Chili Dog MVP Book Excerpts

Dick Allen historic home runs at Comiskey Park

By July [1972], Dick’s exploits were becoming legendary among fans. There was his incredible start to the season, when he recorded 14 hits in 31 at-bats in the first eight games — including two home runs of more than 400 feet. There was his 500-foot home run blast at White Sox Park that struck the back wall of the center field bleachers on May 21 against the California Angels’ Rudy May, putting the Sox in first place. There was also, of course, the “Chili Dog Game.” The slugger eating a chili dog before hitting that pinch-hit, three-run, game-winning homer awed many who later learned of the details.

No part of Comiskey Park was beyond Dick Allen’s home-run reach. The graphic perfectly captures the slugger’s all-time distance classics. Photo credit: Gregory J. Sgambato Senior Graphic Designer, Choice SportsCards.
Photo credit: Gregory J. Sgambato Senior Graphic Designer, Choice SportsCards. Download the 12″x18″ Poster…

No part of Comiskey Park was beyond Dick Allen’s home-run reach. 

The graphic perfectly captures the slugger’s all-time distance classics:

  • A) June 7, 1974 — 508 feet — “This was the longest line drive I ever saw.” (Carlton Fisk)
  • B) May 1, 1073 — 490 feet — Hit tower platform on left field roof and bounced over.
  • C) August 23, 1972 — 480 feet — Landed in the 7th row in center field bleachers
  • D) July 23, 1972 — 450 feet — Hit off of Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry landed in the 4th row of the upper deck in deep right center field.
  • E) April 26, 1972 — 465 feet — Rising line drive which broke a chair in the 10th row of the left field upper deck.
  • F) May 12, 1972 — 475 feet — Landed in the first row of upper deck in left center field.
  • G) June 22, 1973 — 468 feet — Line drive off the upper deck facade in deep left center field.
  • H) August 4, 1974 — 458 feet — Hit the top bleacher wall just left of dead center field.
  • I) July 16, 1974 — 455 feet — Hit a batting catch in center field
  • J) August 20, 1972 — 463 feet — Hit high into left center field deck.

Download the 12″x18″ Comiskey Park Poster… (PDF)

The 40-ounce bat Mr. Allen wielded was probably the heaviest anyone was using in the majors at that time – but he was able to deftly control the prodigious lumber, routinely hitting the ball with power to all fields.

“His dozen bats were in the locker next to mine,” Bill Melton said of his superstar teammate. “And I took one out. And I looked around, I said, My God, nobody can swing this. Forty ounces? Forty and three-quarters? Mine were 32, 33 ounces. I picked that bat up and I took it out to the batting cage just to see if I could swing it. And after about five or six swings, man, my arm started to swell up, you know, I was going, ‘God almighty, this guy swings this thing around like a buggy whip.’ He had big hands and powerful arms. He was a powerful man. As a matter of fact, he was kind of embarrassed of his hands. But they were powerful hands. And 40 ounces was unheard of in major league baseball.”

Arguably, Dick hit the ball harder in his era than anyone else, and his exploits became almost mythical, even to the opposition, let alone to members of his own team.

“He is the closest thing to being a perfect ballplayer that I have ever seen,” said the future White Sox Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio, who competed against Allen with Boston.