Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Felipe Alou Biography - Son Of A Carpenter, A Player In The Major Leagues, A New Career As Manager

Felipe Alou - Son Of A Carpenter

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Felipe Alou was born in 1935 in the Dominican Republic town of Haina, the son of a black carpenter and blacksmith father, and a Caucasian mother. "I knew a bit about the history of the slaves," he later told Jeff Blair in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "but I thought it (racism) was just a baseball thing. I had white aunts and uncles. We still have family with green eyes and blond hair. I get relatives who come and visit me in Florida, and nobody thinks we're related." Still Alou first became fully aware of racism in the United States when he made a brief stopover in Miami in 1954 on the way to the Pan-Am Games in Mexico City. There, Alou was informed that he would be required by racist laws to ride at the back of city buses. The Dominican team won the gold metal at the Pam-Am games, and this directly led to Alou's signing with the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

Although baseball was his first love, Alou first trained to become a doctor and a carpenter. As he later explained to Ebony's Walter Leavy, "I was a student at the University of Santo Domingo, with the idea of becoming a doctor. At the same time, I was working with my father as a carpenter, which was great because most of the homes on the island were made of wood. I just loved baseball best."

Felipe Alou

He started in the Giants' minor league teams, playing in Southern American towns like Lake Charles, Louisiana and Cocoa, Florida. He had as a guide, teammate Julio Navarro, a white Puerto Rican, who could order food at restaurants where Alou was not allowed to eat, and bring it back to his black teammates.

Felipe Alou - A Player In The Major Leagues [next]

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