Moises Alou: Former New York Mets Outfielder (2007 - 2008)

Moises Rojas Alou was born on July 3rd, 1966, in Atlanta Georgia.

Baseball Family: Moises is the son of former MLB outfielder & manager Felipe Alou. Felipe a lifetime .286 hitter had an excellent 17-year career & also led the NL in hits twice. Felipe was one of the three Famous Alou Brothers which also included Moises' Uncles Matty & Jesus, who all played in MLB in the 1960's & 1970's. Former Mets manager Luis Rojas is his half-brother & former MLB player Mel Rojas is a cousin of Alou.

Moises's mother Maria Beltre was the first of Felipe's four wives. Moises grew up in the Dominican Republic & Redwood City, California where he played more basketball than baseball during his teen years. But his speed & his hitting got noticed by the baseball scouts. He was eventually signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a first round draft pick in 1986. 

Alou batted over .290 twice in the minors, reaching AAA by 1990. By that time the Pirates felt he was ready, as he was called up to the Pirates team late that season.

MLB Career: On July 26th, he made his MLB debut going 0-2 in a loss to the Phillies. 

Expos Career: After just two games as a Pirate he was traded to the Montreal Expos completing an earlier trade, where his father Felipe had recently replaced Tom Runnels as manager. The Expos would finish in second place that year & the next building one the NL's best teams. In the strike shortened 1994 season, Montreal finished first but there was no post season.

In his first year, Moises came in second in the Rookie of the Year voting that season, batting .282 with 9 HRs 28 doubles 16 stolen bases & 56 RBIs. 

In 1993 he suffered an ankle injury that affected his career as he lost some of his speed & became a corner outfielder. He still maintained his strong throwing arm, having a career high 11 assists that season. In his career he had 53 assists in left field.

In 1994 Alou had a fantastic season, by the All Star break he was among the NL leader batting .335 & the Expos were in first place. 

1994 All Star Game:
In the All-Star Game at Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh, Alou delivered the 19th inning, game winning double off Jason Bere which scored the Padres, Tony Gwynn with the walk off run in the NL win.

Alou finished out the season batting .339 (4th in the league) with 22 HRs 31 doubles 78 RBIs & a .397 on base %. Although the Expos finished first for the only time in the team's history, the baseball strike ruined any Championship dreams there were in Canada, as no post season was played.

In 1995 he was limited to 95 games, after having to have shoulder surgery. In 1996 he played his
sixth & final season in Montreal batting .281.

Marlins Career: In 1997 he signed on with the Florida Marlins as a free agent. There he went on to win the '97 World Series with Florida, batting .292 with 143 hits (6th in the league) 23 HRs 29 doubles 115 RBIs (9th in the league) & a .373 on base % (10th in the league) during the regular season. He made his second All Star appearance that year & was fourth in fielding (.990%).

1997 Post Season- NLDS: In the post season he struggled at the plate in the first two rounds against National League pitching. In the NLDS win over the San Francisco Giants he batted .214 (3-14) with an RBI.

1997 NLCS: In the NLCS win over the Atlanta Braves, he drove in five runs but batted just .067. In Game # he hit a three run double off Greg Maddox & added a sacrifice RBI later in the game as well.

1997 World Series: Alou had a better World Series in the victory over the Cleveland Indians. In Game #1 he hit a three run HR off Orel Hershiser in the 4th inning to break a 1-1 tie. Charles Johnson followed with a back-to-back HR pushing Florida ahead 5-1 in a game they won 7-4. 

As the Series moved to Cleveland, Alou hit HRs in Game#4 & Game #5 four losses at Jacobs Field. The exciting series went to a game Seven, played in South Florida.

In Game#7 Alou led off the 9thinning facing the Indians closer Jose Mesa, with the Marlins down 2-1. Alou singled, & advanced to third on a Charles Johnson base hit. Alou then scored the game's tying run on Craig Counsell’s sacrifice line drive to left field. The Marlins went on to win the game & the Series in the 11th inning.

After the Championship, the Marlins ownership dismantled the team, selling off their players.
Alou was sent to the Houston Astros for three minor leaguers. He would spend four seasons in Houston, making the post season twice in his time there. 

Moises loved hitting at Minute Maid Park. In 1998 he hit a career high (up to that point) 38 HRs driving in 124 runs (both sixth best in the NL). He posted a .398 on base % & hit .312 making another All-Star appearance as the Astros made the post season.

1998 Post Season: Alou batted just .188 (3-16) in the loss to the NL Champion San Diego Padres. 

In the off season he tore his ACL & missed all of the 1999 season. He returned in 2000 to bat a career best .355 coming in second place in the batting race, once again just missing out on winning a batting title. 
That year he posted a .416 on base % (10th in the NL) with 30 HRs 114 RBIs & 28 doubles. 

In 2001 his usual offensive numbers remained good batting .331 (third in the NL) with 27 HRs 108 RBIs. 

2001 Post Season: He struggled again in the post season batting just .167 (2-12) in the loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Cubs Career: In 2002 he signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs who were now a much-improved team under manager Lou Pinella. Alou was one of the Cubs top players in the teams' 2003 NL Central division winning season. He hit .280 with 22 HRs & 91 RBIs, both second on the club to slugger Sammy Sosa.

2003 Post Season: In the NLDS win over the Braves, Alou batted .500 going 10-20 with three RBIs. 

2003 NLCS: Against his old Florida Marlins teammates Alou batted .310 hitting two HRs with five RBIs. In Game #1 he homered off Josh Beckett &then in the final Game #7 he homered off Mark Redman.

In Game #6 the Cubs were hoping to win the series & advance to their first World Series since 1945. In the 9th inning with Chicago ahead 3-0, Luis Castillo hit a foul ball along the left field line. As Alou went to reach for the ball which was technically in four territory, a fan snatched the ball away from him. Alou publicly showed his disgust as did the Wrigley Field Fans as the whole scene grew ugly.

Eventually the fan had to be escorted from that game for his safety. For years after the incident, he received hate mail & threats made to his life. To make matters worse the Marlins scored eight runs in the inning, which also included an error on a botched double play. Florida won the game, the next Game #7 & the World Series.

It was to be Alou's final post season appearance. At the time he said he couldn't have made the catch but later denied the claim.

In 2004, Alou followed with a big season, 39 HRs (7th in the NL) 106 RBIs (10th in the NL) while batting .293, although the Cubs fell to a third-place finish. That year he made the All-Star team for the fifth time & came in 14th place for the MVP voting. 

Giants Career & Reunited with Dad as Manager: In 2005 Alou was back with his father, now the manager in San Francisco with the Giants. Injuries which had always haunted him, were now taking a bigger toll on his career, as he reached his late thirties.

In his first season with the Giants, he batted a strong .321 with 19 HRs 21 doubles & 63 RBIs playing in 123 games. That year he saw a lot of playing time in left field due to the injuries to Barry Bonds. The next season Alou was limited to just 98 games, batting .301 with 22 HRs & stated that he would have retired if the Giants had won the World Series.

Personal note: That season in a Sunday double header against the Mets at Shea Stadium, Alou signed a ball for centerfieldmaz who was lucky enough to be in the first row by the Giant dug out. Alou signed for everyone nearby & was very friendly. That day centerfieldmaz caught his first foul ball as well!

Mets Career: In the 2006/2007 off season, Alou signed a deal with the New York Mets. At the time the Mets looked like his best shot at winning a World Series, in the twilight of his career. 

Batting Glove Trivia: At the time he arrived in New York, Moises was one of the last MLB players to not wear batting gloves. Strangely he admitted to actually urinating on his hands to toughen them up. 

Alou was a good-natured guy & a famous prankster, especially when teammates were asleep in the locker room. 

In 2007 He was the Mets opening day left fielder, finding himself batting sixth behind the likes of David Wright, Carlos Beltran & Delgado. He made an immediate impact on a club that was looking ahead to a good follow up year, after losing the NLCS the previous season. Alou would hit safely in 16 of his first twenty games, batting .349 to end April.

Multi HR Game
: On April 17th, he hit two HRs driving in three runs in the Mets 8-1 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. In the 2nd inning he hit a two run HR off Freddy Garcia putting the Mets up 2-0. In the 6th, he added a solo HR off Geoff Geary. That put him on a streak where he drove in runs in five straight games.

On May 12th, in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Shea Stadium, he suffered a torn quadriceps muscle putting him out for two & half months. Although the Mets remained in first place, his absence was surely missed. Alou came back by the end of July & picked it right up again.

On August 8th, Alou's 8th inning HR off the Braves Rafael Soriano, broke a 3-3 tie & was the game winning run. 

Multi HR Games & RBI Stretch: On August 4th, he hit a pair of solo HRs in a 6-2 Mets loss at Wrigley Field. On August 12th he hit two more in a 1-2 win over the Marlins. That began a stretch where he drove in nine runs over three games & 11 runs over a five-game span.

On August 14th, Alou's 8th inning two run single off Shawn Chacon, broke a 3-3 tie in Pittsburgh which were also the games winning runs in the 5-4 win. The next game Alou hit his 8th HR, driving in three runs in the Mets 10-8 win over the Pirates.

30 Game Hit Streak: Starting on August 23rd, Alou broke the Mets club record with a 30-game hitting streak which went to the end of September. 

Over 40 Hit Streak Record: Personally, Alou also set a record with the longest hitting streak of anyone over the age of forty. Also, the hit streak was the longest of anyone in baseball that season.

On September 9th he hit a two run HR off the Astros Roy Oswalt, tying up the game which the Mets went on to win 4-2 keeping them six games ahead of Philadelphia. 

In late September he drove in runs in six of eight games still riding his hitting streak, being one of the most consistent players on a slumping team. That month he batted .402 with 43 hits, hit four HRs & drove in 18 runs.

But the Mets fell apart, blowing their NL East lead losing 13 of their final 17 games & missing out on the post season with a loss on the last day of the season.

Overall, on the 2007 season Alou played in just 87 games due to the injuries, batting .341, with 13 HRs 19 doubles 49 RBIs & a .392 on base % at age forty. In 84 games in left field, he made seven assists with his strong arm, posting a .971 fielding %.

2008: This season looked promising for both the Mets & Alou, as the team attempted for forge forward after the letdown of 2007. But things went bad right away, as Alou needed hernia surgery during Spring Training. 

He missed the first month of the season, returned in early May, hitting safely in 11 of 12 games.

On May 18th he singled with the bases loaded & then added a sac fly RBI in the Mets 11-2 win in the subway series across town.

Alou re-injured himself once again, & while rehabbing in early July, pulled a hamstring. The Mets announced he was done for the year & his career was also over. 

In just 15 games he hit .347 with two doubles nine RBIs & a .388 on base %.

Career Stats: In his 17-season career Moises batted .303 with 2134 hits (216th all time) 332 HRs (108th all time) 421 doubles (154th all time) 39 triples, 1287 RBIs (120th all time) 1109 runs scored (249th all time) & 81 sac flies (87th all time). 

He also stole 102 bases, struck out 894 times with 737 walks, a .369 on base % & .885 OPS in 1942 games played.

In the outfield he played 1864 games with 95 assists & a .980 fielding %. Alou made six All Star teams, played in four post seasons & won a Championship with the 1997 Florida Marlins.

Trivia: Alou was one of a handful of major league players who hit 20 home runs in a single season & whose fathers had also hit 20 home runs in an MLB season.

Family: Moises & his wife Austria (Melo) were married in 1989, together they have three children.


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