SEVEN-TIME ALL-STAR & 1972 AL MVP DICK ALLEN DISCUSSes his controversial mlb CAREER
on MLB NETWORK’S STUDIO 42 WITH BOB COSTAS on tuesday, DECEMBER 15
December 14, 2009 – 1971 American League MVP Dick Allen discusses his career in an episode of MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas on Tuesday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET & PT. Throughout the interview Allen talks about playing during segregation in Philadelphia in the 1960’s, why he is not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, his prolific home runs, and his reputation during his playing career. A preview of the interview can be viewed here.
Prior to Studio 42 with Bob Costas, at 6:00 p.m. ET MLB Network will air Hot Stove, its live studio show in the offseason with updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season. Immediately following the interview with Allen, MLB Network will re-air Bob Costas’ interview with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Highlights from the interview with Allen include:
ON NOT BEING IN THE HALL OF FAME
I’ll be honest with you, Bob, and truthful about it. I don’t really know how it works and what actually makes a Hall of Famer because baseball to me, it seemed like it’s a team sport and they [Hall of Fame Voting Committee] single out one guy over his stats.
I’m pretty satisfied inside, because people don’t know the truth. And I ask you Bob, really. On your show, what are the criteria of a Hall of Famer? Is he just an ambassador to the game? Or is it just statistics? Because statistics, the stats, he really doesn’t gather up any stats unless he has those teammates.
ON PLAYING BASEBALL IN PHILADELPHIA DURING SEGREGATION IN THE 1960’S
There’s a ton of guys that had to go through hardship during segregated days … I look at it this way, you either left home and you wanted to prove that you could make the Major Leagues, prove that you can play with the best, and, to answer to your other question [about] … well that’s why we left home; to prove that we can play – to make the major leagues and to prove that you can play and help a team with the best.
ON PLAYING IN THE ERA AFTER JACKIE ROBINSON
Yeah, I’m really a part of it, and not only that, I’m glad to be, even though they were tough, tough days. It brings light onto what we have on the field today, as far as players that I’m awful proud of.
ON HAVING A REPUATION FOR BEING A TROUBLEMAKER
All through the ‘60’s, we were a pretty radical bunch. They were marching everywhere, and the next thing I know, my name is ‘Richie,’ not Dick here. Now it’s Richie, we’re at war at Vietnam, we got the hippies and we got the love people. We were a pretty radical bunch. The point of it is here, unless some of those rules change and we’re wearing the same uniform, that’s a team, hey, we’re going to act like a team, let the rules be the same of all of them. So, in defiance, I’m trying to get out of there and maybe people just look at here, he’s a troublemaker, I’m looking out for my own benefit.
ON HAVING A DRINK THE DAY OF A GAME
Beer is mostly much what ballplayers did back then, we’d have a beer. Heck, everybody advertised. No, we weren’t supposed to. If there was any fun in that game, I didn’t miss much of it, Bob, to tell you the truth. I’m serious. Some guys had aches, pains and coughs and, golly, maybe a little brandy in a cup of coffee. On cold days, we’d come in and say, “Hey Broom, give me some of that coffee.” Everybody would have a sip or two. They would be off and we’d go get them. So maybe I was enhancing with a little brandy and a little coffee but it wasn’t an ongoing, everyday type of thing. Like I said, if there was any fun out there, I didn’t miss much of it.
ON THE ’64 PHILLIES COLLAPSE
Johnny Callison, he led us right on through. We manufactured a lot of runs and everybody blamed it on Gene Mauch, but I really can’t. They say he ruined a lot of players’ careers and things. I don’t think he did – maybe some of them were destined to go and take that. I loved playing for him because he wanted to do the same thing I did: He wanted to win at any cost, but maybe not knowing how to talk with the other players. I’m not going to use the word “handle” because I hated that myself. You handle horses. You handle problems and adversity but you don’t people that way.
ON HITTING PROLIFIC HOME RUNS
To be honest with you, it’s not how long and how far and how many. I got a bigger kick out of maybe that ground ball that ate that shortstop up. I got more gratification out of handcuffing an infielder than the home run depending on whether we need that run that puts us ahead.
ON PLAYING THE GAME
I think the good thing was my mind was always in the ballgame. Win or lose, the happiest time for me was between the lines. Outside the lines were tough.