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Ex-Cub, Cardinal Lou Brock Talks About Diabetes

Lou Brock

Hall of Famer Lou Brock attends the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on July 25, 20010 in Cooperstown, New York. (Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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OAK LAWN, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock is in the Chicago area Tuesday, visiting with patients at Advocate Christ Medical Center and talking about his battle with diabetes.

As WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Brock, 71, played with the Cubs from 1961 to 1964, before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for whom he played until his retirement in 1979.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

In the early 1960s when he played with the Cubs Brock was a teammate of Ron Santo, who died last December of bladder cancer after a long struggle with diabetes.

Brock remembers how casual Santo was about his condition.

“He had no shame about his having the disease. He used to reach up in his locker and give himself an insulin shot, and go out and play with the best of them,” Brock said.

Santo suffered from Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes, in which the pancreas fails to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, the variety that is often blamed on obesity and unhealthy habits, involves receptor cells building up a resistance to insulin.

Brock himself now has diabetes, and is trying to raise awareness of the disease.

Brock was with the Cardinals for two World Series championships, in 1964 and 1967, while the Cubs suffered in futility. So will the Cubs break their curse and win a World Series?

“They’ve got to do it. Everybody else has done – the Sox – whether (the Cubs) can put it together, and will put it together, is another story,” Brock said.

Brock said he hopes the Cubs win a World Series, as long as their opponents are not his beloved Cardinals.