Moises Alou was a great player in the MLB for an impressive length of time.
Over the course of the 17 years he spent in the league, the outfielder was a six-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger recipient, and won a World Series in 1997 with the Florida Marlins.
While he’s one of the all-time “Really Good But Not Good Enough To Be In The Hall of Fame” players, he retired with a career batting average of .303 and is remembered by plenty of fans for what he was able to achieve.
Alou is also at the center of a few memorable baseball anecdotes; for example, he was the man who tried (and failed) to catch the foul ball that was snagged by Steve Bartman on the infamous play that unfolded when the Cubs hosted the Marlins at Wrigley Field for Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003.
He has talked about that situation at length and why his frustration at the time was warranted even though he feels bad for Bartman thanks to the fallout of that fateful moment.
However, as far as I’m concerned, that story has nothing on another one involving Alou’s very unique approach to toughening up his hands with the help of the urine he viewed as an invaluable asset during his time in the league.
Why Moises Alou peed on his hands while playing in the MLB
Moises Alou was one of the few players in baseball who didn’t wear batting gloves.
In a world where the comfort they provide is a very welcome luxury, rugged ballplayers like Alou didn’t care. They would step up to the plate with no gloves, grip a bat covered in pine tar, and swing until their callouses bled all over their Louisville Slugger.
As a former baseball player (and current golfer), I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to wear gloves. Call me soft, but if I show up to the golf course and my glove is missing, I might have to cancel the round. There’s no way I play well without them.
However, Alou (along with Jorge Posada, Vladimir Guerrero, George Brett, and a handful of other notable psychos) didn’t seem to care—in fact, they embraced the supposed “toughness” of going gloveless.
Moises willingly played without gloves because he felt it connected him to the bat more. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever swung a wooden bat over and over and over again, but if you do, you’re going to tear your hands apart, which makes it difficult to grip the lumber (let alone swing).
Some players enjoy the lack of gloves, but not many; in of 2021, only 11 players in a league that boasted 750 did not wear batting gloves (that’s 1.47%).
However, Alou did have a strategy to make life a little bit easier for himself, as he believed that urinating on his hands would toughen them up and allow him to comfortably swing the bat. I don’t know why a millionaire who can’t get all the free gear he wanted wouldn’t just opt for some batting gloves, but hey, more power to him.
Interestingly enough, he wasn’t the only guy who admitted to pulling the same move, as Jorge Posada said he also swore by the tactic (he once admitted, “You don’t want to shake my hand before a game.” Thanks for the heads up, Jorge).
I don’t want to be an armchair psychoanalyst, but I feel like there has to be some sort of underlying issue to explain this move.
It obviously worked out pretty well for Alou, but this is sort of like opting to use an old leather football helmet for the sake of tradition (although I don’t think there’s any evidence that shows a correlation between peeing on your hands and a higher propensity for concussions).
I guess it’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.