Sandy Alomar Sr: Former Mets Player & Coach (1967 / 2005-2010)

Santos Sandy Alomar was born October 19, 1943, in Salinas, Puerto Rico. His father Demetrio was a sugar mill operator & his mother Rosa & raised the family of eight children. Baseball ran big in the family, as three of his brothers also made it to professional baseball although Sandy was the only one to get to the major leagues.

The five-foot nine switch hitter was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1960 at age 16. In his first season in the minors, he was roommates with his brother Demetrio in Iowa.

In his playing career he was a good steady defensive second baseman with speed on the bases. Alomar was a great line drive singles hitter & good sacrifice hitter as well. He batted .292 at AA Austin in 1963 making it to AAA Denver the next year.

MLB Career: In 1964 he got a September call up & in his first MLB at bat he singled off the St. Louis Cardinals (future Met) Ray Sadecki driving in a run. He played briefly as a reserve player with the Braves from 1964-1966. He saw the most action in 1965 playing in 67 games at short behind Woody Woodward.

In December 1966 he was traded, along with Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, who was at the end of his playing career, to the Houston Astros for Bob Bruce & Dave Nicholson. But at the end of Spring Training, he was traded to the New York Mets for Derrell Griffith.

Mets Playing Career: Alomar made his Mets debut in the second game of the 1967 season getting inserted as a pinch runner in a 3-2 win over the Pirates. 

On April 20th, he scored a run after being inserted as a pinch runner in the second game of a double header in a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. 

Alomar played in just 15 games his Mets playing career, going hitless in 22 at bats, striking out six times. He was sent down to AAA Jacksonville on May 13th.

On August 15th 1967 Alomar was sent to the Chicago White Sox along with veteran Ken Boyer for Billy Southworth & a player to be named later.

Post Mets Career: In 1968 he became the Sox regular second baseman batting .253 with 21 stolen bases in 133 games played. After a slow start he was traded again, in May of 1969 to the California Angels for Bobby Knoop. 

Sandy was bitter at how he was treated oh his first few years being on four different teams in his first four seasons, being told he was an all glove no hit player.

Alomar found a home in southern California; he was the Angels main second baseman for the next five seasons (1969-1973) becoming a steady reliable player. Manager Bill Rigney said the team hadn't had a leadoff man, saying that Sandy's singles & speed on the bases would bring excitement to the fans. 

Alomar played every game of the 1970 & 1971 seasons, leading the league in games played & plate appearances both years. In those years he stole over thirty bases both times & would be in the A.L.'s top ten in stolen bases six years in a row. 

In 1970 Alomar's 35 stolen bases were third most in the AL as he batted .251 with a .302 on base %. He played 153 games at second base (2nd in the AL) with 40 assists (2nd in the AL) 375 put outs (3rd in the AL) making 18 errors (2nd in the AL) 

1970 All Star: That year Alomar was named to the All Star team after Rod Carew got injured. He & 22 game winner Clyde Wright represented the Angels in the All-Star game played at the new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. 

Alomar came into the game in the 11th inning playing second base & got one ay bat, flying out off  the Dodgers, Claude Osteen. The NL won the game in the 12th when Pete Rose barreled over catcher Ray Fosse at home plate scoring on Jim Hickman's walk off hit.

In 1971 he was second in the AL with 179 hits, although he batted just .260 due to league leading 689 at bats. That year he had career highs in doubles (24) HRs (4) RBIs (42) & stolen bases (39). That year he was third inthe league behind Royals players Amos Otis & Fred Patek in steals.

At second base he was second in the league with a .989 fielding % turning over 100 double plays for the third straight season. He made just nine errors in 791 chances, with 350 put outs. In 1972 he helped coauthor the book How to Play Infield.

Two Nolan Ryan No Hitters: He played two more season with the Angels, participating in Nolan Ryan's first two no hitters in 1973 while playing the second base position, helping in the put outs. 

That year he broke his leg & missed over thirty games. By 1974 he the Angles acquired Denny Doyle & he took over the main second baseman job. In May of 1974 the AL New York team purchased his contact & he became their regular second baseman in 1975. He succeeded Horace Clarke & took over the position from Fernando Gonzalez.

Alomar played in 151 games hitting .239 with 2 HRs 13 doubles & 39 RBIs. He was pretty much expendable when Willie Randolph came on the scene, playing in just 67 games in 1976. He appeared as a pinch runner & pinch hitter (0-1) in the 1976 ALCS against the Kansas City Royals.

That December he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Brian Doyle. He finished his playing career there in 1978. 

Career Stats: In a 15-year playing career he was a lifetime .245 hitter with 1168 hits 126 doubles 19 triples 13 HRs 282 RBIs & a .290 on base %. He stole 139 bases in 179 attempts.

On the field he posted a .977 fielding % making just 128 errors in 5688 chances at second base, playing 1156 games. He also played at short, third, first & some outfield.

Retirement- Coaching Career: After playing baseball Sandy became a successful coach, first with San Diego Padres from 1986-1990 where he got to coach his two sons, Sandy Jr. & Roberto Alomar when they reached the big leagues in 1988. Both of them had successful baseball careers as well, with Roberto making the Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Sandy Sr. moved on to coach the Chicago Cubs (2000-2002) as bullpen then first base coach & Colorado Rockies (2003-2004) where he coached third base.

Mets Coach: In 2005 he was bench coach under Willie Randolph with the New York Mets. In 2006 he moved to the first base coaching box for the Mets NL Eastern Division winning season. He then became the Mets third base coach in 2007.

Middle of a Brawl: In a famous incident on the next to last day of the 2007 season; Alomar jumped into a brawl that was staring up with the Mets Jose Reyes & Florida Marlins; Miguel Olivio. The Mets were in jeopardy of missing a chance at the playoffs, after a huge collapse in the NL East.

On this day John Maine flirted with a near no hitter as the Mets romped the Marlins. Reyes & Olivo exchanged words as Reyes was on third & Olivo was in conference on the mound.

Alomar held off the catcher jumping in front of him. The Mets won that day but lost the next day & were eliminated.

photo by centerfieldmaz
That season his son Sandy Jr. played eight games for the Mets going 3-22 as father & son were united on the same team once again.

In 2008 he went back to the dugout as bench coach, this time under new manager Jerry Manuel. In May 2009 he got to manage on a day where Manuel was suspended for an altercation with umpire Bill Welke. 

The Mets 10-1 win put them in first place on the day he managed. That didn't last long as the season quickly fell apart.

In 2010 he celebrated his 50th season in major league baseball still working within the Mets

Personal Experience: centerfieldmaz got to meet Sandy at Spring Training 2008 while sitting in the first row at a Mets / Dodgers game in Vero Beach at Dodger Town. Of all the players & coaches Alomar was the most accessible to the fans and was a true gentleman.

Family: Sandy & his wife Maria have three children & six grandchildren. 

Roberto Alomar played 17 seasons, 2379 games in the majors with- San Diego (1988-1990) Toronto (1991-1995) Baltimore (1996-1998) Cleveland (1999-2001) Mets (2002-2003) Chicago White Sox (2002-2004) Arizona (2004). He batted .300 with 2724 hits 504 doubles 80 triples 210 HRs & 1134 RBIs with an .814 OPS making12 All Star teams. 

He played in seven post seasons winning two World Series championships. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. His career was tarnished after a spitting / insulting comments incident with controversial umpire John Hirschbeck.

Sandy Alomar Jr.
played 20 years in the majors with- San Diego (1988-1989) Cleveland (1990-2000) Chicago White Sox (2001-2004 / 2006) Colorado (2002) Texas (2005) Los Angeles Dodgers (2006) & Mets (2007). He batted .273 with 1236 hits 249 double 112 HRs & 588 RBIs making three All Star teams. 

He played in five post seasons, getting to two World Series. Behind the plate he caught 1324 games (54th most all time).

The Alomar's are devout Catholic's, with Sandy saying his wife Maria is the spiritual leader of the family.


Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

The 1970's Oakland A's Ball Girls- (MLB's First)