Famous Baseball Players
Moisés Rojas Beltré (born July 3, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an Dominican American All-Star outfielder in Major League Baseball who plays for the New York Mets. He comes from a family in which baseball is a way of life. His father Felipe, who managed Moises with the Giants from 2003 to 2006, as well as uncles Matty and Jesús, and cousin Mel Rojas, all had long careers in the major leagues. Alou is married to wife Austria Alou; they have three sons: Perico, Kirby and Moisés Jr.
Alou, who was more interested in playing basketball during his youth, did not play organized baseball until he attended Cañada College in Redwood City, California. It was there that baseball scouts noticed his tremendous bat speed and speed on the basepaths. In 1986, Alou was the second overall pick in the amateur draft, chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1990, he was traded to the Montreal Expos where he would later play under his father while he managed the Expos.
Alou suffered a severe ankle injury in 1993 that would rob him of his speed and force him to become strictly a corner outfielder. He recovered though, and by 1994 was one of the best hitters in baseball, hitting .339. In 1994, he returned to get the game-winning hit in the All-Star Game. For the next two seasons, he would enjoy stellar seasons at the plate in Montreal, however losing a number of games due to injury. Prior to the 1997 season Alou signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins, where he led the team with 23 home runs and 115 RBIs. The Marlins made the playoffs as a wild card team where they defeated first the Giants and then the Atlanta Braves, and advanced to the World Series. Florida ended up winning their first World Series in a nail-biting seventh game which ended on an Edgar Rentería base hit. In the end, Alou led the team by hitting .321 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the World Series.
Before the 1998 season, the Marlins traded Alou to the Houston Astros. In Houston, Alou played the best baseball of his career. In his first season with the team, he hit a career high 38 home runs and drove in 124 runs while leading the Astros to a franchise record 102 wins. However, during the offseason, he would be bitten by the injury bug once more when he tore his ACL in a freak treadmill accident. Alou ended up missing the entire 1999 season. Once recovered, he returned to the Astros lineup to hit .355 and .331 respectively while driving in at least 108 runs in each season. After the 2001 season, the Astros did not offer Alou a new contract so he in effect became a free agent. In December of 2001, he inked a 3-year, $27 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs.
In 2002, Alou once again ended up on the disabled list at the start of the season, and once healthy, he could never really get into a groove as he did in Houston. He finished up with a disappointing season in his own accounts when he hit only .275 and 15 home runs.
After the disappointing 2002 season, Alou hired a personal trainer and dedicated himself to return to his old form. In the 2003 season, he showed flashes of his old self when he batted over .300 for most of the season while driving in runs as he used to. But a late season slump caused Alou's average to drop to .280. He ended up with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs. However, during the post season, he showed no signs of a slump. Alou lead the team in average in their two series against the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. In the end, he would make history in the playoffs, but some he would like to forget.
It was the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Cubs leading and needing only five outs to clinch a World Series birth for the first time since 1945, a Cubs fan named Steve Bartman inadvertently interfered with a foul ball landing one row into the stands, preventing Alou, who reached into the stands, from catching the ball for an out. Alou angrily gestured toward him, but later forgave Bartman. Video replays showed that, although Alou would have had an opportunity to make the catch if Bartman had not reached for the ball, the ball was clearly over the stands, thus fan interference could not be called. The Florida Marlins, Alou's former team, eventually tied the game, took the lead, and won. The Cubs lost game 7 to the Marlins, who went on to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
After a comeback season in 2003, Alou had a career year in 2004. He set new career highs in home runs (39), doubles (36), and runs (106), while driving in 106 runs. However, after high expectations, the Chicago Cubs fell short of a playoff berth when they lost seven of their last nine games. Alou, who was a free agent, said he would love to stay in Chicago. Nevertheless, many experts and reporters doubted the Cubs would pick up his option. Alou and Cubs reliever Kent Mercker reportedly had confrontation with Cubs announcer Steve Stone on a team flight. The Cubs refused to offer arbitration and let him go, citing numerous fights with umpires whom claimed had a vendetta against him. In October 2004 Moises did announce to the public that he had talked to his father, Felipe, about possibly playing for him and the Giants next season. In December 2004, he signed a one year deal with the Giants worth $13.5 million, with a player option for a second year. Alou was expected to regularly play in right field for the first time since 2001, but due to injuries to left fielder Barry Bonds, he started most games in left field. Alou had stated that he would retire if the Giants won the World Series in 2005. Since they didn't, Alou exercised his option and played in the 2006 season, collecting 22 HRs and 74 RBI.
On November 20, 2006, the New York Mets signed Alou to a one-year contract worth $7.5 million with a club option for 2008. He will play left-field. Along with signing with the Mets, Alou requested to keep wearing the number 18, which was currently worn by Mets second baseman José Valentín. Valentín has agreed to give his number 18 to Alou.