PHILLIES BASEBALL in the 1960s: Connie Mack Stadium. The Ballantine Beer sign. Paying kids a quarter to watch your car.
And Dick Allen.
Allen, who played for the Phillies from 1963-69 - and again from 1975-76 - recently discussed his career on the MLB Network's "Studio 42 with Bob Costas." The show airs tonight at 8 o'clock and is must-see TV for fans of all ages and eras.
The two touched on a wide range of topics, including playing during the racially turbulent '60s.
"All through the '60s, we were a pretty radical bunch," Allen told Costas. "They were marching everywhere, and the next thing I know, my name is 'Richie,' not Dick here. Now it's Richie, we're at war at Vietnam, we got the hippies and we got the love people. We were a pretty radical bunch. The point of it is here, unless some of those rules change and we're wearing the same uniform, that's a team, hey, we're going to act like a team, let the rules be the same of all of them. So, in defiance, I'm trying to get out of there and maybe people just look at here, he's a troublemaker, I'm looking out for my own benefit."
Costas, of course, asked Allen about the Phillies' collapse in 1964, when the team squandered a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 games to play.
"Johnny Callison, he led us right on through," Allen said. "We manufactured a lot of runs and everybody blamed it [the collapse] on Gene Mauch, but I really can't. They say he ruined a lot of players' careers and things. I don't think he did . . . I loved playing for him because he wanted to do the same thing I did: He wanted to win at any cost."
North Catholic High will soon close its doors for good, and the people who run its annual alumni basketball game want to make this year's event the best ever. A reception and game will be held Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at the school. Former players and coaches (you don't have to play to attend) can call Tom Ballard ('86) at 215-901-3289 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tom Mahon