Archive for Dick Allen Research Department

Inserting Dick Allen’s Name Into Works of Literature

In which the Royal We insert Dick Allen’s name into various works representative of the Western Canon, thus adding to those various works the patina of blessedness.

Today’s episode: A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by Dick Allen.

This has been the latest installment of Inserting Dick Allen’s Name Into Works of Literature.

The Inside of Dick Allen’s Batting Helmet

I look upon this as I imagine Rilke looked upon that statue of Apollo, or as Frank Sinatra first looked upon the naked bestowals of Ava Gardner.

The image journeys through my eyes, down my throat and into the flame-licked meadow of my guts, and all that is wrong or inadequate or too purple or too loosed from its moorings during last night’s storm recoils. It recoils not for fear of the unnamed something but rather in order to stop and listen to a sound that is at once the annihilation of ancient leaves under Charlemagne’s boot and the fife-and-drum corps that heralds the simultaneous birth and death and spectral presence of a great man. Or perhaps the screams of a pumice stone at the river’s edge.

Swing low, baseball’s chariot: I have laid eyes — yellowed, rheumy eyes — upon The Inside of Dick Allen’s Batting Helmet …

Dick Allen Sings!

Turns out Dick Allen, your hero and mine, once cut a single with a doo-wop outfit called the Ebonistics titled, “Echoes of November.” Please enjoy:

Yes, that’s Mr. Allen stretching out the pipes. And fine pipes they are. Dick Allen can hit and is tuneful!

Also: Allen performed the song live on at least one occasion. That occasion was at a 76ers game in 1969 on “Think Mink Night,” a promotion that entailed the bestowal of a mink coat upon one of Philadelphia’s leading and lucky ladies (I’m quite sure a male was ineligible to win the mink — after all, it wasn’t yet the 70s) and the opportunity to hear Dick Allen sing! Hosannas all around!

Great Moments in Spectacles: A Sliding Dick Allen

Shhh, don’t speak.

Showing an acuity of taste that has become his trademark, my colleague, Mr. Navin Vaswani, elected today to revisit a too-neglected category of posts here at NotGraphs, Great Moments in Spectacles, treating all of us to an image of former Rookie of the Year and Notable Spectacle-Wearer Bob Hamelin.

In this edition of Great Moments of Spectacles, the internet has revealed the image you see skilfully embedded above — namely, an photo of a bespectacled Dick Allen (a person of interest here at NotGraphs) doing his best to lay asunder Indians infielder Luis Alvarado circa August 1974.

I believe I’m speaking the truth when I say that, like a canvas by Pieter Bruegel (Elder or Younger, take your pick), the extent of this image can’t be entirely apprehended in one sitting.

Image courtesy of Dick Allen Hall of Fame via Big Hair and Plastic Grass.

Or Just Roll Yer Own …

Yesterday, I gave the people what they have long demanded: the opportunity to receive a nickname befitting the 19th-Century Baltimore Orioles. The problem, though, is that too many of you received duplicate nicknames. Too many of you received my nickname — “The Salty Bronco.” Clearly the fix was in, and I’ll not abide such sullying of my honest toil.

So what to do? As ever, the impulses of Nyjer Morgan provide the blueprint for success in life and in business. If Morgan can call himself “Tony Plush,” which is the greatest presently extant baseball nickname, then why can’t you, page viewer, roll yer own? You can.

Below, after the jump, I’ll list the complete menu of nickname choices — many of them buried by the name-generator interface in the service of its sordid intentions …

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The Dick Allen Experience

In keeping with Carson’s explorations of Dick Allen, there’s this:

What to say about this thing of wonder? The White Sox wore red! He’s juggling! He has the facial hair of a 19th-century railroad baron! And: He’s smoking in the dugout!

I once heard an interview with Paul Stanley in which he said something to the effect of, “For a while there in the 70s, every song was about sex or what you were going to do that night.”

That’s as succinct and penetrating of a comment about a generation as I’ve ever encountered. The Dick Allen SI cover is similarly illuminating. This photo couldn’t be of anyone else at any other time.

Viva la Crash.

A Poem with Dick Allen’s Name in It

I’ve almost definitely mentioned, at some point in these pages, that, before my life as Semi-Professional Baseball Writer, I read and wrote poems quite a lot — sometimes to the point of a stranger actually publishing them.

While I’ve generally seen no reason to explicitly combine these two worlds — i.e. that of baseball- and poems-writing — it seems that NotGraphs might be an appropriate place for such a thing, if only as a one-off experiment.

If the reader is under the impression that most poems are terrible, then the reader is under the correct impression. In fact, most poems are written with the express purpose of emotionally scarring American high school students. However, there are other writers — ones who receive less attention, maybe — with the novel idea that poems could actually be enjoyable. These are the ones from whom I’ve shamelessly stolen everything.

A Poem with Dick Allen’s Name in It

In this game I made up, what you do
is think of exactly ten hundred things
better than discussing the role of poetry
in today’s society. If you’re looking
for an example, here’s one: “the role of
a donkey’s nads in today’s society.”
And also: “crackers — either in the racist,
or every other, way.”

Which, that reminds me:
you’ll never guess who I saw at the frigging
library yesterday. Former baseballing great
Dick Allen! He was doing some bizarrely intense
research on the historic Burlingame Olympics.
He was dressed in a jacket made exclusively
from the lapels of other jackets. When I saw him,
I was all, “Dick Allen! You suffered the slings
and arrows of outrageous Philadelphians! What possible
coping mechanisms could you have developed?” —
which question he answered by quietly lathering in Wite Out
all, or close to all, of his myriad interior scars.

Image stolen directly from Dick Allen Hall of Fame

Dick Allen Is a Rich Tapestry of Human Emotions

As I noted in these pages yesterday while discussing D.J. Dayn Perry’s book on Reggie Jackson, former Phillie and Outspoken Black Man Dick Allen posted career numbers either on-par with, or slightly better than, recent Hall of Fame inductees Andre Dawson and Jim Rice — and, yet, never received even as much as 19% of the BBWA’s votes for said honor.

Since my last dispatch to these pages, at least five or six minutes of my life have been dedicated to the better understanding of Dick Allen and his contributions to society.

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