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Johnny Allen Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: September 30, 1904 in Lenoir, North Carolina
Died: May 29, 1959 in St. Petersburg, Florida
Player Career
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 0" Weight: 180
First Game: April 19, 1932 ; Final Game: September 26, 1944
Awards and Achievements
Named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1937)
Biography | show moreshow less
Johnny Allen This article was written by Jon Weeks and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research Some pitchers are more intense than others. Randy Johnson hit 190 batters in an era when brushbacks were frowned upon. Lefty Grove threw furniture in the clubhouse after tough losses. Among the fiercest competitors in history, Johnny Allen took his frustrations out on anyone who barred his path to victory.Allen's temper was so notorious that even his 1959 obituary was somewhat unflattering. In it, an Associated Press writer recounted an unpleasant incident that followed a frustrating loss to the Red Sox. Allen had exchanged angry words with opposing pitcher Wes Ferrell during the game, and, unable to contain his fury upon returning to the team's hotel, he grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the corridor. That was after upending stools in the hotel bar and kicking over an ashtray full of sand. While Allen's intensity gave him an edge over batters, it also interfered with his prosperity at various points during his thirteen-year career.Allen was born on September 30, 1904—a native of Lenoir, North Carolina, and the son of a police chief. When his father tragically died of appendicitis, his mother, Almyra, couldn't provide for Johnny and his three siblings. She sent three of them (Johnny, Rita, and Austin) to the Thomasville Baptist Orphanage, where Johnny learned to play baseball. After attending Thomasville High School, Johnny landed a job in a Sanford, North Carolina hotel. He met Yankee scout Paul Krichell while working there. Krichell was a former major league catcher who had a keen eye for talent. In nearly forty years of scouting the majors, he signed a slew of Cooperstown greats, among them Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri. Allen told Krichell he was a pitcher, and a tryout was arranged. Krichell was impressed with the right-hander's talents and offered him a minor league contract.

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