Alou: My Baseball Journey
Famed outfielder Alou, who made history in 1958 as the first person to go from the Dominican Republic to playing with a major league team, delivers a fascinating memoir of his baseball career. Alou’s career as a player and later as a coach inspired many Dominican players to move to the U.S.: “The pipeline was open, and it wouldn’t be too long before the trickle turned into a flood.” Alou was enrolled at the University of Santo Domingo, studying to be a doctor, when, at age 21 in 1956, he was signed by the New York Giants. He played in its farm teams until he made it to the majors after the team moved to San Francisco in 1958. He is honest about the reality of his life, including dealing with racism (“There was a pecking order in baseball... and the third-class citizens were the Latinos”) and having to get off-season jobs to make ends meet. He recounts the highlights from his glory days in the 1960s, when he played with future Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda, and recalls winning more than 1,000 games as a manager for both the Giants and the Montreal Expos. This is a powerful memoir of a remarkable player who made a lasting impact on America’s pastime. (Apr.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly identified Felipe Alou as a Hall of Fame inductee and a pitcher.