Baggarly: Felipe Alou feels fortunate to be alive

From Andrew Baggarly at The Athletic on July 3, 2019:

The Giants announced their group of 25 international signings on Tuesday. The smooth-faced teenagers buttoned up Giants jerseys, celebrated with their families and posed for pictures at the Felipe Alou Baseball Academy in the Dominican Republic.

In a few weeks, Alou plans to travel from his home in South Florida and watch the kids practice at the facility that bears his name.

And truly, that will be a moment to celebrate.

Because this, the 84th year of Alou’s pioneering life, has been the most challenging of them all. He hasn’t seen a live baseball game in two seasons. He has endured four surgeries over the past 12 months: an emergency neck procedure to alleviate a compressed disc, then total knee replacement, then a prostate issue.

As he was wheeled into his latest and most significant surgery — an emergency open-heart procedure on May 20 — he had to be honest with himself. He wasn’t confident he would wake from it.


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Originally published: July 4, 2019. Last Updated: July 4, 2019.