2023 Baseball Alumni Death: Pinch-hitter Deluxe, Jesus Alou, Age 80

By Doc McElroy

Jesús Alou in 1965. By Unknown author – Jay Publishing via tradingcarddb.com, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Jesús María Rojas Alou (Spanish: [xeˈsus aˈlo], March 24, 1942 – March 10, 2023) was a Dominican professional baseball outfielder. During a 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the San Francisco Giants (1963–68), the Houston Astros (1969–73; 1978–79), the Oakland Athletics (1973–74), and the New York Mets (1975). He was the youngest of a trio of baseball-playing brothers that included Felipe and Matty.

Alou died on March 10, 2023, at age 80.


Alou was considered a better prospect than either of his brothers and received a $4,000 signing bonus from the San Francisco Giants. He made his major league debut with the Giants late in the 1963 season. In his first game, on September 10, all three Alou brothers batted in the same inning (they were retired in order). Five days later, for the first time, the three played in the outfield for the Giants at the same time. The latter achievement happened in the last two innings of a 13–5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, with starting right fielder Felipe first moving to left in the seventh inning when Jesús entered the game in right and then to center in the eighth when Matty was inserted in left.

In 1964, his first full year in the major leagues, Alou batted .274 with little power, but on July 10, he went 6-for-6 with five singles and a home run. Alou was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 1968 MLB expansion draft and then was traded to the Houston Astros with Donn Clendenon for Rusty Staub. In the 1970 season, Alou hit .306 in 487 at-bats, with a career-best 21 walks, but little power (only 1 homerun).

With the emergence of younger players in the Astros’ outfield such as Bob Watson and Cesar Cedeño, Alou was no longer a regular outfielder after the 1971 season. As a reserve outfielder and pinch-hitter, he hit .312 in 52 games in the 1972 season. On July 31, 1973, the Astros traded Alou to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named later. He served as a bench player for the Athletics on two World Series championship teams. Alou was released by the Athletics towards the end of March 1975, before the start of the 1975 season, and he signed with the New York Mets on April 10. He batted .265 as a pinch hitter for the Mets, and they released Alou before the 1976 season. In 1976, Alou played for Córdoba of the Mexican League. Houston once again signed Alou in 1978. He responded by hitting .324 in part-time action and became a player-coach the following year before retiring.

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