Sunday, March 29, 2009

Letters in the Dirt

By 1969 Dick Allen had basically reached the end of his rope with the Phillies -- and the Phillies with him. In August he wrote "Oct 2" into the dirt by 1st base, which happened to be the last day of the NL season, and the day he would be "free" from the Phils. The next day he scratched "Coke" in the dirt later explaining that the nearby home-team fans were "getting on me and I wanted to hit a home run over the Coca-Cola sign to shut them up...". The next night he scratched "Boo", and of course the Phillie fans obliged him. He continued to scratch messages over the next 6 games. MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn told him to stop, prompting DA to scratch "Why ?" and "No" into the dirt. The next day, an umpire stopped the game and told him to stop, and erased the message and played on, later responding with "Mom" because she was "the only one that could tell me what to do..."

On October 7, 1969 -- five days after the 1969 season had ended, Dick Allen was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chuck Brodsky is a musician and a friend of this site. A couple of years ago he wrote a song about Dick Allen called "Letters in the Dirt". It touched my soul and inspired me to create and maintain the original version of this site. You can sample much of Chuck's music here. You can also download his music on ITunes.

Letters in the Dirt by Chuck Brodsky
Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen - I never understood why people did
He hit a homer every time he stepped up to the plate - that's what I remember as a kid
Richie in the field out there by first base - the target of some mighty foul words
With his shoes he'd scrawl between the pitches - "B-O-O" in great big letters in the dirt


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