Former Cardinals great Lou Brock, nicknamed "The Rocket" as he ran his way to the Hall of Fame with a National League record 938 steals, recently lost the lower portion of his left leg due to an infection related to diabetes.
The news on Brock, 76, already said to be recovering and undergoing therapy, was reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A regular presence around Busch Stadium and at the Cardinals' Spring Training site in Jupiter, Fla., Brock was hospitalized "a couple of weeks ago," according to the newspaper. Doctors had to amputate the left leg just below the knee.
According to family spokespeople, Brock is already getting around with a walker and will be fitted with a prosthetic.
Even before concluding his record 19-year career, highlighted by his 118-steal season of 1974, Brock was immortalized as one of the great "steals" in baseball trading history.
On June 15, 1964, the Cardinals acquired him from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-hander Ernie Broglio; two other players on each side were included in that swap, but Brock and Broglio have always been remembered as the pillars of the lopsided deal.
Brock went on to play 16 seasons with the Cardinals, earn six All-Star selections, and play in three World Series. Brock batted .391 with 14 stolen bases in 21 World Series games. He retired following the 1979 season with 3,023 hits and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1985 with a voting percentile of 80.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.