Here’s something I didn’t know, courtesy of Craig Wright’s excellent subscription newsletter, A Page from Baseball’s Past. The Alou brothers weren’t really Alou’s.
Felipe Alou is really Felipe Rojas. A mistake was made on his first contract in which the scout put in the family name of his mother rather than that of his father. Felipe made the name “Alou” so famous that his younger brothers Matty and Jesus adopted it when they came to the U.S.. The “Alou” brothers have a half-brother from their father’s first marriage, and he had a son who also went on to the major leagues. That son was naturally raised under the family name of Rojas name back in the Dominican Republic. That player was Mel Rojas, who pitched 10 years in the majors. Matty Alou in particular still goes back and forth between his two last names depending on which country he is in or what he thinks the situation calls for. “I use ‘Alou’ when I call the airlines for reservations, because I get a better seat.”
That blows my mind. It’s like saying Babe Ruth’s first name wasn’t really Babe.