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Felipe Alou

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Felipe Alou

A photo of Felipe Alou.

Felipe Rojas Alou (born May 12 1935 in Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic), is a former outfielder and first baseman in Major League Baseball and the former manager of the San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos. The first Dominican to play regularly in the major leagues, he is the most prominent member of one of the sport's most notable families of the late 20th century: his younger brothers Matty and Jesús were both longtime National League outfielders, and his son Moisés was most recently an outfielder with the New York Mets; all but Jesús have been named All-Stars at least twice. The family name in the Dominican is Rojas, but Felipe Alou and his brothers became known by the name Alou when the Giants' scout who signed Felipe mistakenly thought his matronymic was his father's name.

During his 17-year career spent with the Giants, Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, and Milwaukee Brewers, Alou played all three outfield positions regularly (736 games in right field, 483 in center, 433 in left), and led the National League in hits twice and runs once. Batting regularly in the leadoff spot, he hit a home run to begin a game on 20 occasions. He later became the winningest manager in Expos history, leading the team from 1992 to 2001 before rejoining the Giants in 2003.

Playing careerEdit

Alou lived in poverty in the Dominican Republic and dreamed of escaping it by becoming a doctor. However, a switch from track and field to baseball at the Pan-American Games revealed a talent for the game as the Dominican team took gold. He still pursued a university career a while longer, but was finally forced to sign with the Giants in November 1955 for only $200 due to family financial problems.

Alou made his major league debut in 1958 and was an All-Star in 1962, when he batted .316 with 25 home runs and 98 RBI.

Alou was joined by his brothers, Matty in 1960, and Jesus in 1963, who became the first all-brother outfield.

Alou was traded to the Braves before 1964. Two years later he enjoyed his best season, when he batted .327 with 31 home runs and led the league in runs (122), hits (218), at bats (666), and total bases (355); he finished second in the batting race to his brother Matty. He also had a good year in 1968, batting .317 and leading the league in hits (210) and at bats (662); he made the All-Star team both years. Alou continued to play with several more teams through 1974, though he never again approached this level of success.

Managing careerEdit

After the end of his playing career, Alou joined the Montreal Expos organization in 1976, becoming a batting coach and a minor league manager. The Giants offered him the manager's spot in 1985, but he remained with the Expos out of loyalty. On May 22, 1992, Alou was promoted from the Expos bench coach to field manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history.[1] The team was developing a core of young talent during this period, including Larry Walker, John Wetteland, Delino DeShields, and Alou's own son, Moisés. In 1994 the Expos had the best record in the major leagues; however, the strike that year denied the Expos a chance at getting to their first World Series, and ownership soon began dealing all their young talent to cut payroll. Alou was named the NL Manager of the Year. The Los Angeles Dodgers tried to lure him away in 1998, but he declined to leave Montreal. Eventually, Alou became the winningest manager in team history.

Despite Alou's popularity in Montreal, the Expos' dismal record eventually led to his dismissal by new owner Jeffrey Loria, who replaced him with Jeff Torborg during the 2001 season. Several teams tried to lure Alou out of retirement, including the Boston Red Sox, but he would not budge. He finally agreed to serve a single year as the bench coach for Detroit Tigers rookie manager Luis Pujols (2002). Prior to the 2003 season, Alou was named manager of the Giants, the team where he began his professional baseball career, replacing Dusty Baker who had left to manage the Chicago Cubs. In his first season in San Francisco, he managed his team into the playoffs, where they were defeated by the Florida Marlins in the NL Division Series in 4 games. The Marlins went on to win the World Series.

In 2005, the Giants signed Moisés Alou to a one-year contract with an option for the 2006 season, reuniting him professionally with his father after seven seasons apart.

Managerial Statistics Edit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MON 1992 7055.5602nd in NL East - - - -
MON 1993 9468.5802nd in NL East - - - -
MON 1994 7440.6491st in NL East - - - -
MON 1995 6678.4585th in NL East - - - -
MON 1996 8874.5432nd in NL East - - - -
MON 1997 7884.4814th in NL East - - - -
MON 1998 6597.4014th in NL East - - - -
MON 1999 6894.4204th in NL East - - - -
MON 2000 6795.4144nd in NL East - - - -
MON 2001 2132.3965th in NL East - - - -
SFG 2003 10061.6211st in NL West 1 3 .250 Lost to Florida Marlins
SFG 2004 9171.5622nd in NL West - - - -
SFG 2005 7587.4633rd in NL West - - - -
SFG 2006 7685.4723rd in NL West - - - -
Total10331021.503 13.250 -

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Montreal Expos (1996). Expos Media Guide 1996.

External linksEdit

Template:S-sports
Awards and achievements
Preceded by:
Dusty Baker
National League Manager of the Year
1994
Succeeded by:
Don Baylor
Preceded by:
Tom Runnells
Montreal Expos Manager
1992-2001
Succeeded by:
Jeff Torborg
Preceded by:
Dusty Baker
San Francisco Giants Manager
2003-2006
Succeeded by:
Bruce Bochy

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