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Remembering Dick Allen

December 13, 2020

In remembering the great player, Dick Allen, yet another of that vintage who died in 2020, in his case, at age 78 days back, I choose, at least initially in my tangential writing, not to rage about his dying, without having been put into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Unable to truly express it, the racism Allen faced and my naivety regarding media/games and the view through the lens of a 13 year old will be referenced , but how in the world, this cruel world, could I walk in Allen’s shoes and feel what he felt.

Instead it is Sunday June 4, 1972 and after I believe three televised Yankees’ games vs the White Sox in a 4 game series, the second game of a doubleheader is radio only, with the great, but decidedly pro Yankees, Phil Rizzuto, calling the bottom of the ninth inning.

Allen, who once hit a home run that left the worldly, “seen so much,” late Dave Reichberg, with his mouth wide open, a story “Stone” has repeated “quite often” (ode to Jim Brown’s praise of Sam Huff as he attached himself to the real “J.B.” “quite often”) hit a game winning 3 run home run off the excellent relief pitcher Al “Sparky” Lyle that yielded a two run Chisox win and 3 of 4 in the series.

 

The 13 year old me was happy Allen was a no show for a June twilight night doubleheader vs the “to be,” miracle World Series winning, Mets, that my dad took the “Strato League” (Strat-O-Matic) baseball) (5 of us) to see in June 1969.

Later in the year, Allen helped the Mets again, hitting some big blows vs the Cubs, the team the Mets overtook to win the N.L. East.

In 1964, as a rookie of the year player, though his Phillies essentially “blew” the pennant, his team still had a chance on the glorious, no wild card garbage, final day.

Allen had a home run that helped sink the Reds and at the time the Cards, the eventual winners, were struggling to salvage one win vs the then lowly, third year Mets.

Dick Allen was great in his one year as a Dodgers player and was glorious, winning the 1972 A.L. MVP with the White Sox.

I believe God/whatever force will back Mr. Allen’s positive view on real grass. (About artificial turf he said “if a horse will not eat it, I do not like playing on it).

After all, did not God/whatever force put grass here?! History and such will praise him for standing up to the personal injustice, he suffered and while Mr. Allen, as with all of us, was not perfect, he was an incredible talented figure. 

I treasure the great memories and you know what they can do with a Hall of Fame that denies Pete Rose and likely will even after his death, and did same to the magnificent player, Dick Allen.

Please click below for a fine recollection/obituary notice by Richard Goldstein from The New York Times, detailing some of the bigotry Allen faced and more of his great baseball achievements.

Dick Allen, 78, Dies; Baseball Slugger Withstood Bigotry …

 

Dick Allen in 1973, when he played for the Chicago White Sox. He was the National League’s rookie of the year in 1964, the American League’s most valuable player in 1972 and a seven-time All-Star.

 

 

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