November 03, 2011
There's great sadness in the house of one of baseball's greatest families as Dominican Today reports that Matty Alou has passed away at age 72 from an undisclosed ailment.
That's Mateo Rojas Alou in the middle of the above picture with his younger brother Jesus on our left and older brother Felipe on the right. Though the full contributions of the brother trio might not fully be known to today's younger baseball fans, the three Alous have made plenty of baseball history over the past 50 years.
During a Sept. 10, 1963 game against the Mets, the three Alou brothers became the only three brothers in baseball history to bat in the same half-inning. Five days later, they occupied all three spots in the Giants' outfield for the first and only all-brother outfield in big-league history. (Felipe played all three outfield spots that day and would be traded to Milwaukee that offseason.)
The three Alou brothers would collect 5,094 combined hits over their careers, beating out Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio for the best three-brother total of all time.
But even if Matty were an only child, he still would have made his mark on baseball. A lifetime .307 hitter who collected 1,777 hits over 15 seasons, he won the 1966 National League batting title with a .342 mark as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Felipe, naturally, was second with a .327 average). Matty played with six different teams, was a two-time All-Star and was a member of Oakland's World Series title team in 1972 after being traded from the Cardinals in late August. He was a member of the Dominican baseball royalty, having been among the first wave of big-league players from the country after Ozzie Virgil and Felipe Alou opened the door in the late 1950s.
He will be missed.