This Date In Baseball History: December 1, 1965. The Pittsburgh Pirates traded pitcher Joe Gibbon and utility man Ozzie Virgil Sr. to the San Francisco Giants for light hitting center fielder Matty Alou. Alou- one of the three Alou brothers who played for the Giants at the same time[ along with Felipe and Jesus]- hit only .231 for the Giants in 1965. A big transformation would occur- the Pirates manager happened to be one of the greatest hitting instructors- Harry ‘The Hat’ Walker. The results were amazing- Matty Alou in 1966 would win the National League batting title- hitting .342. Who finished second? His brother Felipe. Matty Alou would finish in the top five four more times in hitting- 1967-1969 and in 1971. His career battling average .307.
they were quite a family! And remembered enough to pop up frequently as a crossword puzzle answer. I had no idea of the transformation Matty underwent there.
Nice to see those Pirates at least do something today with Roberto Perez. I had kind of hoped Toronto would sign him or Gomes, even though we have plenty of young catchers, with the mindset he might basically mentor the young ones and it would make it much easier to trade one of our better young backstops.
It has already been an interesting off-season. I can’t believe some of these contracts- and there are still more to come I’m sure… Pirates keep adding prospect-some of them have to come out alright I’d think.
Wow he was a great instructor but not a good manager right? I’ve read where players didn’t like him.