Moisés Alou

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Moisés Rojas Alou Beltre
born Moisés Rojas

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Moisés was one of the toughest players I've ever seen. He was a fearless individual, especially at the plate." - Felipe Alou, to Jonah Keri, 2013

Part of one of the great baseball families of all-time, outfielder Moisés Alou played 17 seasons in the majors and was a six-time All-Star.

Born in Atlanta while his father Felipe played for the Atlanta Braves, Alou went to high school in the Dominican Republic before attending Cañada College. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates second overall (after Jeff Shaw) in the 1986 January amateur draft and made his pro debut that summer with the Watertown Pirates, hitting .236 in 69 games. He reached the majors with the team in July 1990, going 1-for-5 in 2 games before being dealt to the Montreal Expos less than a month later. Alou would go on to hit 27 homers against the Pirates, the most by an ex-Pirate to that point; he broke Gus Bell's mark of 24. Aramis Ramirez would eventually surpass Alou.

After missing the entire 1991 season with a shoulder injury, Alou began 1992 in the majors and became the Expos' regular left fielder around the same time his father became the team's skipper in May. He ended the year with a .292 average and 9 home runs and finished second to Eric Karros in National League Rookie of the Year voting. The next year, he hit .286 with 18 homers before missing the last two weeks of the season with a broken leg. He put together his best season to date in 1994, hitting .339 with 22 home runs in the strike-shortened campaign and finishing third in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting. He played in the All-Star Game for the first time that year. He dipped to .273 with 14 homers in 1995 and missed most of the last two months of the year with shoulder injuries.

Moises Alou standing.jpg

Following the 1996 season, Alou became a free agent and signed with the Florida Marlins. He homered in his first at-bat with the team on Opening Day 1997 and ended the year with a .292 average, 23 homers, and 115 RBI. He starred for the Marlins in the postseason, driving in 15 runs, and hit .321 with 3 home runs in the World Series as his team beat the Cleveland Indians. Just three weeks later, he was traded to the Houston Astros in return for three players as part of the Marlins' first fire sale. Alou had one of his best years for Houston in 1998, hitting .312 and establishing career highs with 38 homers and 124 runs batted in. Once again, he finished third in NL MVP voting. During spring training in 1999, he fell off a treadmill in a freak accident and missed the entire season following surgery. He bounced back nicely in 2000, posting a career-best .355 average while smashing 30 homers and driving in 114 runs. He put up comparable numbers the following summer.

After the 2001 campaign, Alou again explored free agency and was signed by the Chicago Cubs. He put up progressively better numbers in each of his three seasons in a Cubs uniform. But he is perhaps best remembered during his time in Chicago for the events that occurred in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. In the 8th inning, as he was attempting to catch a foul ball, a fan named Steve Bartman interfered with the ball, preventing him from making the catch. Florida went on to score 8 runs that inning to win the game and, the next day, the series. Alou moved on to the San Francisco Giants, now managed by his father, in 2005. He hit .321 with 19 home runs in his first year with the team and was named a National League All-Star for the sixth time in his career. After two years in San Francisco, he ended his career with two seasons with the New York Mets in 2007 and 2008.

Alou finished his career in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a bench player. He flew out against Juan Carlos Sulbaran as a pinch-hitter in a 3-2 loss to the Dutch national team. In the make-or-break rematch with the Dutch, he pinch-hit for Willy Taveras with one on and two out in the 9th inning of a scoreless duel. Facing Diegomar Markwell, he grounded out to Sharlon Schoop to end his career.

Since 2009, Alou has worked as general manager for the Leones del Escogido team on the Dominican Winter League. In 2011, he was appointed by Major League Baseball as Tournament Director for El Torneo Supremo. In his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame in 2014, he received 6 votes (1.1%) and was dropped off the ballot. In 2015, he joined the San Diego Padres as a roving minor league instructor and special assistant for player development, focusing on Latin America.

In addition to his father, Alou is also the nephew of Matty Alou and Jesus Alou. No player played with both Felipe and Moisés, but Jerry Reuss played with Moisés, Matty, and Jesús Alou. Additionally, he is the cousin of former pitcher Mel Rojas and brother of minor leaguers Jose Alou, Felipe Alou Jr. and of major league manager Luis Rojas. Through his career, Moisés had a much higher Adjusted OPS+ than any of the other Alous.

Alou was infamous for urinating on his hands to give them a rough texture. He did not use batting gloves.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 1992 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • 6-time NL All-Star (1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004 & 2005)
  • 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1994 & 1998)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 9 (1994, 1996-1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 & 2006)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1998, 2000 & 2004)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 5 (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 & 2004)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1998 & 2004)
  • Won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997

Further Reading[edit]

  • Will Leitch: "A lot better than you remember: Moises Alou",, April 23, 2020. [1]

Related Sites[edit]