|The consummate pro, a member of one of baseball's royal families, has passed away ... RIP, Matty Alou.
15 years in the big leagues, with six teams, primarily the Giants and Pirates. 1667 games played, 1777 hits for a .307 career batting average. Just 31 career homers, but 10 different seasons in double-digit steals, with a high-water mark of 23 in 1966 -- the same year he, as a Pirate, won the NL batting title, hitting .342. (He finished in the Top 10 in batting average six times in the eight-year span from 1966-73.) Matty had seasons he led the NL in hits (1969), singles (1969-70) amd OF games played (1970). He even pitched two shutout innings for the '65 Giants.
He was involved in one of the biggest trades of the 1971-72 off-season, when the Pirates dealt him and George Brunet to the Cardinals for Nellie Briles and Vic Davalillo. He played in three post-seasons, getting to the World Series twice and winning one ring, with the 1972 A's. Matty Alou -- the quintessential entry into the Hall of Pretty Damn Fine Ballplayer.
Very few Bauxites will have seen the middle Alou brother play, and frankly, most won't even remember Moises' uncle as a player. But the baseball world is a little sadder, a little poorer today.
Rest well, Matty.