The Dick Allen T-Shirt Project
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Carfagno is continuing to direct a fight to get ex-Phillies slugger
Dick Allen inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Below is information about
his latest endeavor . . .
DICK ALLEN T-SHIRT PROJECT
In the fall of 2016 a group of supporters from the Dick Allen Belongs in the Hall of Fame campaign staff met with administrators from both the Philadelphia Public and Parochial School Systems. The premise of our meeting was to point out that most High School Students in the Philadelphia area certainly know what the number 42 represents in Major League Baseball, that of course being the number worn by Jackie Robinson who was the first African American ever to play in the Major Leagues. As a result of his courage and the rough road he had to endure Robinsonfs number 42 was retired by Major League Baseball. Also a movie g42h was made in honor of this black hero. However what the students did not know was that the City of Philadelphia had their own version of Jackie Robinson that being Dick or then called Richie Allen in the early to mid-1960fs. In the spring of 1963 the Philadelphia Phillies organization sent Allen to Little Rock, Arkansas to play Triple A Baseball, which at the time was the most racist City and State in the country. Allen was the only African American on the team and was subject to death threats, vandalism and verbal abuse and was not allowed to stay in the same hotel as his teammates. Somehow he persevered and finished the 1963 season as the Arkansas Travelers MVP. The following year Dick Allen became the first African American baseball superstar to play for the Phillies. The city of was also going through bad racial times and Mr. Allen was not treated very nicely by the mostly white fans of Philadelphia, again he excelled on the field and was named the 1964 National League Rookie Of The Year. In 1965 Allen was involved in a fight with a white teammate Frank Thomas after Thomas continued to bait his black teammates with racial epithets. Allen had enough and when he approached Thomas he was held back by teammates when Thomas then took a bat and hit the defenseless Allen on the shoulder. Immediately the Phillies released Thomas, who was an aging Veteran and kept Allen. Allen was told by the Phillies organization to keep his mouth shut or he would be fined heavily. On the other hand Thomas was very popular in Philadelphia and had his own radio show. The next day he went on the air and blasted Dick Allen. Naturally the white people of Philadelphia simply looked at it as, well you kept the black guy and got rid of the white guy. From that day on Dick Allen had a huge target on his back. He was booed every game, had objects thrown at him, which forced him to wear a batting helmet on the field and even had a Smoke Bomb thrown at him while playing third base at the old Connie Mack Stadium. In spite of all of these distractions Dick Allen continued to play at an optimum of Hall of Fame level. He eventually was traded in 1970 but returned to the Phillies in 1975 and helped them win the 1976 National League East Championship. In the end, Dick Allen was a seven time All-Star and along with being Rookie of the Year, he also was the 1972 American League Most Valuable Player as a member of the Chicago White Sox. Many people feel that Dick Allen should be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but his refusal to speak to the media and walk to the beat of a different drum have hindered his chances.
Moving forward both school systems liked what we had to offer and allowed us into their classrooms to speak to and educate students about an African American player who we feel is a hero and pioneer who led the way for other minorities to perform in Philadelphia. In the spring of 2019 with the help of former Phillies pitcher Larry Christenson and teammate of Allen, over One Thousand T-Shirts will be donated to every High School Baseball Player who plays in one of three Baseball Leagues in Philadelphia. These include, Public, Catholic and Inter Academic. Our hope is to introduce it to the media during a press conference at a site and date to be determined. We hope that all three School Systems can participate in this press conference and will promote it within their own boundaries and announce the date and time via their own Press Release. The front of the T-Shirt will read gCRASH COURSE IN THE CLASSROOM Dick Allen Belongs in the Hall of Fameh. The word CRASH is in reference to the helmet Allen was forced to wear, when he was known as gCrash Allenh. Wearing these shirts will be twofold. One, revisiting what Allen went through in the 1960fs by educating High School Students and Two, in spite of it all, Dick Allen Belongs In the Hall of Fame.
Also, please promote this on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We know that most people are on Facebook but those who are on Twitter please use the Hashtag Symbol #. Twitter and the hashtag has picked up considerably with many LIKES and RETWEETS on Dick Allen. Of course use the hashtag for the cause, Crash Course In The Classroom. There are others that have been created by our group which include; 1. Dick Allen Was The Phillies Jackie Robinson 2. Asphalt Outfielders Needed 3. He Put It In Flight Time To Get It Right 4. Dick Allen Belongs In The Hall Of Fame . Remember to Always use the HASHTAG.
I have set up a T-shirt project Email list. I would like to see Baseball Coaches and or Athletic Directors on the list, below is my Email address so contact me at that address. I plan to have a meeting or two to discuss future logistics.
Finally . . .