Friday, November 25, 2011

RIP - Matty Alou

Matty Alou left us on November 3rd, at age 72, from complications with diabetes.

Matty came up with the San Francisco Giants in 1961, the 2nd of three Alou brothers to do so. (Felipe arrived in 1958, and Jesus in September 1963.) Felipe left the Giants after the 1963 season, but not before all 3 brothers played in the same outfield.

Matty was traded to the Pirates after the 1965 season, where he immediately became the everyday center fielder. In his first season in Pittsburgh, he led the NL in batting with a .342 batting average. (Brother Felipe, by then with the Braves, was 2nd with a .327 average.)

Alou spent 5 seasons as the Pirates' regular center fielder. In his last 2 years with the Bucs, he led the NL in at-bats, with over 670 in each season. He missed the Pirates' glory years in the early 1970s, as he was traded to the Cardinals after 1970 for pitcher Nelson Briles and outfielder Vic Davalillo.

Matty bounced around to several teams (Athletics, Yankees, Padres) before being released in July 1974. He then played several seasons in Japan.