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Richie Allen was also the subject of a song by singer and songwriter Chuck Brodsky called "Letters In the Dirt." I'll allow Chuck to explain:
Erik Thomas
Bellingham, WA

Allen was the lone African American on the team that year, and the only black position player. But future Hall of Fame member Ferguson Jenkins (a Canadian) and Marcelino Lopez (from Cuba) were pitchers on the 1963 squad.
Gerald Koonce
Little Rock, AR

I met Dick Allen several times; he was friendly, polite, humble, and good humored. Willie Mays said he never saw anyone hit a ball harder or farther than Allen. Only three players have ever hit a ball over the rooftop of Connie Mack Stadium onto Somerset Street—Jimmie Foxx, Hank Aaron, and Dick Allen. The Phillies did Allen wrong by sending him to a racist town like Little Rock in 1963 to play AAA ball. Dick, the Travelers’ only black player, received threats and could not eat in whites-only restaurants. Scranton or Eugene would have been better. However, this did not affect Dick’s play, as he led the league in homers and won the team’s MVP award.
Allen was ahead of his time, and things he did in the 1960s wouldn’t raise an eyebrow today. Dick played in a “pitcher’s era,” with a higher mound than today and the regulation baseball, before MLB “souped” it up. It is scary to think what Allen might do in today’s watered-down league.
Allen was not a pop-up home run hitter. One of Allen’s homers once hit the window of a restaurant in St. Louis’s Busch Stadium located way atop the left upper deck. Allen’s raw power, his speed and grace, his unselfish play on the field, and his statistics earn him a right to be in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Until MLB recognizes Allen for his incredible talent, the Hall of Fame is a Hall of Shame built on a false foundation.


Larry Blong
Woodlyn, PA