Some recent notable baseball passings.
Jesus Alou,80. Would have been 81 in just a few weeks. Alou, who played in the same outfield with brothers Matty and Felipe, died yesterday. Besides being the brother of Matty and Felipe, he was the cousin of Jose Sosa and the uncle of Moises Alou, Luis Rojas and Mel Rojas.
Alou played for the Giants (1963-1968), Astros (1969-1973), A’s (1973-1974), Mets (1975), and Astros again (1978-1979). He was part of the A’s WS championship teams of 1973 and 1974.
Alou hit .306 for the Astros in 1970, and .312 (in only 93 at bats) in 1972. He hit .324 as a part-timer for the Astros in 1978. A .280 hitter in his career, he didn’t have much power, hitting 32 HR in his career. The corner outfielder’s 162-game average was .280-4-44. OPS+ 86. A contact hitter, he didn’t strike out much, but he didn’t walk much either. His 162-game average was 16 walks and 31 strikeouts.
In his years as a regular, not part-time player (1964-1971), he averaged 121 games a season, .279-3-36.
In 13 postseason games, he hit .222 with 0 HR and 4 RBI. 19 of his 27 postseason at bats were in the 1973 World Series against the Mets, in which he went 3 for 19 with a double and 3 RBI.
Roman Mejias, 97, OF. Pirates (1955, 1957-1961), Houston Colt .45’s (1962), Boston (1963-1964). Hit .286-24-76 with 12 SB for the first year Houston franchise (which later became the Astros). .254 career hitter, 54 HR. OPS+ 86. 162-game average .254-14-52.
Dan McGinn, 79. P. Reds (1968), Expos (1969-1971), Cubs (1972). 15-30, 5.11 in career. Spot starter/long reliever, mostly with Expos as the were just starting their existence.
Sandy Valdespino. 84. OF. When I was a kid, I kept hoping for a Bobby Murcer Topps card when I would buy a pack of cards. Instead, I kept getting the Sandy Valdespino’s. Twins (1965-1967), Braves (1968), Astros (1969), Pilots (1969), Brewers (1970) and Royals (1971). .230 in 382 MLB games. 162-game average .230-3-28, OPS+ 65. Went 3 for 11 with a double for Twins against Dodgers in 1965 WS (won by the Dodgers).
Dave Nicholson, 83. OF. Orioles (1960, 1962), White Sox (1963-1965), Astros (1966), Braves (1967). 162-game average .212-18-54. OPS+ 97. Hit .229-22-70 for 1963 White Sox but led mlb that year with 175 strikeouts.
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