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.