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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

WGN Radio: Learn how All-Star Dick Allen captured the heart of Chicago in the new book, ‘Chili Dog MVP’

Though he only played two years with the Chicago White Sox, baseball great Dick Allen made an unforgettable mark on Chicago sports. Authors John Owens and Dr. David Fletcher join John Landecker to look at not only Allen’s career but the city itself in a time of change.

Listen to the Interview at WGNRadio.com…

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

Chicago Magazine: Q&A With John Owens and David J. Fletcher, authors of “Chili Dog MVP”

The new book tells the story not just of the Sox’s Dick Allen, but of Chicago in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Lead author John Owens, along with Dr. David Fletcher and George Castle, weave an entertaining narrative of Allen, his teammates and broadcaster Harry Caray bringing pride to a franchise that had one foot out of town to Milwaukee just 2 1/2 years previously and equal status in profile with the dominant Chicago Cubs.

Dick Allen kept the White Sox in Chicago. That’s the argument authors John Owens and David J. Fletcher make in their new book, Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, the ’72 White Sox and a Transforming Chicago. By the late 1960s, the Sox already had one foot out of the city: they were playing 10 games a year in Milwaukee, and Bud Selig had made an offer to buy the team and move them 90 miles north permanently. The Sox acquired Allen in a trade from the Dodgers before the 1972 season, offering him a $140,000 a year contract — a quarter of their payroll. Allen rewarded his new team with an MVP season that renewed interest in baseball on the South Side. This month, Allen came up one vote short of election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee. That’s an overdue honor, say the authors.

So Dick Allen, what’s the importance of him and ultimately turning things around for the White Sox? Do you think he played a role in keeping the team in Chicago?

Owens: He definitely did, because he energized the fan base and brought the fan base back. They only drew for 475,000 in ’70. Dick was a superstar. He was arguably the best player in baseball at that time. The stats prove it. If you look at sabermetrics and modern stats, from 1964 to 1974, there was no better player in baseball. He was a gate attraction because of who he was. He was an iconoclast, he was portrayed as a rebel — and he was for baseball, because he knew his self-worth. He bargained for his salary. Held out for what he was worth every year. So he was resented for that and for other things. But he was Michael Jordan in Chicago before Michael Jordan.

How did Allen bond with the fan base? What was his impact?

Owens: He was a great five-tool player, so he was appointment viewing. You had to be in your seat when he was at bat, because something good was going to happen, something that you’ve never seen. Yeah, he’s a normal-sized man. He was only like 5’11”, maybe 180, 190, but he swung a 40-ounce bat, and he was just a true threat. In addition to his talent is that he was the epitome of cool. I was 7 years old when he was traded to the Sox in ’72, so as a Black child growing up on the South Side, he especially had significance for me, because he was so cool. He dressed like Superfly.

Fletcher: It energized the fan base, especially the mystery because he held out in spring training. And then the first game out in Kansas City was on April 15, the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut, he hits a frickin’ home run in the top of the ninth against the Royals. Unfortunately, they lost in extra innings. In the beginning, the White Sox had a terrific home record. Comiskey Park was the place to be. It just brought energy and hope to the fans. He also had a great surrounding cast. He was the star attraction, but Carlos May, he was the second leading hitter on the team that year. He almost won the American batting crown against Rod Carew. You had Bill Melton, Wilbur Wood, Terry Forster, you know, “the fat tub of goo”?

But it’s not just a baseball book. It’s a book about Chicago and about plantation politics and Jesse Jackson and what happened in the aftermath of the Fred Hampton murder, what changed in Chicago, and we really weave that in the story about the Crosstown Freeway, the Democratic Convention in ’72, just the changing of the guard. That’s what makes it a Chicago story. Dick came out of nowhere. We needed a hero like him to energize the fan base. Suddenly, the Sox were relevant. People were coming to Comiskey Park. They had a young, exciting team. They almost won it in ’72. They started out great in ’73. But unfortunately, Dick broke his leg in June of 1973, and he never really recovered from that injury.

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

WCIU Sports with Kenny McReynolds: Interview with ‘Chili Dog MVP’ Author John Owens and Sox player Carlos May

Sports Edition and Chicago White Sox fan Kenny McReynolds interviews “Chili Dog MVP” Author John Owens and Sox player Carlos May about Dick Allen and the 1972 Season Chicago White Sox and the Chili Dog Game.

Watch the video at WCIU.com…

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

White Sox Talk Podcast: Fergie Jenkins & Carlos May on Dick Allen and the Hall of Fame

Chuck Garfien continues his two-part series on Dick Allen by speaking with Ferguson Jenkins who was on the Golden Days Era committee that left Allen one vote shy of the Hall of Fame. Jenkins had Allen first on his ballot. He speaks with Chuck about the vote and why he believes Allen belongs in the Hall of Fame. Then, Chuck speaks with Allen’s former White Sox teammate Carlos May about what made Allen such a special player, his famous Sports Illustrated cover, the new book about Allen entitled ‘Chilli Dog MVP’, and more.

  • (3:05) – Ferguson Jenkins interview, Dick Allen was the 4th best hitter he ever faced
  • (6:05) – Jenkins on how bad Allen wanted to get into the Hall of Fame
  • (14:11) – Carlos May interview, Dick Allen was larger than life
  • (21:25) – Stories of Dick Allen
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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

670 The Score: Ferguson “Fergie ” Jenkins interview

In the final hour of his podcast, Mark Grote was joined by legendary Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins joined the show to discuss a variety of topics.

Listen to the Interview at Audacy.com/670thescore/…

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

670 The Score: Goose Gossage Interview with Bruce Levine and David Haugh

Bruce Levine and David Haugh were joined by Hall of Fame pitcher Goose Gossage to explain why it was a mistake for the great Dick Allen not to get elected into the Hall of Fame recently. Gossage also had great stories to share.

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

WBBM News Radio 780: Authors write about late White Sox MVP in book, push for his recognition in baseball hall of fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Days Era Committee will meet Sunday to consider long-retired players for election to the Hall of Fame and two Chicago authors have written a new book about a late White Sox slugger whom many say is long overdue for a spot in the museum.

“I will tell you that Dick made it really clear to me that he ever gotten in the Hall of Fame, he wanted to go in as a White Sox,” Dr. David Fletcher said. “Certainly he was a personality. I think that’s probably what we really tried to put in the book- bring him to life.”

Co-author John Owens said the book is not just about the 1972 American League MVP, but a pivotal era on the South Side. “His role in helping to save the franchise, because the White Sox franchise was in trouble – close to moving.”.

Fletcher said Allen helped bring fans back. “Comiskey Park was empty and Dick Allen arrived and it was the place to be. Basically he was Michael Jordan before Michael Jordan.”

Allen is also remembered for an iconic Sports Illustrated cover which showed him juggling baseballs with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.

“At the end of his life, he hated that cover, because he was caught smoking,” added Owens.

Allen died a year ago of lung cancer and a portion of the proceeds of book sales will help Gilda’s Club Chicago as it provides cancer support for all in the Chicagoland area.

Read the full article at www.Audacy.com/wbbm780/…

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

Baltimore Positive: The story of Dick Allen and the Southside of Chicago in ’72

A new book on the 1972 Chicago White Sox and the Hall of Fame candidacy of Dick Allen intrigues the “Aparicio” in Nestor. Authors John Owens and David Fletcher join him from The Windy City to reminisce about tough times and great uniforms at Comiskey Park.

See the original article at BaltimorePositive.com…

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

Byers & Co. podcast: Author Dr. David Fletcher Interview

Chili Dog MVP Co-Author Dr. David Fletcher was interviewed on Decatur’s Byers & Co Radio Show & Podcast on December 2, 2021, listen below:

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Chili Dog MVP Press Box: News & Media

Fox 32 Chicago Interview with John Owens, author of ‘Chili Dog MVP’

Author John Owens talks about his new book “Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, The 1972 White Sox and A Transforming Chicago” and the impact Dick Allen had on the South Side.

Watch on FOX32Chicago.com…