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Like Father, Like Uncle

Moises Alou had 5 RBI against the Mets on Monday night, thus continuing a rather bothersome family trend for which perhaps a dose of Steve Bartman is needed.

Moises' father, Felipe Alou, a career .286 hitter, hit .303 in 509 lifetime AB against the Mets. He's also 69-66 against them as a manager.

His uncle, Matty Alou (Felipe's brother), a career .307 hitter, hit .333 in 513 lifetime AB against the Mets.

His other uncle, Jesus Alou (Felipe and Matty's brother), a career .280 hitter, hit .306 in 396 lifetime AB against the Mets and .265 in 102 AB for them.

His cousin, the infamous Mel Rojas, who went 3-2 with 12 saves and a 3.48 ERA against the Mets, and a rather misleading 5-4 with four saves and a horrendous 5.74 ERA. A fellow tried to convince me the other day that Lance Johnson for Brian McRae was a good swap, but he neglected to mention that the actions of Mel Rojas canceled out any benefits from either McRae or Turk Wendell.

But since we're here to speak good of people rather than bad, we shall focus on the good deeds of Jesus.

Jesus Alou holds a rather neat Mets distinction (besides being doubled off second base on Orlando Cepeda's triple play in the 23-inning game on May 31, 1964). You may have seen me refer to certain players, such as Rodney McCray or Don Florence, as "The Perfect Met" because of their unblemished batting average or won-loss record. Jesus Alou is "The Perfect Walk-Off Met." Despite his stats not being as gaudy as Mets fans would like, Jesus Alou can proudly boast that his Mets walk-off history is rather stellar.

Jesus Alou appeared in four Mets walk-off wins during the 1975 season. In those four contests, his performance could not have been better. He went a combined 3-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI. His most signficant contribution came in a September 18th game against the Cubs, a rather bizarre contest that I'll summarize in brief.

The Mets started Hank Webb against Donnie Moore (Hubie Brooks' cousin, interestingly enough) but Webb got into a heap of trouble early. He faced four batters, retired none, and by the time Randy Tate was done with the first inning, the Cubs had a 4-0 lead. The Mets chipped away gradually, scoring once in the third and twice in the fifth, but trailed by two entering the last of the eighth after the Cubs padded their lead in the top of the frame.

With 1973 World Series hero Darold Knowles trying to preserve Moore's win, the Mets hopes looked bleak. Dave Kingman doubled to lead off the frame, but Roy Staiger popped out and Jerry Grote grounded out. Shortstop Mike Phillips was due up next, but interim skipper Roy McMillan went to his bench and called on Jesus (though he likely referred to him as "Jay," which I'm told some did at the time), whose history against Knowles wasn't impressive.

Jesus Alou came through when needed, plating Kingman with a single to left field, his only hit in five career at bats against Knowles. With his work done, Jesus Alou was then replaced by pinch runner Bud Harrelson. Joe Torre followed with a clutch pinch-hit triple, tying the score at 5-5. Kingman then provided Ken Sanders with his first win as a Met, delivering a home run in the bottom of the ninth. The dinger gave Kingman 35, breaking the club record previously set by Frank Thomas in 1962 and gave the Mets a walk-off win.

True Metlous know...On September 10, 1963, the Alou brothers were retired consecutively by Mets pitcher Carlton Willey in the eighth inning of a 4-2 Mets win over the Giants. The AB for Jesus, a groundout to shortstop, was the first of his major-league career. Twelve days later, the three Alou brothers shared the outfield for the last three innings in a 13-4 win over the Mets.

As an aside, does anyone remember a sports quiz show, that may have aired on 1050am in the late 80s/early 90s, in which a couple wanna-be play-by-play guys offered prizes for baseball trivia questions? I won a couple of gift certificates to a Sporting Goods store in Brooklyn, by among other things, answering and submitting questions. One that I sent them was "Name the first all-brothers outfield."

As another aside, there was an Season 2 episode of "Mad About You" in which Paul Buchman referenced the "Escobar brothers," who happened to be named Matty, Felipe and Jesus. Does anyone remember the context of the reference?


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