Former Chicago Athletes: Where Are They Now?

What do star athletes do after their playing days are over? We tracked down a onetime Bears cornerback who’s now a practicing dentist and a missionary; a former Blackhawks star who copilots jetliners; an ex-Cub who became a jazz trumpeter; and more

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THEN Pitcher, Chicago Cubs (1964–66)
NOW Private pitching instructor, grandfather

To Cubs fans, the name Ernie Broglio signifies the franchise’s unending marriage to disappointment. In the spring of 1964, Broglio was a well-regarded pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals—an 18-game winner the previous season and, four years before that, the National League leader in victories, with 21. In June 1964, the Cubs acquired Broglio principally in exchange for Lou Brock, a fleet-footed but underachieving young outfielder whose .251 batting average whispered mediocrity. Fans on the North Side were pleased with this fleecing of their archrival—until reality, in all its cosmic cruelty, set in. Broglio won just four games that season for the lowly Cubs. In St. Louis, Brock exploded, batting .348, stealing 33 bases, and helping the Cardinals to the World Series, in which they beat the New York Yankees. In his long career, Brock batted over .300 eight times, made five All-Star teams, set a major-league career record for stolen bases, and ultimately played his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame. After 1964, Broglio lasted two more injury-riddled seasons with the Cubs, winning only three more games and ensuring that the phrase “Brock for Broglio” would enter baseball’s lexicon as a synonym for an absurdly lopsided trade.

Today, Broglio, 75, acknowledges he was damaged goods when the Cardinals pawned him off on the Cubs. “I had a little arm problem,” he says. “It’d be different now. You gotta go for a physical, so [the trade] probably would have never occurred.” After retiring, Broglio coached high-school and Little League baseball in California’s Bay Area for many years. Now he gives private pitching lessons from his current hometown of San Jose and spends time with his wife of 56 years, Barbara, three children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He has no illusions about his infamous place in Cubs history. “I had a guy ask me, ‘Who do you think is more popular [in Chicago], you or that guy who interfered with catching that foul ball [Steve Bartman]?’” Broglio says. “I think [Bartman] is probably more popular.” Then he looks on the bright side. “I’m happy people remember me,” he says. Meanwhile, his love of baseball is undiminished. “I’m still a big St. Louis Cardinals fan,” he says.


Photography: (Broglio, then and now) courtesy of Ernie Broglio



3 years ago
Posted by Thane Of Cawdor

You'd think this guy growing up in Gary, Indiana and playing for the White Sox and he appeared as being a small town guy who found suucess and that he would be a decent guy but from all the accounts I've heard this guy is a total a**hole! Jerk!!!

3 years ago
Posted by OneTimeBlue

It's interesting that I came across this article, because it had recently crossed my mind as to what had become of some college athletes. In particular, Mark Aguirre, Teddy Grubbs and Terry Cummings from DePaul's NCAA glory days. Maybe you could do a follow-up story on these guys and other college and high school phenoms that did not complete a pro career, but were still a part of Chicago's sports history. As for this article, I am very impressed and pleased at the way you have taken several excellent role models for young athletes and shown them in a positive light. Please continue the good work.

3 years ago
Posted by left out

What about Tom O'Hara, the first native of the U.S. state of Illinois to break the four-minute barrier for the mile run. He accomplished this feat in 1963 when he ran the mile in 3:59.4.

He also held the world record for fastest mile in indoor track, which was set when he ran the mile in 3:56.6 on February 13, 1964. He later beat that record on March 6 of the same year with a time of 3:56.4, a world record that stood for fourteen years.

3 years ago
Posted by kjbsawb

THANE OF CAWDOR: you are a buffoon. An individual as uneducated (look at your grammar) and uninformed (White Sox?) should not be permitted to post comments to any blog. Carmen was a fan favorite and player's player because of his generosity and fiery competitiveness, among many other great qualities. It is obvious you have some personal ax to grind, and I doubt you you have ever held as much as a minimum wage job. Carmen was the ultimate in class as Cub, and he is certainly all of that as a human-being. Several friends of mine and I know this from personal experience.

3 years ago

@THANE OF CAWDOR...u must be talking about a different Steve Trout...the one I know who pitched for the Cubs/White Sox/Yankees and Seattle,is a classy gentleman and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. One I am proud to call a friend!

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