April 23 2016
“I believe God Almighty hisself would have trouble handling Richie Allen.” -George Myatt, Philadelphia Phillies’ interim manager, 1969
When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Dick Allen in 1960, fans of the franchise envisioned bearing witness to feats never before accomplished by a Phillies player. A half-century later, they’re still trying to make sense of what they saw.
Carrying to the plate baseball’s heaviest and loudest bat as well as the burden of being the club’s first African American superstar, Allen found both hits and controversy with regularity as he established himself as the premier individualist in a game that prided itself on conformity. Mitchell Nathanson unveils the strange and maddening career of a man who somehow managed to fulfill and frustrate expectations all at once.
Mitchell Nathanson is Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law. He is author of “A People's History of Baseball” and coauthor of “Understanding Baseball: A Textbook.”
An April evening in the Clubhouse and God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen. Listen in...