Matty Alou in Pittsburgh

Last November, I noticed of death of Matty Alou, who play five years with the Pittsburgh Pirates. (1966 to 1970)  With Alou having no power, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell overshadowed him.  Nevertheless, fans often called Matty Alou the Magician.  Alou generally tomahawked or chopped at the pitch rather than hitting it straight on. It moved slowly through the infield or found a gap into the outfield.  First thing you know Matty Alou was on first base.  It seemed like he was playing pool.  He was a good lead-off man and very tough in the clutch situations.  Alou was a two time All Star.

-In 1966, his first year in Pittsburgh, Matty won the National League batting title with a .342 average.  Alou followed that with .338 in 1967 ad .332 in 1968.

–1969 was his overall finest season with two firsts; scoring over 100 runs and getting over 200 hits;  Alou scored 105 runs; and lead the league in hits with 231 and doubles with 41; batting average .331

–Strangely in 1970 Alou had an early season slump; but he took off ofter June 15.  By  year end, Alou batted .297 and with 201 hits.

This rare slump may have been the reason Pittsburgh traded him to the St Louis Cardinals after that year.  In his total career Matty Alou hit only 31 homers, batted in 427 runs, and had a 307 batting average.  He only played five years with Pittsburgh; but he does have a place in Pirate history. 


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