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  • RIP Dick Allen

    https://twitter.com/DickAllen_15/sta...097078281?s=19
    Just came across Twitter. RIP to a pure power hitter.

  • #2
    I really wish there were more clips of Dick Allen's tenure with the White Sox available online.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's a shame he didn't make it into the Hall of Fame while he was still alive. He missed it by one vote, along with Tony Oliva.

      Comment


      • #4
        This one hurts. The single most influential reason I became a White Sox fan is Dick Allen. Rest in Peace..

        2020 Sox Attendance Tracker: 0-0
        All-time Sox Attendance Tracker: 286-247
        Posts on old WSI: 7344

        Comment


        • #5
          Farewell to my boyhood hero, whose 1972 season is still the greatest I've seen. Possibly the most unfairly maligned player ever. Put him in the Hall of Fame now, not that he'd give a thought to it, which is just one reason Dick Allen was the coolest of all in my book. This one is hitting me hard.

          Comment


          • #6
            This definitely makes me sad. My first baseball memories are of red and white pinstripes and Dick Allen.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a gut punch.

              Dick Allen. What a ballplayer.
              “It's not the high price of stardom that bothers me...it's the high price of mediocrity." - Bill Veeck

              "If I was going to storm a pillbox, going to sheer, utter, certain death, and the Colonel said 'Shepherd, pick six guys", I'd pick six White Sox fans because they have known death every day of their lives and it holds no terror for them." - Jean Shepherd

              Comment


              • #8
                He was with the Sox for less than 3 years but is still my all-time favorite Sox player, and that covers over 60 years. I’ve never seen anybody hit a ball the way he could. He carried the team in 1972, and the excitement in the park whenever he came to the plate was incredible. Well, **** 2020. 🤬

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sox acquired him from the Dodgers in exchange for Tommy John prior to the 1972 season. His acquisition caused so much excitement that the Sox sold out opening day to everyone's surprise.

                  Allen almost single-handedly led them to a division title that season over the more talented Oakland Athletics. His 1972 season borders on legend. The man carried a war club to the plate and actually took a downward swing on the ball. The ball would jump off his bat. He was an excellent base runner and was decent on defense playing first base. But boy could he hit. Two inside the park homers in one game. Several shots of his cleared the center field wall and landed in the bleacher section at old Comiskey.

                  He captured the AL MVP award in 1972. Manager Chuck Tanner knew him from his days as a schoolboy star athlete from Pennsylvania and treated him with kid gloves. Dick talked Tanner into carrying his brother Hank on the Sox roster for one season so he could qualify for a baseball pension.

                  The following year the Sox were threatening again but Allen went down in the summer with an injury. In 1974, his final year with the Sox, the same thing happened and he abruptly retired from the game, only to return and eventually finish up his career with the Phillies, this time to thunderous applause from Philadelphia fans.

                  RIP #15. Seasoned Sox fans will never forget what you did on the south side in the summer of '72.
                  Last edited by fungo bat; 12-07-2020, 04:22 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fungo bat View Post
                    Sox acquired him from the Dodgers in exchange for Tommy John prior to the 1972 season. His acquisition caused so much excitement that the Sox sold out opening day that season to everyone's surprise.

                    Allen almost single-handedly led them to a division title that season over the more talented Oakland Athletics. His 1972 season borders on legend. The man carried a war club to the plate and actually took a downward swing on the ball. The ball would jump off his bat. He was an excellent base runner and was decent on defense playing first base. But boy could he hit. Two inside the park homers in one game. Several shots of his cleared the center field wall and landed in the bleacher section at old Comiskey.

                    He captured the AL MVP award in 1972. Manager Chuck Tanner knew him from his days as a schoolboy star athlete from Pennsylvania and treated him with kid gloves. Dick talked Tanner into carrying his brother Hank on the roster for one season so he could qualify for a baseball pension.

                    The following year the Sox were threatening again but Allen went down in the summer with an injury. In 1974, his final year with the Sox, the same thing happened and he abruptly retired from the game, only to return and eventually finish up his career with the Phillies, this time to thunderous applause from Philadelphia fans.

                    RIP #15. Seasoned Sox fans will never forget what you did on the south side in the summer of '72.
                    I appreciate and share your enthusiasm. I only remember one home run into the centerfield bleachers, on a Wednesday afternoon in August against the Yankees' Lindy McDaniel after Pat Kelly and Jay Johnstone led off the inning with a pair of bunts. Wednesday afternoons that season Harry Caray did the games from the centerfield bleachers, but the home run didn't come within range of his net. The win pulled the White Sox into a tie (AL's best record) with the A's, who would fall to second with a loss that night. Did I mention this was in late August? Allen may have been the first hitter to hit a home run in the bleachers and over the roof before they moved home plate, shortening the dimensions about a decade later.

                    I shared enough about my memories of Dick Allen in the other recent Dick Allen thread, and shared the evolution of my feelings about whether Allen belongs in the Hall of Fame. The shocking news left me with a sense of loss. It's like a part of my teenage years, my essence as a baseball fan is lost. There was this one incredible summer, a year before I went to work in the family auto parts store (now a parking lot for the hospital where Al Smith of the 1959 White Sox died) that was all baseball at its best. It was Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, a bit of Carlos May and a supporting cast, Bill Melton having fallen out of the picture. The supporting cast played their butts off. Ed Herrmann -- the late great Superhermmann -- was in full Viking mode with beard and presence. Rookie Rich Gossage was the eventual Hall of Famer from that team. Baseball heroes, maybe not the entire roster, but pretty close to it. I loved that team, and Dick Allen made it happen -- against the dynasty Reggie Jackson/Castfish Hunter A's with their deep rotation and threatening lineup. Joe Rudi actually got a first-place AL MVP vote.

                    The season ended with Gossage getting hammered in his first career start, in a meaningless game in Minnesota that I stayed home from Munster High to watch because I didn't want to let the season go. I still don't want to let the season go. It's my standard for baseball, even if the A's won the World Series after they ended the White Sox season. It probably has a lot to do, not just with my hatred for the A's but with why I care so much about baseball, why I care about what I care about in baseball.

                    I feel such a tremendous loss.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RIP, Mr. Allen. Thanks for the memories.
                      (Formerly asindc.)

                      "I have the ultimate respect for White Sox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Red Sox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country." Jim Caple, ESPN (January 12, 2011)

                      "We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the (bleeding) obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." — George Orwell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was fortunate to meet and talk with Dick Allen at the "Tribute to Dick Allen and the 1972 White Sox" at the Sox Park Stadium Club on June 25, 2012.
                        It was so cool to meet a Child Hood Baseball hero and chat for awhile. He said playing for the White Sox was the most fun he ever had in his baseball career.

                        It was a really cool experience at the Tribute. Also met Goose Gossage who attributed much of his success to Allen; for preaching to him to learn to pitch inside to Major League batters.

                        I believe Dick Allen presented Gossage with his plaque at his induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

                        A bit of my childhood fandom has passed away as well......RIP.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dick was a Godsend after those drop off years after 67. I was at first upset and torn it cost us Tommy John who I had followed since he was part of those great rotations in the 60’s. I knew Dick had some great power watching him tearing apart Cubbie pitching on the Philllies. I can attest as well to that 72 season being euphoric with watching him hit the damn cover off of the ball. Damn, when he made contact you could hear the crack in every recess of the grand old palace on 35th St. Bill Melton hit home runs. Dick Allen crushed home runs and singles, doubles and triples. Yes, I too thought we just might win the division against those dastardly A’s. ‘‘Twas not to be but one hell of a season.

                          Rest In Peace Mr. Allen

                          BK59

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Because of his passing and because I had the chance to see him play and then get to personally know him years later I thought many of you who weren't old enough to watch / see Dick perform would appreciate the comments told to me by his teammates and members of the organization:

                            Carlos May:

                            “We knew each other from spring training and from my brother. He was the best player that I ever saw. I tried to emulate him the way he set pitchers up, the way he ran the bases. He’d be out at the park at 6AM in spring training hitting. He knew the game and he was a leader... guys didn’t sluff off when he was around. In the years that I played with him I saw him get angry twice and they were both because of things that he thought weren’t right as far as playing the game.”

                            “The first time I think we were in Cleveland, and Pat Kelly was having a bad day. He struck out three times. The next time up he hit a foul pop that the third baseman was chasing and Pat was yelling, ‘catch it, catch it...’ He was mad and he didn’t want to strike out a fourth time. When he got back to the dugout Dick let him have it. He called him a lot of things and I remember him saying that what Pat did, was not professional.”

                            “The other time was when we got Ron Santo. He was our DH that year. We were in Chicago and it was cold and wet. Dick was hitting third, Bill (Melton) fourth and Santo fifth. Ron was back in the clubhouse, I don’t know if he was getting loose or doing something but Dick made an out and went back to the dugout.”

                            “As Dick was sitting down, Ron came out of the tunnel and asked him what the pitcher was throwing. Dick exploded and basically said if he wanted to know what the pitcher was throwing he should have his ass on the bench watching with the rest of us. Dick was very big when it came to the team and that everyone should be doing everything they can to win games.”

                            Chuck Tanner:

                            “Roland Hemond and I talked about anything that we were going to do. He came up to me and said “I think we can get Dick Allen in a deal, what do you think?” I said “**** I’d take him in a second, he’s a good person and a great player, do the deal.” And we did. Really it wasn’t a gamble at all.”

                            “I knew Dick and his family from when he and his younger brothers were little kids. I played ball against his older brother who was a great athlete. The Allen family only lived about 20 minutes from where I lived. I had known Dick for years.”

                            “I got along well with his family and maybe that helped but the biggest reason that I thought we worked well together was because I respected him and his ability. One example was that when we were demonstrating how to get a proper lead off first base I’d say to Dick, “You show em' how to take the right lead” and he did. Dick was a natural leader... he knew exactly how to get the right lead, he never made a mistake on the bases, he played almost every game and had the greatest individual year I ever saw out of any player I ever managed. And all of the young guys that we had on the team respected him and watched every move he made, kids like Dent and Downing and Gossage.

                            “Dick was our leader and I remember that day very well. Mike Andrews told me what he said to Lyle as he was crossing the infield coming in to pitch. Mike and he were roommates with the Red Sox. Mike said to “Sparky” “You’re in deep **** now.”

                            “After the game, after the home run, the fans were so loud, so excited, that you could feel the locker room shake from the vibrations. I’ve never seen that before in my life. When I was in the locker room I looked at Dick and got chills, I still do thinking about it. He was at his locker undressing and to him it was just another day. He did some amazing things.”

                            “People don’t know how good of a leader Dick was. We decided to send down George Orta for a few weeks that season, because we needed help in another area. George was young, spoke very little English and was devastated because he though he wasn’t going to be brought back up. He was crying, saying in broken English, “But I have no money. What will I do?” Dick walked over to him, gave him 15 hundred dollars right there and consoled him. The other players were stunned just watching it. That’s what Dick Allen was all about.”

                            “No, I’d never try to talk a player out of something like that and no I didn’t know ahead of time he was leaving. He just came into my office with his spikes tied together and hung over his shoulder like you used to do as a kid and said, “Lefty, that’s it, I’m done.” I told him that I appreciated how hard he played for me and that I thought he had the greatest year anyone that I managed ever had. I knew he was really hurting. Dick had a very bad shoulder, he was coming off that broken leg and he was tired. He was just tired of dealing with things like the media. There were a number of games where he shouldn’t even have been playing but he was out there anyway.”

                            “I can’t say enough about the things he did for me and for the team. If ever I got back into managing, I was going to call Dick and ask him to be one of my coaches. He understood the game and the way it’s supposed to be played.”

                            Ed Herrmann:

                            "The Sox traded Tommy John for Dick and that was hard for me because I was good friends with him. It was tough until the first day. Bill (Melton) and I came in early and Dick was already in the batting cage. All he was doing was standing in his stance and getting hit by pitches! Bill and I asked what he was doing and Dick said “I’m getting used to getting pitched inside.” Right then I knew this man was serious about winning."

                            "He was one of the best teammates I ever had. He was always there for you. The other 24 guys looked at him as the guy who was going to take us to where we wanted to go. No one on the Sox hated him or didn’t get along with him. I sat with him many times on airplanes and he was always great."

                            "Dick took some criticism because he didn’t always take batting practice. He took it the first month of the season and the last month. The rest of the time he was saving his strength. He also told me that the reason he didn’t usually take BP was because he wanted to come back (to the park) remembering the pitches that he saw when he left it."

                            "Dick might have been one of the top four players I ever saw play the game and I saw Mantle, Frank Robinson and those guys. He could run, hit for average, hit for power. The only thing he really couldn’t do well was throwing and that was because he had a bad hand."

                            Mike Andrews:

                            "Dick was as good if not better then anybody I ever saw. As a pure hitter, his 1972 season was as dominant a performance as I’ve ever seen. I played with Carl Yastrzemski in 67’ and I know the kind of year he had, but part of it was that pitchers were actually giving him good pitches to hit, which I didn’t understand. With Dick, very early in the season, pitchers were saying, ‘We’re not going to let him beat us.’ They weren’t pitching to him and he still had a great season! I saw many times where Dick would swing at a lot of outside pitches and hit them a long way."

                            "That’s right, I had forgotten about that. Dick could run, he had tremendous baseball instincts and he stole 19 bases that year. I had been around “Yaz”, who worked harder than anybody I ever saw, but Dick was a natural athlete. One time, the Sox were getting criticized because Allen was showing up almost right before game time. It might have been a newspaper guy. Tanner said to him “If a guy can hit 40 homers, drive in over a hundred runs and hit over .300, he can show up right before game time!"

                            "Dick was such a great player but I always feared that he would lose interest and that’s what happened. He loved to play the game but he wasn’t really comfortable with some of the peripheral things associated with baseball, like having to deal with the media."

                            Roland Hemond:

                            “Acquiring Dick was a daring move. I felt though that Chuck Tanner would be the right manager for him. Chuck is from New Castle, Pennsylvania and Allen was from Wampum, Pennsylvania. Chuck had known Dick and Dick’s mom for years. Allen was one of the most talented players to have ever played the game. We felt he could help us. Then we acquired Stan Bahnsen within a half hour of completing the Allen trade. Those two transactions made a big difference in strengthening the Sox for 1972. If Bill Melton hadn’t suffered a herniated disk operation in mid-season, I believe we would have won the pennant in 1972.”

                            Stan Bahnsen:

                            “I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats. Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it. He got along great with his teammates and he was very knowledgeable about the game. He was the ultimate team guy.”

                            “The only folks who seemed to have some issues with Dick were the media. There were times when Dick wouldn’t show up for batting practice and things like that and folks wondered, why? Well I asked Dick about that one time and he was right in his reasoning. Dick told me that when he was in a groove, when he was really seeing the ball well, he didn’t want his timing disrupted by seeing 55 mile an hour batting practice pitches… it’s not like you’re going to see that in a game. When Dick was having trouble or wanted to work on something then he’d take BP.”

                            Walt Williams:

                            “Dick sort of took me under his wing and we’d talk a lot of baseball. He had a low voice and when he’d tell you something it was short and to the point. When he spoke you listened to him."

                            “One I remember involved Milt Wilcox. He was pitching against us and he threw one high and tight to Dick and he hit him. Dick picked up the baseball and sort of walked it out to Milt as he was heading down the line and quietly said to him, “I know you have to pitch inside but you better not hit me again.”


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post
                              Because of his passing and because I had the chance to see him play and then get to personally know him years later I thought many of you who weren't old enough to watch / see Dick perform would appreciate the comments told to me by his teammates and members of the organization:

                              Carlos May:

                              “We knew each other from spring training and from my brother. He was the best player that I ever saw. I tried to emulate him the way he set pitchers up, the way he ran the bases. He’d be out at the park at 6AM in spring training hitting. He knew the game and he was a leader... guys didn’t sluff off when he was around. In the years that I played with him I saw him get angry twice and they were both because of things that he thought weren’t right as far as playing the game.”

                              “The first time I think we were in Cleveland, and Pat Kelly was having a bad day. He struck out three times. The next time up he hit a foul pop that the third baseman was chasing and Pat was yelling, ‘catch it, catch it...’ He was mad and he didn’t want to strike out a fourth time. When he got back to the dugout Dick let him have it. He called him a lot of things and I remember him saying that what Pat did, was not professional.”

                              “The other time was when we got Ron Santo. He was our DH that year. We were in Chicago and it was cold and wet. Dick was hitting third, Bill (Melton) fourth and Santo fifth. Ron was back in the clubhouse, I don’t know if he was getting loose or doing something but Dick made an out and went back to the dugout.”

                              “As Dick was sitting down, Ron came out of the tunnel and asked him what the pitcher was throwing. Dick exploded and basically said if he wanted to know what the pitcher was throwing he should have his ass on the bench watching with the rest of us. Dick was very big when it came to the team and that everyone should be doing everything they can to win games.”

                              Chuck Tanner:

                              “Roland Hemond and I talked about anything that we were going to do. He came up to me and said “I think we can get Dick Allen in a deal, what do you think?” I said “**** I’d take him in a second, he’s a good person and a great player, do the deal.” And we did. Really it wasn’t a gamble at all.”

                              “I knew Dick and his family from when he and his younger brothers were little kids. I played ball against his older brother who was a great athlete. The Allen family only lived about 20 minutes from where I lived. I had known Dick for years.”

                              “I got along well with his family and maybe that helped but the biggest reason that I thought we worked well together was because I respected him and his ability. One example was that when we were demonstrating how to get a proper lead off first base I’d say to Dick, “You show em' how to take the right lead” and he did. Dick was a natural leader... he knew exactly how to get the right lead, he never made a mistake on the bases, he played almost every game and had the greatest individual year I ever saw out of any player I ever managed. And all of the young guys that we had on the team respected him and watched every move he made, kids like Dent and Downing and Gossage.

                              “Dick was our leader and I remember that day very well. Mike Andrews told me what he said to Lyle as he was crossing the infield coming in to pitch. Mike and he were roommates with the Red Sox. Mike said to “Sparky” “You’re in deep **** now.”

                              “After the game, after the home run, the fans were so loud, so excited, that you could feel the locker room shake from the vibrations. I’ve never seen that before in my life. When I was in the locker room I looked at Dick and got chills, I still do thinking about it. He was at his locker undressing and to him it was just another day. He did some amazing things.”

                              “People don’t know how good of a leader Dick was. We decided to send down George Orta for a few weeks that season, because we needed help in another area. George was young, spoke very little English and was devastated because he though he wasn’t going to be brought back up. He was crying, saying in broken English, “But I have no money. What will I do?” Dick walked over to him, gave him 15 hundred dollars right there and consoled him. The other players were stunned just watching it. That’s what Dick Allen was all about.”

                              “No, I’d never try to talk a player out of something like that and no I didn’t know ahead of time he was leaving. He just came into my office with his spikes tied together and hung over his shoulder like you used to do as a kid and said, “Lefty, that’s it, I’m done.” I told him that I appreciated how hard he played for me and that I thought he had the greatest year anyone that I managed ever had. I knew he was really hurting. Dick had a very bad shoulder, he was coming off that broken leg and he was tired. He was just tired of dealing with things like the media. There were a number of games where he shouldn’t even have been playing but he was out there anyway.”

                              “I can’t say enough about the things he did for me and for the team. If ever I got back into managing, I was going to call Dick and ask him to be one of my coaches. He understood the game and the way it’s supposed to be played.”

                              Ed Herrmann:

                              "The Sox traded Tommy John for Dick and that was hard for me because I was good friends with him. It was tough until the first day. Bill (Melton) and I came in early and Dick was already in the batting cage. All he was doing was standing in his stance and getting hit by pitches! Bill and I asked what he was doing and Dick said “I’m getting used to getting pitched inside.” Right then I knew this man was serious about winning."

                              "He was one of the best teammates I ever had. He was always there for you. The other 24 guys looked at him as the guy who was going to take us to where we wanted to go. No one on the Sox hated him or didn’t get along with him. I sat with him many times on airplanes and he was always great."

                              "Dick took some criticism because he didn’t always take batting practice. He took it the first month of the season and the last month. The rest of the time he was saving his strength. He also told me that the reason he didn’t usually take BP was because he wanted to come back (to the park) remembering the pitches that he saw when he left it."

                              "Dick might have been one of the top four players I ever saw play the game and I saw Mantle, Frank Robinson and those guys. He could run, hit for average, hit for power. The only thing he really couldn’t do well was throwing and that was because he had a bad hand."

                              Mike Andrews:

                              "Dick was as good if not better then anybody I ever saw. As a pure hitter, his 1972 season was as dominant a performance as I’ve ever seen. I played with Carl Yastrzemski in 67’ and I know the kind of year he had, but part of it was that pitchers were actually giving him good pitches to hit, which I didn’t understand. With Dick, very early in the season, pitchers were saying, ‘We’re not going to let him beat us.’ They weren’t pitching to him and he still had a great season! I saw many times where Dick would swing at a lot of outside pitches and hit them a long way."

                              "That’s right, I had forgotten about that. Dick could run, he had tremendous baseball instincts and he stole 19 bases that year. I had been around “Yaz”, who worked harder than anybody I ever saw, but Dick was a natural athlete. One time, the Sox were getting criticized because Allen was showing up almost right before game time. It might have been a newspaper guy. Tanner said to him “If a guy can hit 40 homers, drive in over a hundred runs and hit over .300, he can show up right before game time!"

                              "Dick was such a great player but I always feared that he would lose interest and that’s what happened. He loved to play the game but he wasn’t really comfortable with some of the peripheral things associated with baseball, like having to deal with the media."

                              Roland Hemond:

                              “Acquiring Dick was a daring move. I felt though that Chuck Tanner would be the right manager for him. Chuck is from New Castle, Pennsylvania and Allen was from Wampum, Pennsylvania. Chuck had known Dick and Dick’s mom for years. Allen was one of the most talented players to have ever played the game. We felt he could help us. Then we acquired Stan Bahnsen within a half hour of completing the Allen trade. Those two transactions made a big difference in strengthening the Sox for 1972. If Bill Melton hadn’t suffered a herniated disk operation in mid-season, I believe we would have won the pennant in 1972.”

                              Stan Bahnsen:

                              “I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats. Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it. He got along great with his teammates and he was very knowledgeable about the game. He was the ultimate team guy.”

                              “The only folks who seemed to have some issues with Dick were the media. There were times when Dick wouldn’t show up for batting practice and things like that and folks wondered, why? Well I asked Dick about that one time and he was right in his reasoning. Dick told me that when he was in a groove, when he was really seeing the ball well, he didn’t want his timing disrupted by seeing 55 mile an hour batting practice pitches… it’s not like you’re going to see that in a game. When Dick was having trouble or wanted to work on something then he’d take BP.”

                              Walt Williams:

                              “Dick sort of took me under his wing and we’d talk a lot of baseball. He had a low voice and when he’d tell you something it was short and to the point. When he spoke you listened to him."

                              “One I remember involved Milt Wilcox. He was pitching against us and he threw one high and tight to Dick and he hit him. Dick picked up the baseball and sort of walked it out to Milt as he was heading down the line and quietly said to him, “I know you have to pitch inside but you better not hit me again.”

                              Great stuff as usual. Glad to see you here now.

                              Comment

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