This Sunday September 30th at the Victorian Ballroom in the Germantown section of Philadelphia Dick Allen along with several other African American Pioneers will receive the Philadelphia Legacy Portrait Award. Richard Allen Jr, the oldest son of Allen will accept the award on behalf of his father who is struggling with some minor health issues. However Dick will make a speech live via Skype. According to the Legacy website the award is given to people who were Trailblazers who represent a time in Philadelphia history that has been transformed though fortitude and leadership.
Others being awarded is the late Acel Moore, who started as a copyboy at the Inquirer and became one of four Black reporters, including William K. Marimow, now editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer who worked closely with Mr. Moore beginning in 1972. Trudy Haynes the first Philadelphia Black newscaster brought a face into rooms across Philadelphia. When asked about her motivation in landing such a position, Haynes stated that “because of the lack of Black reporters in the industry. I was never influenced by anyone. My growth and simply brashness on my part.” Both Acel and Trudy transformed Philadelphia through their craft and through their influence on their craft. Tina Sloan Green was the first African American Lacrosse coach and led Temple to 11 NCAA Final Fours and won 3 National Championships and is now in the NCAA Hall of Fame.
Dick Allen was the Phillies first African American superstar. The Phillies had been the last National League team to integrate. Being a Trailblazer Allen had a love hate relationship with Philadelphia. His accomplishments and lasting impact cannot be denied. Allen hit some of the longest home runs since Babe Ruth and used the heaviest bat in baseball. Allen finished his career with a .292 lifetime batting average which was extremely high for a power hitter. In spite of the horrid racism he faced in the minor leagues, especially in Little Rock, Arkansas he continued to play at an optimum and now what is being called a Hall of Fame Level. Ironically, Acel Moore was one of the few writers that Dick Allen ever spoke to.