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See the source imageThe White Sox obtain a player to be named later on December 3, 1974 and cash from the Braves in exchange for Dick Allen, who refuses to report to Atlanta, citing he wants no part of playing in the South. The ‘Wampum Walloper’, after announcing his retirement, will be coaxed to play again for the Phillies, returning to Philadelphia in May, having missed all of spring training and the start of the season.

The Sox were favored by many to make the playoffs in 1973, but those hopes were dashed due in large measure to the fractured fibula that Allen suffered in June. (He tried to return five weeks after injuring the leg in a collision with Mike Epstein of the A’s, but the pain ended his season after just one game in which he batted 3-for-5.) In 1974, despite his making the AL All-Star team in each of the three years with the Sox, Allen’s stay in Chicago ended in controversy when he left the team on September 14 with two weeks left in the season. In his autobiography, Allen blamed his feud with third-baseman Ron Santo, who was playing a final, undistinguished season with the White Sox after leaving the crosstown Chicago Cubs.

With Allen’s intention to continue playing baseball uncertain, the White Sox reluctantly sold his contract to the Atlanta Braves for only $5,000, despite the fact that he had led the league in home runs, slugging (.563), and OPS (.938). Allen refused to report to the Braves and announced his retirement.

The Phillies managed to coax Allen out of retirement for the 1975 season. The lay-off and nagging effects of his 1973 broken leg hampered his play. His numbers improved in 1976, a Phillies division winner, as he hit 15 home runs and batted .268 in 85 games. He continued his tape measure legacy during his second go-round with the Phillies. On August 22, 1975, Allen smashed a homer into the seldom reached upperdeck at San Diego’s Qualcomm (née Jack Murphy) Stadium.

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