Dick Allen, the Life and Times of a Baseball Immortal: An Illustrated Biography

DICK ALLEN                                                   WILLIAM C. KASHATUS

Baseball star Richie "Dick" Allen forced Philadelphians to address the racism that existed in their city during the 1960s. While his candid opinions challenged the white baseball establishment, Allen's tape-measure home runs earned the admiration of younger fans and fellow players, both black and white. The admiration, as well as Allen's reputation as "Baseball's Bad Boy," continued after he left Philadelphia to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox. Named the American League's Most Valuable player in 1972, Allen was one of the game's most misunderstood players. Based on interviews of teammates, family, friends, and Allen himself, this richly illustrated biography with original artwork by Dick Perez explores the star's personal life as well as his playing career. It is a story about one of the finest baseball players of all time, and one who deserves to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


This book about Dick “Richie” Allen, for me was a very good book in giving what it was like for him playing in the 60’s and 70’s. During the 60’s he spent most of his time with the Phillies and though I lived on the west coast I would still hear his name and some Saturday’s see highlights of what he and other stars had done during the week. What I did not know and what the author brings out is the hatred that some of the fans, and the sports writers had for him mainly for the color of his skin and for speaking out of how the salaries of players were wrong. They were sent forth by management with no bargaining by a player and for some reason everyone thought that this was okay. When he spoke out about it he was criticized by not only the fans of Philly, but also by some of the press. There were some of the press that agreed with what he was saying but only a few. Here was a player who was outstanding, not only as a fielder but also as a hitter. He won rookie of the year in 64 and as they say he was off and running, or hitting some of the longest home runs. Everyone talks about the collapse of the Phillies in 64 losing 12 games, but during those 12 games Allen hit .438, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs and 11 RBI in the last 12 games he did his part. In 65 he hit a home run in old Connie Mack Stadium 529- foot it cleared the left center Coke sign. Yet he was still booed by the home town fans. In the book there is a fight that took place between Allen and a player named Frank Thomas who everyone said hit Allen with a bat and was the one that started the fight, yet because of the time and him being white and then getting traded people in Philadelphia looked at this as an African American caused a white person to lose his job. The author does a good job at bringing in what was going in the country at the time with riots after Martin King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy both being assassinated. You also factor in the city he played for was racially divided and then you add his own flair of showing up late and not to batting practice and you begin to see how it all came to a head. Once traded he had the same problems in every place he played. He was fun to watch and as a youngster I enjoyed collecting his cards because he sure could hit. This is a very good book about an interesting person on and off the field. I got this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 4 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com

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