Matty Alou
Matty Alou 1971.JPG
Alou in 1971
Outfielder
Born: (1938-12-22)December 22, 1938
Haina, Dominican Republic
Died: November 3, 2011(2011-11-03) (aged 72)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
Professional debut
MLB: September 26, 1960, for the San Francisco Giants
NPB: July 26, 1974, for the Taiheiyo Club Lions
Last appearance
MLB: June 21, 1974, for the San Diego Padres
NPB: September 5, 1976, for the Taiheiyo Club Lions
MLB statistics
Batting average.307
Home runs31
Runs batted in427
NPB statistics
Batting average.283
Home runs14
Runs batted in75
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Mateo "Matty" Rojas Alou (December 22, 1938 – November 3, 2011)[1] was a Dominican former professional baseball player and manager.[2] He played as an outfielder in Major League Baseball from 1960 to 1974. He also played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) with the Taiheiyo Club Lions from 1974 through 1976.[3] Alou was a two-time All-Star and the 1966 National League batting champion.[2]

Baseball career

Alou was the middle of a trio of baseball-playing brothers that included the older Felipe and younger Jesús.[4] They were the first set of three siblings to all bat in the same half-inning in the majors (September 10),[5] and play together in the same outfield (on September 15),[6] accomplishing both with the Giants in 1963. Matty had been teammates with Felipe during the prior three campaigns, and was likewise with Jesús for the following two. Matty and Felipe later reunited with the Yankees in 1973.[7]

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

Alou was born in Haina, Dominican Republic. He 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 the 1962 World Series. While he was primarily an outfielder, Alou also appeared in one game in 1965 as a pitcher, pitching two scoreless innings.[8]

After being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1966 season Alou received instruction from expert hitting instructor Harry "the Hat" Walker that helped turn him into a high-average contact hitter. This earned him a starting job as an integral member of a Pirates team which included future Baseball Hall of Fame members Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski and Willie Stargell. The Pirates fought the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in a tight pennant race and were in first place on September 10, before they faltered to finish the season in third place for a second consecutive year.[9] Alou won the 1966 NL batting title with a .342 average, with his brother Felipe finishing second, and finished in the top five in hitting four more times - in 19671969, 1971.

His contract was sold by the St. Louis Cardinals to the San Diego Padres on October 24, 1973,[10]

In 1969 Alou led the major leagues in at-bats (698), doubles (41), and hits (231). His 231 hits in 1969 remain the highest total by any National League player since Joe Medwick's 237 in 1937.[citation needed]

After leaving the Major Leagues following the 1974 season, he played three seasons in Japan (Taiheiyo Club Lions) and managed in the Dominican Professional Baseball League.

On June 23, 2007, the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame inducted 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.

Alou died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as the result of diabetic complications, according to his former Dominican team, Leones del Escogido. The Giants confirmed Alou had had variety of health issues for several years.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fallece Mateo Alou a los 72 años". Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Matty Alou Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Former batting champ Alou passes away at 72" Associated Press, Saturday, November 5, 2011
  4. ^ Brisbee, Grant (1963-09-15). "Former Giants, Pirates Outfielder Matty Alou Passes Away – Baseball Nation". Mlb.sbnation.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
  5. ^ "September 10, 1963 San Francisco Giants at New York Mets Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Today in Baseball". Washington Post. September 15, 2008. pp. E7.
  7. ^ Dittmeier, Bobbie. "Matty Alou, middle brother, batting champ, dies", MLB.com, Thursday, November 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Pirates 8, Giants 0, Thursday, August 26, 1965, Forbes Field, First game of doubleheader". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  9. ^ "1966 Pittsburgh Pirates Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Royals, Red Sox Trade Pitchers," The Associated Press (AP), Wednesday, October 24, 1973. Retrieved April 29, 2020
  11. ^ "Ex-Giant Matty Alou, 72, dies in Dominican Rep". foxnews.com. Associated Press. Retrieved May 17, 2020.