Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Moisés Rojas Alou (born July 3, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an All-Star outfielder in Major League Baseball. He comes from a family in which baseball is a way of life. His father Felipe, who is the San Francisco Giants' current manager, as well as uncles Matty and Jesús, all had long and admired careers in the major leagues. Alou is married to wife Austria Alou; they have three sons: Perico, Kirby and Moisés Jr.
Alou, who was more interested in playing basketball during his youth, did not play organized baseball until he attended Canada College in California. It was there that baseball scouts noticed his tremendous bat speed and speed on the basepaths. In 1986, Alou was the second overall pick in the amateur draft, chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1990, he was traded to the Montreal Expos where he would later play under his father while he managed the Expos.
Alou suffered a severe ankle injury in 1993 that would rob him of his speed and force him to become strictly a corner outfielder. He recovered though, and by 1994 was one of the best hitters in baseball, hitting .339. In 1994, he returned to get the game-winning hit in the All-Star Game. For the next two seasons, he would enjoy stellar seasons at the plate in Montreal, however losing a number of games due to injury.
Prior to the 1997 season Alou signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins, where he led the team with 23 home runs and 115 RBIs. The Marlins made the playoffs as a wildcard team where they defeated first the Giants and then the Atlanta Braves, and advanced to the World Series. Florida ended up winning their first World Series in a nail-biting seventh game which ended on an Edgar Rentería base hit. In the end, Alou led the team by hitting .321 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the World Series.
Before the 1998 season, the Marlins traded Alou to the Houston Astros. In Houston, Alou played the best baseball of his career. In his first season with the team, he hit a career high 38 home runs and drove in 124 runs while leading the Astros to a franchise record 104 wins. However, during the offseason, he would be bitten by the injury bug once more when he tore his ACL in a freak treadmill accident. Alou ended up missing the entire 1999 season. Once recovered, he returned to the Astros lineup to hit .355 and .331 respectively while driving in at least 108 runs in each season. After the 2001 season, the Astros did not offer Alou a new contract so he in effect became a free agent. In December of 2001, he inked a 3-year, $27 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs.
In 2002, Alou once again ended up on the disabled list at the start of the season, and once healthy, he could never really get into a groove as he did in Houston. He finished up with a disappointing season in his own accounts when he hit only .275 and 15 home runs.
After the disappointing 2002 season, Alou hired a personal trainer and dedicated himself to return to his old form. In the 2003 season, he showed flashes of his old self when he batted over .300 for most of the season while driving in runs as he used to. But a late season slump caused Alou's average to drop to .280. He ended up with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs. However, during the post season, he showed no signs of a slump. Alou lead the team in average in their two series against the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. In the end, he would make history in the playoffs, but some he would like to forget.
It was the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Cubs leading and needing only five outs to clinch a World Series birth for the first time since 1945, a Cubs fan named Steve Bartman inadvertantly interfered with a foul ball landing one row into the stands, preventing Alou, who reached into the stands, from catching the ball for an out. Alou angrily gestured toward him, but later forgived Bartman. Video replays showed that, although Alou would have had an opportunity to make the catch if Bartman had not reached for the ball, the ball was clearly over the stands, thus fan interference could not be called. The Florida Marlins, Alou's former team, eventually tied the game, took the lead, and won. The Cubs lost game 7 to the Marlins, who went on to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
After a comeback season in 2003, Alou had a career year in 2004. He set new career highs in homeruns (39), doubles (36), and runs (106), while driving in 106 runs. However, after high expectations, the Chicago Cubs fell short of a playoff berth when they lost seven of their last nine games. Alou, who was a free agent, said he would love to stay in Chicago. Nevertheless, many experts and reporters doubted the Cubs would pick up his option. In October Moises did announce to the public that he had talked to his father, Felipe, about possibly playing for him and the Giants next season. In December, he signed a one year deal with the Giants worth $13.5 million, with a player option for a second year. Because Barry Bonds is already entrenched in left field for the Giants, Alou is expected to move defensively to right field, a position he last played regularly in 2001. Although Alou's contract includes a player option for 2006, he has stated that he plans to retire if the Giants win the World Series in 2005.
- NL All Star 1994
- NL All Star 1997
- NL All Star 1998
- NL All Star 2001
- NL All Star 2004
- 1994 NL Comeback Player of the Year
- 1994 Silver Slugger Award
- 1998 Silver Slugger Award
- As a child, Alou was attacked and nearly killed by a dog. However, father Felipe said young Moisés didn't shed a tear.
- During most of his youth, Moisés lived with his mother. Alou's parents divorced when he was only a young child.
- Moisés owns nearly 100 race horses in the Dominican Republic. Many of the horses are named after present and past team mates.
- Moisés' best friend and favorite team mate is Jeff Bagwell of the Houston Astros.
- Recently, Moisés admitted in an interview with ESPN, that he urinates on his hands frequently to prevent blisters.
- Torn ACL
- Torn labrum
- Fractured fibula & ankle
- Dislocated shoulder
- Partially torn calf
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