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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cards That Never Were: 1976 Dick Allen Atlanta Braves

On December 3, 1974 the Chicago White Sox sold the "retired" Dick Allen to the Atlanta Braves for $5000 and a player to be named later. This card never existed because Allen refused to even consider playing for the Braves.

From his autobiography CRASH:
But before I could think about playing for the Phillies, there was the little matter of who owned me - or who thought they owned me. When I left the Sox, I never did turn in an official retirement letter to the American League. I never did believe in messing with unnecessary paperwork. So what did the Sox do? Sold me to the Atlanta Braves - and for chump change, about five grand. When I heard that, I called Roland Hemond, the general manager of the White Sox, and told him I was giving some thought to playing again. Would the Sox be interested? He said "Good to hear you want to play, Dick. You'll like Atlanta."

He continues:
I made up my mind about Atlanta real quick - I wasn't going. No southern hospitality for me. Not after what I had been through in Florida during my early spring training years - all those springs having to stay in run-down boarding houses and eating in separate restaurants. And all I had been through in Little Rock. I had also heard that Clyde King, the manager of the Braves and native Southerner, was not what you'd call an equal opportunity employer. Atlanta just wasn't for me. Look what Atlanta had done to Henry Aaron, the greatest home run hitter of all time. People forget it now, but when Aaron was going for those 715 master-blasters there were people rooting against him in his own home ballpark! Henry Aaron. Baseball's most distinguished gentleman. I could just imagine what they'd have in store for me.

The White Sox, Braves, and Phillies eventually worked something out in May of 1975.
The net result for each team was:
White Sox: Jim Essian and $5K
Braves: Barry Bonnell and $150K
Phillies: Dick Allen and Johnny Oates

7 comments:

Uncle John's Band said...

Sweet card. Topps should've hired you as the airbrush artist.

MattR said...

Interesting---and cool card!

Jim said...

Awesome job, as usual!

Jim from Downingtown said...

"This card never existed because Allen refused to even consider playing for the Braves."

Using that logic, it seems like a better choice for your card would have been a 1975 Allen card.

HarveyBerkman said...

Awesome job, I never knew he had been traded to Atlanta. How did you even do this card so well?

Dick Allen Hall of Fame said...

Jim for DTown:

In theory, you are right. The real 1975 Dick Allen Topps card has him on the Sox. However, on the back it does state he was traded to the Braves. Because of that - I assume they had no intention of making another card.

triv said...

I really think Dick would have done well in Atlanta in 1975 and that Clyde King would have treated him well that year but the troubles would have started the next season. Great Rookie season for each team but trouble the afterwards. What happens is that each team with media, fans, and so on welcomes the player the first year but after awhile, the relationship sinks. Never sustained. Because it was a front, the first year by them.

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