Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Couple of Louie Alamda Stories

I once asked Louie about why his final season was so lackluster, had he been injured, and did that also contribute to his retirement. Almada retired when he was just 30 years old.

Louie told me: “No, Carlos, I had been hitting pretty well until about mid-season, and at it was at that time that I decided— once and for all— to retire and go into the produce business, which I had been working in during the off-seasons since I was playing up in Seattle. Anyway, once I made that decision, my mind was no longer on the game, and my batting really suffered.”

Another time, I asked him why his brother’s career also dropped off so quickly. “Melo,” he told me, “Couldn’t stand being thrown at. ‘Louie,’ he once said to me, ‘They’re throwing at me because I’m a Mexican!’ ‘No, Melo,’ I told him, “They’re throwing at you because you’re a batter!’” But that was Louie, and Melo would have nothing of that. Louie always had guts, and was always ready to take anybody on. He even took on McGraw at 19 years old by writing a letter to Judge Landis to secure his release from the Giants, when the Giant manager sent him to the minors. Melo, on the other hand, became obsessed with the notion that pitchers had it in for Mexicans— or him personally. Had he played today, I’m sure he would have been at least a near Hall-of-Famer. But then was then, and now is now. Pete Coscarart, who played with Melo, told me that the moment one pitcher found out that Melo could be intimidated by a brush back pitch, every pitcher in the league began throwing at him like there was no tomorrow.

On a personal note, I’ll be leaving for my semi-annual research trip up to Sacramento to continue work on my project to document and compile stats for all the professional (and semi-professional) leagues that played in California from 1878 through the 1968 season. I will not being posting during the week I’ll be away, and so the above will be my last post until then.

To enlarge Louie Almada’s complete career record, click on the image.


Post a Comment

<< Home