All time great Baseball Families. There have many sets of brothers who have played in the MLB. However, none have been as successful as the 3 DiMaggio and 3 Alou brothers.
Baseball Families – The 3 DiMaggio Brothers
The DiMaggio Brothers; Joe, Vince, and Dom
Looking at the 3 DiMaggio Brothers; Joe (The Yankee Clipper) DiMaggio is the best known and in the Hall of Fame. Joe played 13 years and was an all-star all 13 seasons. Like many players of his time including his brother Dom he lost 3 years of playing time during WW2. He twice led the American League in Home Runs. Twice Joe led the American League in RBI’s and even once led the American League in triples. He finished his career with 2214 hits, 361 Home Runs, and 1537 RBI’s. Joe’s career Batting Average was .325. He played his entire career with the New York Yankees. Of course Joe DiMaggio is also famous for marrying Marilyn Monroe.
Dom DiMaggio was the smallest of the 3 brothers. He didn’t have a lot of home run power but he was a sparkplug. Dom 3 times led the American League in Plate Appearances. He led the American League in official At Bats twice. Two times Dom led the American League in Runs Scored. He also once led the American League in Triples and once in stolen bases. There has been support in recent years for Dom to be elected into the Hall of Fame. In 7 of his 11 year career Dom was an All-Star. He finished his career with 1680 hits and a .298 Batting Average. Dom was a Boston Red Sox for his entire career.
Vince DiMaggio is the least known of the brothers but he did play 10 seasons in the Major Leagues and was twice elected an All-Star. He was a free swinger who 6 times in his career led the league in strike-outs. He also led the National League in Games Played one season. Vince ended his career with 959 hits, 125 Home Runs, 584 RBI’s, and a .249 Batting Average. He played for the Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Giants during his career. His All-Star seasons were with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Baseball Families – The 3 Alou Brothers
Comparing the 3 Alou Brothers; Felipe Alou is the best known because of his Managerial Career after his playing career ended. Felipe managed 14 years (10 with the Montreal Expos and 4 with the San Francisco Giants). As a Manager Felipe’s teams won 1033 games and lost 1021 games.
Before managing Felipe played 17 years in the Major Leagues. He played for the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, and Milwaukee Brewers. His best years were with the Atlanta Braves where he once led the National League in Plate Appearances. Felipe twice led the National League in At Bats and Hits. He also once led the National League in Runs and Total Bases. For his 17 year playing career Felipe finished with 2101 Hits, 206 Home Runs, and a .286 Batting Average.
Felipe’s son Moises Alou also played 17 seasons in the Major Leagues. He ended with 2134 Hits, 332 Home Runs, and a .303 Batting Average.
Mateo (Matty) Alou had a 15 year playing career. He played with the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, and San Diego Padres. Matty was never a power hitter and ended his career with only 31 Home Runs. However he was an excellent hitter who had his best years with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1966 Matty led the National League with a .342 Batting Average. While in Pittsburgh Matty led the National League once in Plate Appearances and twice in Official At Bats. Also as a Pirate Matty once led the National League in Hits and once in Doubles. Matty ended his career with 1777 Hits and a .307 Batting Average.
Jesus Alou also had a 15 year playing career. While Jesus was a very accomplished and talented Major Leaguer he never quite reached the baseball heights of his two brothers. Jesus played for the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Oakland A’s, and New York Mets. Perhaps his best season was 1970 with the Astros when he batted .306. Jesus ended his playing career with 1216 Hits, 32 Home Runs, and a .280 Batting Average.
Which Set of Brothers were better
I believe it’s impossible to choose between the DiMaggio’s and Alou’s. The DiMaggio’s certainly hit for more power but the Alou’s had more hits. Joe DiMaggio is in the Hall of Fame which is the highest honor to be bestowed on a player . However after playing was finished Felipe Alou had a long and successful Managerial Career. Additionally although it’s not necessarily fair to include; Felipe also had a son who ended up with a better Major League Career than he or either of his two uncles. However, if it hadn’t been for WW2 the DiMaggio Brothers would most certainly ended with much higher lifetime statistics. Both Joe and Dom lost 3 years in their prime.
Except in old films I never had the opportunity to see any of the DiMaggio’s play. I did however see all of the Alou’s. As a Baltimore Oriole fan growing up one of my favorite players was Luis Aparicio and I tended to like other players I thought played like him. For that reason 2 of my favorite players were Vic Davalillo and Matty Alou. While never equal to the Orioles in my heart those two made me fans of the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates. Alou appeared to be unstoppable to me. It seemed whenever I looked up the Pirates Box Score in the newspaper he would have 2 or 3 hits.
Perhaps one day in the future we will have an opportunity to see other great baseball families like the DiMaggio’s and Alou’s. It’s unlikely but we can all hope.
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