recent diagnosis, will keep him from the ballpark.

"I am disappointed that I won't be able to make the event," Brock said in the release. "Jackie (Brock's wife) and I appreciate the prayers and support we have received from our many friends and fans in the Cardinals community. We count ourselves blessed that I am receiving the best possible medical treatment and we look forward to seeing many more Cardinals World Series championships in the future."

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that usually occurs in the bone marrow. It can cause damage to bone, kidneys and nervous systems. Treatment varies but can include chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, although Jackie Brock told the Post-Dispatch that no "gallant steps to anything that powerful," had been decided on yet.

Jackie Brock also said the cancer had been diagnosed early. "The prognosis is very good," said Mrs. Brock. "... He's doing well. We're believing for victory and we're trying to get it for him. The challenges are out there but we've got the whole (Cardinals) team fighting for him."

Brock, 77, has battled diabetes for years and in late, 2015 had his left leg amputated below the knee due to a diabetes-related infection. He was fitted with a prosthetic and threw out the first pitch — a strike — before the 2016 home opener

Brock, who said he thought he had only back pains until earlier this week, was absent from spring training and opening night festivities this year and has had to cancel other public appearances and autograph sessions. 

Reached at his home where he is recuperating, Brock said, with a slight chuckle, "Oh, man, I've got a sore body. But, other than that, I probably still can outrun Yadi (Molina)."

Brock wanted to make sure that was portrayed as a joke. "Be sure to tell him he's my buddy," Brock said.

Jackie Brock said that the continued soreness in Lou's back had compelled the doctors to investigate further. "The investigation through the MRIs indicated there was a lesion in a bone in the back and turned out to indicate an early stage of multiple myleoma," she said. 

"At the moment, we will be guided by the best way to treat this."

In his career and beyond, Brock has faced numerous challenges, not the least of which was the loss of part of one of his valuable legs.

"I feel good about it," said Brock. "I've only got history to look at that and, in history, I have beaten many, many things. So, I'm on another streak — trying to accomplish the same."

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