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Baby Fisk
03-17-2006, 09:37 AM
Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen - by Dick Allen and Tim Whitaker (1989, 189 pp.)

Dick Allen has never had a bobblehead day in Chicago. Nor will his face and number ever be enshrined on the Cell's outfield wall. In fact, Dick Allen's only tangible link to the White Sox seems to be that gaudy, baby blue 1972 throwback jersey produced by Mitchell & Ness.

And yet, here's what former Sox manager Chuck Tanner had to say about his star player:

"It's important that baseball never forget Dick Allen. Especially in Chicago. What Dick Allen accomplished in 1972 was very special. The owners of the White Sox should build a monument to Dick Allen in Comiskey Park, and they should do it today, right now, and they should put it in center field, where everybody can see it. Most people, when they think of the White Sox, they think of guys like Minnie Minoso and Nellie Fox, good ballplayers, but they never came close to having the kind of season Dick had in 1972. In my mind, Allen was the greatest White Sox player to ever wear the uniform."

That may seem like overblown praise, but it is rightly deserved. Allen's star may have burned briefly in Chicago, but it burned very brightly. He was a one-man inferno. Allen thrilled Comiskey crowds by routinely launching rocket home runs to the deepest parts of the old park. In 1972, his debut season with the White Sox, Allen hit .308 and led the league with 37 HRs and 113 RBIs. He was named the American League's Most Valuable Player and led the Sox to a strong second place finish in the AL West.

For the most part, however, Allen's lasting reputation in baseball is that of an outcast: a clubhouse cancer, a divisive force, an outlaw who drifted from team to team over 15 seasons in the majors. He has had few vocal defenders.

In 1989, Allen finally told his side of things in Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen, a collaboration with journalist Tim Whitaker.

The book almost didn't happen. Whitaker's first attempts to contact Allen to work on a book together were met with silence. Then, one day in 1987, Whitaker's phone rang:

"This is Dick Allen, former Phillie," said the voice.
"Dick?"
"Look, about this book, think it'll do good for anybody?"
"I do," I said.
"One thing," said Dick Allen, "I'm not telling stories about my former teammates."
"Fair enough," I said.
"Another thing. I don't want to just tell my story, I want you to live it. I want you to walk in my shoes."
"All right," I said.
"Solid," said Allen. "Let's get to work."

And so Whitaker met and travelled with Allen over the course of two years, playing the Boswell to Allen's Johnson. He accompanied Allen to his old stomping grounds, his mother's house, a card show in Philadelphia, an Old Timers' Game in Washington, to his California home and elsewhere.

The resulting book is a neat combination of biography and memoir. Whitaker paints the scenes, then Allen fills in the details.

It begins with Allen's bitter experience as the first black player to play for the Phillies' minor league team in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1963. The racist hostility he faced was typical of the time. Taunts from the stands, death threats left under his windshield wipers, gunshots outside his room at night.

Allen impressed in Little Rock and was called up to the Phillies the following season. He burst onto the major league scene. A .318 average, 29 HRs and 91 RBIs won him the National Leagueís Rookie of the Year Award.

His future seemed very promising, but within a few years, Allen's star had faded through injury and various incidents with teammates and coaches. Philadelphia's notorious fans turned on Allen. After an on-field fight with teammate Frank Thomas (no relation) resulted in Thomas's release from the team, Allen became public enemy number one.

"At first, they threw pennies at me, then big bolts, and finally beer bottles. I began wearing a batting helmet in the outfield for protection. For the rest of my career, I wore that helmet while playing the field.

"Luckily, a lot of guys on the club kept me loose that season. The guys on the pine took one look at me wearing that helmet in left field and broke up. They started calling me 'Crash Helmet' - which later got shortened to 'Crash' - another name I didn't need."

After six full seasons with Philly, Allen was traded to the Cardinals. The following year, he went to the Dodgers. One year there, and he moved to Chicago for the 1972 season. He had something to prove. According to manager Chuck Tanner, Allen put on that Sox uniform and played like a man "on a rampage, a man on a mission. Dick Allen picked the White Sox up on his back and carried them all season. It was a powerful thing to watch."

The Sox finished five games back of Oakland and looked primed to overtake them the following year. After his spectacular MVP season, however, Allen seemed to return to his characteristic ways. Sidelined by injury in 1973, then frustrated and in conflict with some of his teammates (one of whom was a surly Ron Santo), he abruptly "retired" in September of 1974. He never played for the White Sox again. A couple more years with the Phillies and a half season in Oakland, and he retired for good.

So is Dick Allen worthy of his bad rap? Those who crossed swords with him would agree, but Allen has some notable supporters - like former Sox GM Roland Hemond - who believe he was one of the best players to ever take the field.

Would Allen have profited by being more of a conformist and less of a renegade? Perhaps he'd be in the Hall of Fame today if that were the case.

Allen may have been an outlaw, but for one season he was the undisputed leader of the White Sox. He was the league's MVP, he blasted home runs that fans remember to this day, and he almost carried the Sox to a division title. If there's any reason you'd want to put on that gaudy baby blue jersey, let it be because it sports the number of the great Dick Allen. Barring that, find yourself a copy of Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen.


Postscript:

WSI presents an exclusive analysis of Dick Allen's career, and examines some of the myths surrounding him: linky (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=2065)

One final note: There was a bizarre convergence in the White Sox universe back in 1986. That year, then-White Sox GM Ken Harrelson appointed then-White Sox minor league batting coach Dick Allen to work with then-White Sox prospect Ken Williams. Wild.

kevin57
03-17-2006, 09:46 AM
I agree that Dick Allen's tenure as a Sox player cannot be summarized or judged quickly. It was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.)

Baby Fisk
03-17-2006, 09:48 AM
for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.)
Tanner gives good soundbytes. :cool:

TomBradley72
03-17-2006, 09:52 AM
I agree that Dick Allen's tenure as a Sox player cannot be summarized or judged quickly. It was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.)

He does deserve a bobblehead. :cool:

Minnie Me
03-17-2006, 10:12 AM
For the time and era the 1972 Dick Allen season was better than anything Thomas ever accomplished. Hitting, fielding, running, in 1972 Allen had the best overall season EVER by a White Sox.

Baby Fisk
03-17-2006, 10:17 AM
Almost forgot about the cover. How badass is this?

http://img463.imageshack.us/img463/6352/crash7jb.jpg

Lip Man 1
03-17-2006, 12:45 PM
Roland Hemond, Chuck Tanner, Mike Andrews, Ed Herrmann and Carlos May also have stories about Dick included in their interviews at WSI.

Lip

SOXPHILE
03-17-2006, 01:00 PM
He does deserve a bobblehead. :cool:

I'd like one of him punching out Ron Santo. Now that would be cool !

Baby Fisk
03-17-2006, 01:25 PM
I'd like one of him punching out Ron Santo. Now that would be cool !Awesome suggestion. :cool:

In his book, Allen blames a lot of clubhouse friction on Santo. Santo showed up on the southside in 1974 believing himself to be some kind of "Chicago institution" (Allen's words). Santo felt he should have automatically been the team leader. Santos' stats were absolute crap and he was washed-up, but he still acted like king **** around the other players. Allen and Santo frequently got into it. Allen should have kicked his sorry ass.

SOXPHILE
03-17-2006, 02:16 PM
Awesome suggestion. :cool:

In his book, Allen blames a lot of clubhouse friction on Santo. Santo showed up on the southside in 1974 believing himself to be some kind of "Chicago institution" (Allen's words). Santo felt he should have automatically been the team leader. Santos' stats were absolute crap and he was washed-up, but he still acted like king **** around the other players. Allen and Santo frequently got into it. Allen should have kicked his sorry ass.

From one story I heard, he did one time. Knocked his ass out cold in the clubhouse. I also heard that when Santo got there, he was acting like he was going to be the starting 3rd baseman, until a certain player wearing #14 said "Uhh..excuse me, but I don't think so."

TheKittle
03-17-2006, 02:52 PM
I met Dick Allen two years ago at the Shrine of the Eternals in Pasadena.

He was very nice about signing, I got his book and the SI with Allen in a White Sox uniform signed.


http://www.baseballreliquary.org/InductionDay2004.htm

TDog
03-17-2006, 03:04 PM
I agree that Dick Allen's tenure as a Sox player cannot be summarized or judged quickly. It was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.)

Chuck Tanner knew Dick Allen before the trade that sent Tommy (Who Needs To Be In the Hall Of Fame When You've Got Surgery Named After You) John to the Dodgers. Both Tanner and Allen came from western Pennsylvania (scary country, kids). Tanner is right, though, that Dick Allen had the greatest season of any Sox player in history. Even if others eclipse the stats, Allen dominated the league like no one I've seen since. Watching him stand at the plate with his 42-ounce bat was exciting. He seemed to do everything. He even hit two inside-the-park home runs in a game against the Twins.

Tanner, though, always seems to ignore the contributions others made to the Sox. Carlos May was an awesome hitter, although he didn't have strong power numbers. It's too bad Bill Melton's back put him out for most of the year. That may have been the 5.5 game difference between the Sox (third-best record in MLB) and the A's. Wilbur Wood was incredible, although he couldn't keep his ERA under 2 as he did in 1971. Still, how many pitchers throw 12-inning two-hitters, only giving up hits to Brant Alyea? The bullpen with pitchers like Vicente Romo, Steve Kealy (that season even hitting a home run in one of his few times up to bat) and Terry Forster (who hit over .500 while pitching lights out), had a great year.

Of course, Allen was at the center of everything for that one wonderful summer.

I hope kids today appreciate why older Sox fans wax poetic about teams that didn't even win their division.

kevin57
03-17-2006, 05:21 PM
I remember well and fondly the excitement that Allen brought to the team, but there was also a not-so-great atmosphere in that clubhouse. Wasn't Dick Allen the genesis of some of that? I don't remember him being much of a team player.

Lip Man 1
03-17-2006, 05:39 PM
Tanner made those comments because at that time Allen perhaps literally saved the White Sox franchise. He brought people back to the park and kept them from leaving for Milwaukee or other parts unknown.

Also Carlos May in his interview does talk about a confrontation between Santo and Allen although at least in this one he doesn't say anything about someone knocking someone out.

Lip

TDog
03-18-2006, 04:00 AM
Tanner made those comments because at that time Allen perhaps literally saved the White Sox franchise. He brought people back to the park and kept them from leaving for Milwaukee or other parts unknown.

Also Carlos May in his interview does talk about a confrontation between Santo and Allen although at least in this one he doesn't say anything about someone knocking someone out.

Lip

Dutchie said Harry Caray in fact literally saved the Sox franchise and brought people back to the park and kept them from leaving for parts unknown.

Milwaukee got the Brewers two seasons before the Sox got Allen, but otherwise I agree with you, Lip.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-18-2006, 06:10 AM
Roland Hemond worked for John Allyn, Bill Veeck, and Jerry Reinsdorf.

He states it was Dick Allen who saved the franchise. That's good enough for me.

DrCrawdad
03-18-2006, 08:22 AM
I went to Harry Caray's the day of the Sox victory parade with my wife and two kids. We were told that we'd have to wait 45 minutes to an hour to seat in the restaurant. I then walked to the restroom and saw the more than half empty dinning room. We immediately left.

Screw Harry Caray and that restaurant.

TommyJohn
03-18-2006, 09:33 AM
I went to Harry Caray's the day of the Sox victory parade with my wife and two kids. We were told that we'd have to wait 45 minutes to an hour to seat in the restaurant. I then walked to the restroom and saw the more than half empty dinning room. We immediately left.

Screw Harry Caray and that restaurant.

And the reason this is in a thread about Dick Allen is because....?

Sorry if my tone is sarcastic, Doc. It just seems like a total non-sequitor.

TommyJohn
03-18-2006, 09:42 AM
I don't think it would be breathless hyperbole to compare Dick Allen's 1972
season to Roy Hobbs in "The Natural." Allen was the single biggest
contributor to the team's pennant chase that year. Granted, Tanner
goes overboard with praise. Allen wasn't the entire enchilada, but he was
the badly needed ingredient that a young, talented team needed to chase
a veteran squad like Oakland. There were also great years from Carlos May,
Wilbur Wood, Pat Kelly, Stan Bahnsen, Terry Forster, Tom Bradley.

Of course, in 1973 it all came apart due to injuries and Stu Holcomb's
brainless personnel decisions.

Wsoxmike59
03-18-2006, 10:02 AM
I've always meant to read the book "Crash" since it came out but for some reason or another I just never got around to it.

Back when Frank Thomas came up with the Sox I immediately compared him numbers wise to Dick Allen, but I always felt Allen was a more potent and dangerous hitter.

Big Frank always seemed like a "stat rat" to me, being a little more complacent to take a Walk and keep the line moving.

Allen in the same situations would expand the strike zone a bit and reel the Pitcher in and try to inflict MORE damage to his psyche, as if to be saying, "you aren't pitching around me son, anything you throw I can hit, now take your lumps like a man".

Dick Allen's three seasons on the southside were memorable and thrilling ones, especially 1972. Ultimately they were disappointing ones too because the Sox fell short.

Watching Dick Allen set up a pitcher in crunch time situations was a thing of beauty.

DrCrawdad
03-18-2006, 02:34 PM
And the reason this is in a thread about Dick Allen is because....?

Sorry if my tone is sarcastic, Doc. It just seems like a total non-sequitor.

I see your point. There was a comment or two about how Harry Caray claimed, or took credit, for saving the Sox. My post was in reaction to that, a non-sequitur nonetheless.

Dan H
03-18-2006, 03:42 PM
Dick Allen was the most talented player to put on a Sox uniform. His career should have been greater.

I have not read all of "Crash" but have read a great deal of it. I was not impressed. Allen never takes blame for everything. Everything was someone else's fault. He had to be wrong about something.

Allen did do a lot for a sinking franchise. However during his three seasons with the Sox, he was never with the team at season's end. In '72, Chuck "What me worry" Tanner sent him home early. In '73, he was injured. In '74 Allen retired with three weeks left in the season. I think this says a lot.

Many say what Allen did for the Sox, but how about what the team and the city did for him? He was loved in Chicago. He had his own TV show that he stopped showing up for. The Sox gave a roster slot to his brother Hank so Hank could get a major league pension. Allen many times didn't feel like playing the second game of a double header and so he didn't.

In "Crash" Allen talked about how he pouted during the celebration when the Phillies won the divison title in 1976. He then threw a hissy fit because his friend, the washed up Tony Taylor, wasn't included on the playoff roster.

Sox players liked him, and maybe he was a better person than his tarnished image portrayed. But Dick Allen was no angel, and sometimes he invited his own troubles. He had the talent to have a Hall of Fame career. Too bad he didn't.

TDog
03-18-2006, 05:11 PM
...
Of course, in 1973 it all came apart due to injuries and Stu Holcomb's
brainless personnel decisions.

Deciding to have Dick Allen, Carlos May and Ken Henderson injured was one of his worst.

Reichardt and Johnstone are the decisions you may be talking about, but there are those who believe that the Sox would have overtaken the A's in 1972 if the Sox hadn't exchanged Looie Aparacio for Luis Alvarado while making the team over before 1971.

TommyJohn
03-18-2006, 06:32 PM
I see your point. There was a comment or two about how Harry Caray claimed, or took credit, for saving the Sox. My post was in reaction to that, a non-sequitur nonetheless.

I don't know that Harry Caray ever took credit for "saving" the team. But it
does seem in character for him.

I should've used spellcheck for "non-sequitur."

TommyJohn
03-18-2006, 06:35 PM
Deciding to have Dick Allen, Carlos May and Ken Henderson injured was one of his worst.

Reichardt and Johnstone are the decisions you may be talking about, but there are those who believe that the Sox would have overtaken the A's in 1972 if the Sox hadn't exchanged Looie Aparacio for Luis Alvarado while making the team over before 1971.

I believe I wrote "injuries and..." meaning it was a combination of both.

Lip Man 1
03-18-2006, 07:07 PM
TDog:

The White Sox used the disabled list over 25 times that season BUT it was Holcomb's insistance on taking a 'hard line' approach to salaries that killed any chance the Sox had. When you give away Reichardt, Andrews, Spezio and Johnstone for nothing simply because you are angry they wouldn't sign a contract... that's pure stupidity.

Without those guys the Sox had ZERO depth to withstand the injuries. (That is unless you call guys like John 'The Jet' Jeter, Buddy Bradford and Chuck Brinkman 'major league' players...)

May I suggest (if you haven't already) reading both the Chuck Tanner and Roland Hemond interviews at WSI for more on this. In fact Hemond said that when Holcomb ordered him to release Stan Bahnsen because he wouldn't sign the Sox first offer, Hemond went to John Allyn and threatened to resign himself.

Allyn sided with Hemond and Tanner and went on a road trip to tell Holcomb that he was done. This was in June or July of 73 but by then the damage was done for that season.

Holcomb shouldn't have even been the VP in the first place...he got the job because Allyn's soccer team the Chicago Mustangs folded and he didn't want to just pay him off.

And yes it was possible that if the Sox had kept Aparicio (and for that matter Gary Peters) they may have nailed the A's in 1972 even without Bill Melton but when you are coming off a 106 loss season in 1970 you are just trying to upgrade your roster period. Hemond got two decent players (Alvarado, Andrews) for one (Aparicio). That was his operating philosophy for that off season and you can't argue with the results. They went from 56 wins to 79 overnight, one of the largest single season turnarounds in MLB history.

Lip

RadioheadRocks
03-18-2006, 09:13 PM
Deciding to have Dick Allen, Carlos May and Ken Henderson injured was one of his worst.

Reichardt and Johnstone are the decisions you may be talking about, but there are those who believe that the Sox would have overtaken the A's in 1972 if the Sox hadn't exchanged Looie Aparacio for Luis Alvarado while making the team over before 1971.

Apparently Johnstone still had a major axe to grind over that one years after it happened. I remember a press conference/public appearance early in the 1984 season where Johnstone felt the need to say "You can just stick the Sox somewhere, because this is a Cubs town."

I was like, "yeah it happened but move on, dude!"

DickAllen72
03-18-2006, 09:49 PM
For the time and era the 1972 Dick Allen season was better than anything Thomas ever accomplished. Hitting, fielding, running, in 1972 Allen had the best overall season EVER by a White Sox.

Hence, my screen-name. :cool:

TommyJohn
03-19-2006, 09:05 AM
Apparently Johnstone still had a major axe to grind over that one years after it happened. I remember a press conference/public appearance early in the 1984 season where Johnstone felt the need to say "You can just stick the Sox somewhere, because this is a Cubs town."

I was like, "yeah it happened but move on, dude!"

I remember that Johnstone was bitter for several years after that, even
after Holcomb and Allyn were dead, let alone gone from the organization.

TornLabrum
03-19-2006, 09:18 AM
There was a reason salaries were so low on that team. John Allyn was barely keeping his financial head above water during those years. Wasn't it Ed Herrmann who was traded because the Sox couldn't afford to pay his $30,000 (or thereabouts) salary? Allyn sold the team to avoid bankruptcy.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-19-2006, 09:41 AM
Wasn't it Ed Herrmann who was traded because the Sox couldn't afford to pay his $30,000 (or thereabouts) salary? Allyn sold the team to avoid bankruptcy.

Yep. And before that, Allyn was selling off ballplayers just so he could make payroll. Herrmann was one of several. I'm not sure younger Sox Fans appreciate how close they came to not having a Sox team to root for.
:(:

It's truly amazing how the Chicago White Sox franchise managed to survive from 1969 - 1980. The club averted extinction not less than three times in this period, and only two heroes* kept it from happening: John Allyn (who bought out his brother when Selig wanted to get the team for Milwaukee) and Bill Veeck (who was the *only* bidder willing to keep the team in Chicago in 1975).

BTW, Happy Birthday Torn!

:happybday

* Some might argue Reinsdorf saved the franchise in 1981, but the facts are other bidders, notably Ed DeBartolo, were around a full year earlier trying to buy the club for Chicago.

Lip Man 1
03-19-2006, 02:03 PM
Hal:

Happy Birthday to you.

Regarding Herrmann...he was traded because the Sox wouldn't give him a two THOUSAND dollar raise.

ML: Before the 1975 season the Sox traded you to the Yankees. I know itís part of the game but did that come as a shock to you?

EH: "It really hurt me. It gave me the feeling that I was unwanted. The Sox wanted me to sign a contract for the same money I made the previous season. I said I wasnít going to sign for that, I wanted a two thousand dollar raise just because if I signed for the same amount Iíd be losing money because the cost of living went up. They basically wanted me to take a cut and I wasnít going to do that. I told them they better trade me, so they did. I know that wasnít Roland Hemondís doing, it was the people above him."

Also remember Bucky Dent was traded right before the club hopped on a plane to Toronto to open the 1977 season because he wanted 120,000 in salary. The Sox offered 108,000. When Dent wouldn't take it, he was traded. Bill Veeck then said that 'he'd trade Dent even up for every other shortstop in the American League...'

Lip

Dick Allen
03-19-2006, 03:06 PM
TDog:

The White Sox used the disabled list over 25 times that season BUT it was Holcomb's insistance on taking a 'hard line' approach to salaries that killed any chance the Sox had. When you give away Reichardt, Andrews, Spezio and Johnstone for nothing simply because you are angry they wouldn't sign a contract... that's pure stupidity.

Without those guys the Sox had ZERO depth to withstand the injuries. (That is unless you call guys like John 'The Jet' Jeter, Buddy Bradford and Chuck Brinkman 'major league' players...)

May I suggest (if you haven't already) reading both the Chuck Tanner and Roland Hemond interviews at WSI for more on this. In fact Hemond said that when Holcomb ordered him to release Stan Bahnsen because he wouldn't sign the Sox first offer, Hemond went to John Allyn and threatened to resign himself.

Allyn sided with Hemond and Tanner and went on a road trip to tell Holcomb that he was done. This was in June or July of 73 but by then the damage was done for that season.

Holcomb shouldn't have even been the VP in the first place...he got the job because Allyn's soccer team the Chicago Mustangs folded and he didn't want to just pay him off.

And yes it was possible that if the Sox had kept Aparicio (and for that matter Gary Peters) they may have nailed the A's in 1972 even without Bill Melton but when you are coming off a 106 loss season in 1970 you are just trying to upgrade your roster period. Hemond got two decent players (Alvarado, Andrews) for one (Aparicio). That was his operating philosophy for that off season and you can't argue with the results. They went from 56 wins to 79 overnight, one of the largest single season turnarounds in MLB history.

LipWasn't Holcomb the AD at Northwestern at one time? Anyway, I met Dick Allen at the National Sports Convention last year. I told him he was the most unbeilevable hitter I had ever seen (hence, my screen name :D:). He thanked me and said he wished he could have played his whole career in Chicago. I then wondered why he left the team in 1974 if he really felt this way.

Lip Man 1
03-19-2006, 06:25 PM
Dick:

Yes he was AD at Northwestern.

Lip

white sox bill
03-20-2006, 07:36 AM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, why does Dick call his book crash? As in crash and burn? DA I adored but he didn't seem to have the demeanor as in "crash". Now Aaron Rowand, thats crash!

Baby Fisk
03-20-2006, 10:31 AM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, why does Dick call his book crash? As in crash and burn? DA I adored but he didn't seem to have the demeanor as in "crash". Now Aaron Rowand, thats crash!
Crash was Allen's nickname. Perhaps he thought it would be a fitting name for the book as well.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-20-2006, 10:41 AM
Take the quiz and smarten up.
(http://whitesoxinteractive.com/Fun&Games/TriviaQuiz1.htm)
:cool:

:fsock

PaulDrake
03-20-2006, 11:02 AM
I agree that Dick Allen's tenure as a Sox player cannot be summarized or judged quickly. It was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.) I don't know about the statue but he was definitely the best player ever to don a Sox uniform. Many of his attributes are already described here, but additionally he was the best baserunner I ever saw. To see him fly around the bases, cutting the corners just right and sliding into third on a triple was a thing of beauty. He would also do a lot of little things you don't expect a slugger to do, like hitting behind the runner in a close game. He got his leg broken trying to make a great play at first in 1973. The White Sox literally came back from near death in 71-72. Injuries and owner Allyn's bank account prevented them from taking the next step. Dick Allen, for all his faults helped save the franchise. He made the old ball park come alive just by appearing in the on deck circle.

Belated happy birthday to fellow baby boomer born in 1950 Torn Labrum.

white sox bill
03-20-2006, 01:10 PM
I took the test and didn't fare to well:?: ....showing my youth:smile:

ode to veeck
03-21-2006, 02:12 PM
Roland Hemond worked for John Allyn, Bill Veeck, and Jerry Reinsdorf.

He states it was Dick Allen who saved the franchise. That's good enough for me.

He did it when Soxdom was really dead and probably about to leave town. I wanted Allen to triple crown that year, as did lead in several categories at points througout the year, and absolutely no one could hit a baseball harder than he.

Harry came a few years later.

oldcomiskey
03-21-2006, 05:44 PM
I agree that Dick Allen's tenure as a Sox player cannot be summarized or judged quickly. It was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, for Chuck Tanner to say that he was the best player that ever donned a Sox uni and that he deserves a statue in center field is :?: :rolleyes: :rolling: :thud: (I won't go so far as to insert the puking guy.)
kevin Im gonna tell you something that maybe you dont realize--Dick Allen and Harry Carey SAVED this franchise. I suggest you read up on Sox history before spitting on a legend

TDog
03-21-2006, 06:22 PM
I don't know about the statue but he was definitely the best player ever to don a Sox uniform. Many of his attributes are already described here, but additionally he was the best baserunner I ever saw. To see him fly around the bases, cutting the corners just right and sliding into third on a triple was a thing of beauty. He would also do a lot of little things you don't expect a slugger to do, like hitting behind the runner in a close game. He got his leg broken trying to make a great play at first in 1973. The White Sox literally came back from near death in 71-72. Injuries and owner Allyn's bank account prevented them from taking the next step. Dick Allen, for all his faults helped save the franchise. He made the old ball park come alive just by appearing in the on deck circle.

Belated happy birthday to fellow baby boomer born in 1950 Torn Labrum.

People forget what it was like. I loved going to the ballpark before Dick Allen came to the Sox, but sometimes the crowd was so small and quiet you could hear the radio play-by-play from the concourse on television. The most expensive tickets were $3.50, and people still didn't go to the games just a couple of years after the Sox nearly went to the World Series. Harry Caray came in 1971, in sharp contrast to Bob Elson, but Dick Allen changed everything for us fans.

I don't know if anyone can take credit for "saving the Sox." The Sox easily could have left town in immediate post-Allen years. During his years, the Sox would have had a good team, though not contending with Oakland, had the Sox not pulled the trade that brought him from LA. The Sox only contended in 1972, anyway. His salary -- over $200,000, about 10 times what Carlos May was making just a couple years earlier -- wouldn't have been a drain on the team finances. Allen may have added 40 percent to the gate. Still the most they ever drew with Allen was 1.3 million -- incredible enough considering the record for both Chicago teams was about 1.6 million.

At the time, Allen did bring the back the Sox from the dead. But the Sox have been near dead before and since.

Mark
03-22-2006, 01:16 PM
Richard Anthony Allen was one of the major reasons why I became a White Sox fan during his short tenure with the team -- his influence on a kid who lived 800 miles from Comiskey Park was that strong.

But I also agree with Dan H. that he never got the most out of his career and certainly could've been HOF material with a better attitude/work ethic.