Alyea, a native of New Jersey, played collegiately at Hofstra. He entered the professional ranks as a signee of the Reds in 1962. Alyea played one year in the Cincinnati farm system before he was drafted by the Washington Senators. In the first few years of the draft, teams could select a player who had spent one year in the farm system of another MLB organization. The right-handed hitter spent the ’64 season in the minors before debuting with Washington on September 12, 1965.
Called to pinch hit for Don Blasingame with two runners on in the sixth inning, Alyea popped a three-run homer off Rudy May in his first career at-bat. He hit two homers in eight games as a rookie and spent the next two years in the minors. Alyea returned to the big leagues in 1968. He posted above-average power numbers in limited playing time over the next few seasons.
Alyea played for the Senators through 1969. Washington traded him to the Twins for reliever Joe Grzenda over the 1969-70 offseason. The 6’3″ Alyea connected on 16 homers with an excellent .291/.366/.531 line over a career-high 290 plate appearances for Minnesota in 1970. He slumped to a .177/.282/.241 slash the next season, though.
The A’s selected Alyea in the Rule 5 draft going into the 1972 campaign. Oakland traded him to the Cardinals that May but reacquired him two months later. That was a fortunate development for Alyea, as the A’s went on to win the World Series. He didn’t play in the majors after that, retiring following a ’73 season in Triple-A with the Red Sox. He finished his MLB career with a .247/.326/.421 slash line over parts of six seasons. Alyea hit 38 homers and drove in 148 runs in a little less than 1000 trips to the plate.
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