In my opinion, the bespectacled slugger is among the five best hitters in baseball history to remain outside the Hall of Fame, along with Shoeless Joe, Pete Rose, Barry Bonds and Ross Barnes.

Because he played in the second deadball era and his career was relatively short, the less scholarly baseball fans don’t know just how good Allen was. I will direct you to the baseball-reference section on lifetime OPS+, which adjusts the hitting performance of players based on their era and their specific ballparks. You will notice that Dick is rated just higher than four guys you may have heard of: Hank Aaron, The Big Hurt, Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio.

In the exact same category as Aaron, Mays and DiMag? That’s not in the “pretty good” category. It’s in the “very best of tier one” category. He was the best hitter in baseball for a span of ten years, 1964-1973, and he was the AL MVP in 1972. That sumbitch could flat-out rake.

And he did so with Mantle-like power. On July 6, 1974, he smashed one into the roof facade in left center field at Tiger Stadium. The spot where it landed was 415 feet from home plate and 85 feet in the air.

So why isn’t he in the Hall? Well, he was not a friendly man. He didn’t get along with the press. He got into fights with teammates. He had a serious drinking problem. He was once found at the racetrack when his team was supposed to be playing. He missed team flights and buses. He sometimes wouldn’t take batting practice or play in exhibition games. He had a reputation as a quitter.

Whose fault was all of that? He gets some blame. External forces get some as well. He was pushed hard by fans (especially in Philly), by sportswriters and by racist assholes in general – and he was not one to suffer that gladly. This article at the Bill James site covers Allen’s bad behavior in a reasonably objective manner, summing it all up with, “We tend to think that Dick Allen’s failings are the failing of the larger society, while his successes are the triumphs of a courageous but flawed individual.”

And his defense was as bad as his offense was good, which is kind of surprising for a guy who originally played shortstop in the minors. But he just never got the hang of defense. My grandmother used to say of my grandpa that he spoke six languages, all poorly. Dick Allen was like that. He played six positions poorly. Maybe seven. There’s no official record of him in right field, but I bet he got out there a few times and bungled just as badly as he did everywhere else. (Outfield innings by exact position were not always recorded diligently.)

So should he be in the Hall? As my man Dalton used to say, “Opinions vary.” But the current of history is flowing in his direction. I think he will make it some day, perhaps very soon. His hitting feats will endure in the record books, even as the bad memories fade.

new pics 12/11:

Sophie-Marie Larrouy in “t’as pécho?”:

Alexia Giordano in “deux soeurs”:

Charlotte Déniel in “la vilaine”:


Lola Andréani in “la vilaine”:

Anne-Sophie Bailly in “10 fois l’amour” & “les corps électriques”:


Emilie Blaser in “cellule de crise”:

Jennifer Moret in “spirit”:


French version  (with comments)

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“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there have been as many as 381,896 so-called excess deaths identified since Feb. 1, a number that represents mortality above normal statistical expectations. That’s significantly more than the number of confirmed Covid deaths, and may point to fatalities missed due to limited initial Covid testing and other factors.”

Other possible explanations may include:

(1) people afraid to break quarantine to get non-COVID symptoms checked;

(2) states simply falsifying their numbers;

(3) the key words “as many as.” 381K represents the maximum estimate within a predicted range. The minimum of that range is actually lower than the reported COVID deaths. The mid-point of the range is 328,000, fairly comparable to the reported number of COVID fatalities (303,000).

21 W 52nd Street is a NY landmark. If you got a reservation at 21 in its heyday, you might have spotted Al Jolson, Jack Kennedy, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Papa Hemingway, Mickey Mantle, Marilyn Monroe or Steve Allen as they moved in and out of one of the many private areas. They were some of the many patrons recognized by the general public, but there were just as many regulars whose faces were unfamiliar, but whose bank accounts could support regular visits.

Like many institutions in the hospitality industry, it is unable to function profitably as a restaurant during the COVID crisis. Nobody can predict what will happen when the crisis ends. It may yet re-emerge.

In a figurative sense, perhaps they all are, but this one is literally full of crap.

“An ‘iconic ’90s hairdo’ for men–which involves a center part and face-framing bangs, and was once rocked by celebrities including David Beckham and Leonardo DiCaprio, among other ’90s-era heartthrobs–is making a comeback via the marketing team at McDonald’s Sweden. Why would McDonald’s Sweden care, you ask? Because the hairstyle bears an alleged similarity to the fast food chain’s signature Golden Arches.”