Felipe Alou: ‘The family has a lot to be proud about’

The Felipe Alou family is baseball royalty of the highest order.

The former Braves outfielder, who had perhaps the best two seasons of his career when he played in Atlanta, not only had a son (Moises) who became a star but two brothers (Matty and Jesus) who played with him in the majors.

Felipe made his major league debut in 1958 while Matty came in 1960 and Jesus two years later, all with San Francisco.

On three different occasions in the 1963 season, the three brothers manned the Giants outfield at the same time, the only time that has ever happened in major league baseball.

Felipe, the oldest now at 81, was traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the ’63 season while Matty played two more seasons for the Giants and Jesus (74) remained in San Francisco until 1968. Matty passed away in 2011.

“We were always together growing up and then played together when we broke in the majors,’’ Felipe Alou said. “The good thing was we all pushed each other very hard. We made each other better.’’

Together, they would play a combined 47 seasons in the major leagues. Felipe and Matty played in the All-Star Game together in 1968.

It is a close call between Felipe and Matty for who had a better career. Felipe had monster seasons in 1966 and ’68 for the Braves, leading the National League in hits with 210 and 218 hits, respectively. He would finish with 2,101 hits over his career.

But Matty was a career .307 hitter (1,777 hits) and led the NL with a .342 average in 1966. (Felipe was second at .327.) He had a huge year for the Pittsburgh in 1969 when he led the league in at-bats (698), hits (231) and doubles (41) and average (.331). Jesus had a solid career that lasted 15 years but could not match his two brothers.

Meanwhile, Felipe’s son Moises would play 17 years in the majors, a six-time All-Star. He played for his father for six seasons in Montreal and two more in San Francisco.

“The family has a lot to be proud about,’’ said Felipe Alou. “I was always real proud of my son and how he did. It’s not easy playing for your father for as long as he did.’’