Growing up in a tiny shack in the Dominican Republic, Felipe Alou never dreamed he would be the first man to go from his country to play and manage in Major League Baseball—and also the first to play in the World Series. Today, the Dominican Republic produces more Major League players than any country outside the United States.
In this extraordinary autobiography, Alou tells of his real dream: to become a doctor. An uncle was funding his university education when an improbable turn of events intervened at the 1955 Pan American Games. There as a track and field athlete, Alou was pressed into service on the baseball field to replace a player sent home for disciplinary reasons. A scout noticed Alou and offered him two hundred pesos to sign a pro contract. Knowing his father owed the grocer exactly two hundred pesos, Alou signed.
Battling racism in the United States and political turmoil in his home country, Alou persevered, paving the way for younger brothers Matty and Jesús and scores of other Dominicans, including his son Moisés. A fourth Alou brother, Juan, might have joined the historic trio if not for the improbable direction his own life took.
Alou played seventeen years in the Major Leagues, accumulating more than two thousand hits and two hundred home runs, and then managed another fourteen—four with the San Francisco Giants and ten with the Montreal Expos, where he became the winningest manager in franchise history. Alou became a special friend of Roberto Clemente, roomed with Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, and Joe Torre, and suffered the tragic death of his firstborn son.
Alou’s pioneering journey is embedded in the history of baseball, the Dominican Republic, and a remarkable family.
|I grew up watching Felipe Alou and then his two brothers playing baseball during the 60’s and 70’. I also remember him as the manager of the Montreal Expos. I did not know about his life from or on the Dominic Republic. That was very informative, along with the racism he faced in the ’50s and then after talking about the experiences he had as a Latin player. A 1963 article in Sport magazine would talk about what he saw and what he felt, he would also be fined by then Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick. He would devote an entire chapter to this. He goes into the loss of his son, the time he spent with Willie McCovey, Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and others. I really liked how he went into talking about the 1994 Expos team and the player from that team. He also gives his opinion on the DH rule and how he thinks that the National League should adopt the rule. I found this to be a very good book and really enjoyed the read. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com