Dear Mr. Idelson,
I am sending this email in hope that you will read it and then forward it to the members of the various voting and nominating committees for the “2014 Golden Era Ballot.”
I was a former groundskeeper for the Philadelphia Phillies at Veteran’s Stadium for 33 years. I also have been friends with Dick Allen and his entire family for over 40 years.
Around February 2013 I received a phone call from Dick Allen Jr., who asked me to get in touch with Dr. David Fletcher, who is the Chairman or President of the Chicago Baseball Museum. He mentioned that Dr. Fletcher and the Chicago Baseball Museum, who supported Ron Santo and Minnie Minoso on the 2011 Golden Era Ballot, would in fact support his father Dick Allen in 2014.
I contacted Dr. Fletcher and he did say his Museum would support or campaign for Dick Allen. In fact, he sent me a well-laid out plan with specific details on how he would help Dick Allen. The heading of his newsletter read “Strategic Plan To Get Dick Allen Into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.” It was a very impressive piece of literature.
(This article appeared in the April 2, 1996 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer)
By William Kashatus
Dick Allen’s 1969 baseball card.
Dick Allen forced Philadelphia baseball and its fans to come to terms with the racism that existed in this city in the ’60s and ’70s. He may not have done it with the self-discipline or tact of Jackie Robinson, but he exemplified the emerging independence of major league baseball players as well as growing black consciousness.
While his unexcused absences, candid opinions and pre-game beer drinking earned him some of the harshest press in Philadelphia’s sport history, his tape-measure home runs and exceptional speed gained for him the tremendous admiration of fellow players – both black and white.
Allen became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1982. But his candidacy has been tainted by the scathing opinions of baseball writers like Bill James, who claims that he “used racism as an explosive to blow his own teams apart.” James specifically cites Allen’s 1965 fight with veteran Frank Thomas, who was subsequently traded, and the slugger’s threat not to play in the 1976 post-season if the Phillies didn’t make room on the roster for an aging Tony Taylor, as examples of his manipulative nature. Not surprisingly, James dismisses Allen’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame on the ground that he “did more to keep his teams from winning than anybody else who ever played major league baseball.” There certainly is another side to the story. Continue reading
It’s too bad Pasquale “Pete” Cera passed away before we started this campaign to get Dick Allen elected to the Hall of Fame. Imagine the stories Pete could have told about Dick. The two men has an incredible friendship for 44 years.
In researching material for our presentation we came across this comment about Pete from Dick:
“I thank God that Pete walked through my life. He was great influence on me through tough segregated times. He was there for all of us, no matter what color. He stands among the tallest men in my career.”
Read the Entire Document
By Ray W. Kelly
(Phillies beat writer 1964 through 1981)
Perhaps the greatest stumbling block is a man named Bill James, a renowned baseball historian and statistical guru. In 1985 he wrote a book entitled The Historical Baseball Abstract. It was hailed as the “holy book of baseball,” a classic.
In it, the newly-crowned “Sultan of Statistics” said this about Dick Allen:
“Dick Allen did more to keep his teams from winning than anyone else who ever played major league baseball.”
James, who never met Allen or even saw him play, went on to add that Allen was the second most controversial player in baseball history, behind Rogers Hornsby.
It was a damning assessment, one that instantly became the gospel truth to a lot of people, many of them baseball people, some of them voting sportswriters.
James has never provided an ounce of evidence as to what brought him to draw such dire conclusions concerning Dick Allen. Whenever attempts were made to discover the reason he embarked upon such slander, he simply vanished into the woodwork. Continue reading