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The Three Alou Brothers

On September 10, 1963, Felipe, Matty and Jesús Alou became the first trio of brothers to play in the same major league game. Though the Giants lost that game to the Mets and the brothers were only together for a month, they each lived a full baseball life long after that lone fall afternoon in New York. Together, they would go to four World Series, winning three with the Oakland Athletics, and go into careers in scouting, coaching and managing. Eventually, more Alou’s would enter the major leagues and continue the family dynasty. These are their stories.

Early Years

Felipe Rojas Alou was born on May 12, 1935 in Haina, Dominican Republic. Born into poverty, Alou dreamed of a career in medicine. However, his performance in the 1955 Pan American Games, where the Dominican team won gold, showed him the potential he had on the baseball diamond. From that point onward, the Alou family would be known as a baseball family. Felipe Alou signed with the Giants in 1955 for $200.

After spending three years in the minor leagues, Alou joined the Giants in 1958. He struggled to stay on the major league roster but by 1960 he stayed for more than 100 games for the first time. He hit 10 home runs and batted .275 in 1959 and slammed eight home runs in 1960. However, his story was not the only one of the family being told in San Francisco that year.

Matty Alou was born on December 22, 1938. He was signed by the Giants in 1957 and made his first appearance with the club in 1960. In 1961 he hit six home runs and batted .310 in 81 games. The following year, the Giants made the World Series and the Alou brothers proved to be good depth for the team. Matty only appeared in six out of the seven games against the Yankees but still managed to bat .333 and drive in one run.

Felipe made his first All-Star Game that year after hitting 25 home runs, driving in 98 scores and batting .316. In the World Series, Felipe collected seven hits and scored twice as the Giants lost in seven games to the Bronx Bombers. Despite the loss, there was a glimmer of hope for the franchise; a third Alou brother would soon join the organization.

Three Brothers

Jesús Alou was born on March 24, 1942 and looked up to his older brothers who were becoming known in baseball. Wanting to join his brothers in the major leagues, Jesus worked hard and was signed by the Giants in 1960. After a few years in the minors, he made his major league debut at the end of the 1963 season.

At the New York Mets on September 10th, the Alou brothers made major league history by becoming the first trio of brothers to play in the same game. They even batted in order but all three were retired one after the other. Five days later at Pittsburgh, the three brothers again made history by all starting in the outfield.

The following year, Felipe was traded to the Milwaukee Braves, ending the brief bliss of three brothers in the same outfield. In his first two years, Alou drove in 129 runs during his two years in Wisconsin and went with the team when they moved to Atlanta in 1966. He became an All-Star in his first year living in Atlanta, leading the league with runs (122) and hits (218) while batting .327.

Meanwhile, Matty was having trouble finding his niche in San Francisco. Since Felipe left, he had recorded just three home runs and 32 RBI. He was traded to Pittsburgh in 1966 where things started to improve with him topping off at 52 RBI in 1968, the first of two consecutive All-Star selections. Despite his ascendance, Matty Alou was never much of a power hitter, hitting just two homeruns combined in his first two All-Star seasons. However, by the time he was traded to Saint Louis in 1971, he hit a career high seven home runs for the Cardinals.

Across the country, Jesús was becoming a natural hitter, collecting more than 100 hits in each of his first two full seasons. His best season was 1965 when he collected a career high 162 hits, nine home runs and 52 RBI. Throughout his time in San Francisco, he was never an All-Star but his reliable bat helped the Giants win some critical games in tight pennant races. He was traded to Houston in 1968 where he continued to collect more than 100 hits per season until 1971. After an injury plagued 1972, Jesús was traded to Oakland.

Championships and New Beginnings

Meanwhile, Felipe was adjusting well in Atlanta, earning another All-Star selection in 1968 before being traded to Oakland in 1970. He drove in 55 scores and hit 10 home runs while with the A’s. The following year, he only played in two games for the A’s before being traded to the Yankees. After 18 home runs in two years with the Yankees, Felipe was traded to Montreal in 1973 but only appeared in 19 games. The following year, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers but after three games was released and subsequently retired.

Matty Alou spent a year and a half with the Cardinals and was traded to Oakland in the middle of the 1972 season. The A’s were in the middle of a pennant race that year and were primed for the city’s first World Series appearance. In 32 regular season games with the A’s, Matty averaged .281 and drove in 16 runs. In the World Series, he averaged a paltry .042 in seven games against the Cincinnati Reds. Despite his offensive difficulties in the Fall Classic, the A’s won the World Series and an Alou brother was a world champion.

Jesús enjoyed his time in Oakland a bit more than Matty, winning the World Series in 1973 and 1974. In the 1973 World Series against the Mets, Jesús drove in three runs and batted .158. He only appeared in one World Series game the following year and hardly contributed during that Fall Classic but still came away with two World Series rings.

Coaches, Managers and Legacies

After Felipe retired, he joined the Montreal Expos in 1976 as a batting coach and later became a manager with their minor league affiliates. The Giants offered him their open managerial spot but he turned it down out of loyalty to the Expos organization. In 1992, his loyalty was rewarded with a promotion to manager with the major league club. Taking over midway through the year, Felipe finished strong with a 70-55 record. The Expos were even better in 1993, posting a 94-68 record. They had a chance at being world champions in 1994 but the players went on strike and the rest of the season was cancelled; the Expos ended the season with a 74-40 record.

After Matty was cut by the Padres in 1974, he played with Taiheiyo Club Lions from 1974 until 1976. When the 1976 season concluded, he retired and began a career in scouting a coaching. He scouted for the Detroit Tigers from 1987 to 1989. Beginning in 1992, he coached in the Dominican Summer League for the San Francisco Giants and by 1994 worked for the Baltimore Orioles in the same capacity. He was in this position until 1996. Matty Alou passed away on November 3, 2011 at the age of 72.

Jesús Alou retired following the 1979 season and began a scouting career. He scouted for the Expos in his native Dominican Republic and later scouted for the Florida Marlins. Since 2002, he has been the Dominican scouting director for the Boston Red Sox.

Meanwhile, Felipe continued to manage in Montreal but never captured the magic the team felt for much of 1994. In his 10 years as a manager, the Expos never made the playoffs and after 2001 he was fired. Two years later, Felipe was hired as the Giants manager. The Giants were coming off of a heartbreaking World Series defeat the year before and were moving on from the recently departed Dusty Baker who had left for greener pastures in Chicago.

Led by Barry Bonds, the Giants won 100 games in 2003 and lost to the Miami Marlins in the Divisional Round. Though the Giants had a winning record the following year, they missed the playoffs and after two straight losing seasons, Felipe Alou was fired after the 2006 season.

But the Alou dynasty does not end with the three brothers. Felipe fathered two sons who would have an impact in the major leagues, Moisés Alou and Luis Rojas. Moisés played from 1990 to 2008, winning the 1997 World Series with the Marlins and earning six All-Star selections and two Silver Slugger Awards. His half-brother, Luis, never went past the minor leagues but became a coach and is now the manager of the Mets. The Alou family baseball dynasty lives on.

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