Matty Alou

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Matty Alou
Matty Alou.jpg
Outfielder
Born: (1938-12-22)December 22, 1938
Haina, Dominican Republic
Died: November 3, 2011(2011-11-03) (aged 72)
Miami, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 26, 1960 for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
June 21, 1974 for the San Diego Padres
Career statistics
Batting average .307
Hits 1,777
Runs batted in 427
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Mateo Rojas Alou [Matty] (December 22, 1938 – November 3, 2011)[1] was a Dominican outfielder who spent fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the San Francisco Giants (1960–1965), Pittsburgh Pirates (1966–1970), St. Louis Cardinals (1971–1972, 1973), Oakland Athletics (1972), New York Yankees (1973) and San Diego Padres (1974). He also played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) with the Taiheiyo Club Lions from 1974 through 1976.[2]

He was the middle of a trio of baseball-playing brothers that included the older Felipe and Jesús.[3] They were the first set of three siblings to play together in the same outfield (on September 15).[4] and all bat in the same half-inning in the majors (September 10),[5] accomplishing both with the Giants in 1963. Matty had been teammates with Felipe during the prior three campaigns, and would do likewise with Jesús for the following two. Matty and Felipe later reunited with the Yankees in 1973.[6]

Alou's best years as a player were spent with the Pirates, where he won the National League (NL) batting title in 1966 and was a two-time All-Star in 1968 and 1969. He was a member of a World Series Champion with the Athletics in 1972 and a NL pennant winner with the Giants in 1962.

Playing career[edit]

Alou was born in Haina, Dominican Republic. Alou was a platoon player for the Giants for several years and was mostly unremarkable. His finest moment in San Francisco came in 1962 when his pinch-hit bunt single in the final game of a three-game tie-breaking playoff against the Los Angeles Dodgers began the rally that won the game and the pennant for the Giants. He batted .333 in the Giants' losing effort against the Yankees in that year's World Series. While he was primarily an outfielder, Alou also appeared in one game in 1965 as a pitcher, pitching two scoreless innings.[7]

After Alou was traded to the Pirates before the 1966 season, he received instruction from expert hitting instructor Harry "the Hat" Walker that helped turn him into a formidable hitter. He won the batting title with a .342 average, with his brother Felipe finishing second, and finished in the top five in hitting four more times after that 1967-1969, 1971. He also led the league in at bats twice (1969-1970), hits once (1969) and doubles once (1969). After leaving the Major Leagues following the 1974 season, he played three seasons in Japan (Taiheiyo Club Lions) and managed in the Dominican Winter League.

On June 23, 2007, the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame inducted Matty Alou into their Hall of Fame during an on-field, pre-game ceremony at AT&T Park before a game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees. He, along with San Francisco Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel were inducted in front of over 43,000 fans. Alou died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic of diabetes complications, according to his former Dominican team, Leones del Escogido. The Giants also confirmed his death and said Alou had been sick for several years with a variety of health issues. [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fallece Mateo Alou a los 72 años". Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Former batting champ Alou passes away at 72," The Associated Press, Saturday, November 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Brisbee, Grant (1963-09-15). "Former Giants, Pirates Outfielder Matty Alou Passes Away - Baseball Nation". Mlb.sbnation.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  4. ^ "Today in Baseball". Washington Post. September 15, 2008. pp. E7. 
  5. ^ "September 10, 1963 San Francisco Giants at New York Mets Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Dittmeier, Bobbie. "Matty Alou, middle brother, batting champ, dies," MLB.com, Thursday, November 3, 2011.
  7. ^ "Pirates 8, Giants 0, Thursday, August 26, 1965, Forbes Field, First game of doubleheader". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 11-03-2011. 
  8. ^ "Ex-Giant Matty Alou, 72, dies in Dominican Rep.". foxnews.com. Retrieved 11-03-2011. 

External links[edit]