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Author Topic: Death on the field
rodh
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by chillas:
Not what you're looking for, but the only thing that leaps to my mind is the umpire who had a heart attack and died during a Reds game a few year back.

Oh, and of course Dale Earnhart died on the track. Come to that, I'm certain there are many race car drivers who have died while racing.

Actually race drivers never die at the track. The story is always "died on the way to the hospital" or "died at the hospital".

In addition to the NASCAR drivers listed elsewhere, other forms of racing have been very deadly, especially in the past. Recently Greg Moore, Gonzalo Rodriquez, Jeff Krosnoff and Tony Renna have been killed in CART or IRL cars.

Going back in time the Indy 500 was a very deadly race. See this link: Indy 500 deaths

F1 racing has gone through it's deadly periods, most notably in the late 1960's and the early 1970's. The cars were going faster but the tracks were very unsafe and personal safety gear was inadequate as well.F1 deaths

Despite a rash of stock car incidents (that mercifully seem to have stopped) racing is much more safe today than ever. Death is a shock today, but seemed rather routine in the past.

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Tootsie Plunkette
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Prior to 1986 (when boat designer Ron Jones introduced the F-16 Safety Canopy), unlimited hydroplane racing lost many great drivers in crashes. Among them, my childhood hero Bill Muncey died during a 1981 race in Acapulco. And in Washington DC, on June 19, 1966, "Black Sunday," three drivers were killed in two separate crashes.

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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by rodh:
Actually race drivers never die at the track. The story is always "died on the way to the hospital" or "died at the hospital".

They said Dale Earnhardt "died instantly on impact."
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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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True, a ring fracture of the base of the skull will do that, but he was not declared dead at the track. He could not be. A declaration of death in Florida is only complete when there is no brain activity, something that can only be determined in a hospital.

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CD
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Well, ok, but we were talking about people who died participating in a professional sporting event. Whether it is "legally declared" or not should be a moot point. What if I know someone and that someone dies, but nobody ever "legally declares" him dead, does that make him still alive?
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snopes
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List of Athletes in Plane Crashes

Active athletes, coaches and officials who died in plane crashes:

Oct. 18, 1925 -- Marvin Goodwin, Cincinnati Reds pitcher, in Houston.

March 31, 1931 -- Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football coach, in Kansas.

May 4, 1949 -- 22 members of Torino, the Italian soccer champions, in Turin, Italy.

Oct. 27, 1949 -- Marcel Cerdan, former world middleweight champion, en route to fight Jake LaMotta in Spain.

July 1, 1954 -- John McBride, Alabama halfback, killed in ROTC training flight in Texas.

Oct. 30, 1954 -- Wilbur Shaw, President of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Decatur, Ind.

Sept. 20, 1956 -- Tom Gastall, Baltimore Oriole catcher, in Maryland.

Nov. 27, 1956 -- Charlie Peete, St. Louis Cardinal outfielder, in Venezuela.

Feb. 6, 1958 -- Eight members of the English soccer champion Manchester United, in Munich.

Aug. 14, 1958 -- Six members of the Egyptian fencing team, in the Atlantic Ocean.

Oct. 30, 1958 -- Philip Scrutton, British Walker Cup golfer.

April 29, 1959 -- Joaquin Blume, Spain's European gymnastics champion, in Madrid.

Oct. 10, 1960 -- 16 members of the Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo football team, in Toledo, Ohio.

Feb. 16, 1961 -- 18 members of the U.S. figure skating team, in Belgium.

April 3, 1961 -- Green Cross, a first-division Chilean soccer team, in the Las Lastimas Mountains.

March 1, 1962 -- Johnny Dieckman, world fly-casting champion, in Chicago.

April 12, 1962 -- Ron Flockhart, Scottish racing driver, in Melbourne.

Feb. 15, 1964 -- Ken Hubbs, 22, Chicago Cub second baseman, in Utah.

July 24, 1966 -- Tony Lema, 1964 British Open champion, in Munster, Ind.

April 28, 1968 -- Six members of the Lamar Tech track team, in Beaumont, Texas.

Sept. 26, 1969 -- 25 members of Bolivian soccer team "The Strongest", in the Andes.

Oct. 2, 1970 -- 14 Wichita State football players, in Colorado.

Nov. 14, 1970 -- 37 Marshall University football players, in Huntington, W.Va.

Oct. 11, 1972 -- 30 members of a Uruguayan rugby club, in Chile.

Dec. 31, 1972 -- Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder, from San Juan, Puerto Rico en route to Nicaragua to aid earthquake victims.

June 24, 1975 -- Wendell Ladner, New York Nets forward, in New York.

Dec. 13, 1977 -- 14 University of Evansville basketball players and coach Bobby Watson in Evansville, Ind.

Aug. 2, 1979 -- Thurman Munson, New York Yankee catcher, in Canton, Ohio.

Jan. 11, 1980 -- Bo Rein, LSU football coach, in the Atlantic Ocean.

March 14, 1980 -- 14 members of the U.S. amateur boxing team in Warsaw, Poland.

Aug. 16, 1987 -- Nick Vanos, Phoenix Suns center, in Romulus, Mich.

Dec. 8, 1987 -- 17 players of the Alianza Peruvian first-division soccer team in Lima, Peru.

Sept. 30, 1988 -- Al Holbert, six-time IMSA champion, near Columbus Ohio.

July 19, 1989 -- Jay Ramsdell, CBA Commissioner, in Sioux City, Iowa.

April 1, 1993 -- Alan Kulwicki, NASCAR's 1992 champion, in Blountville, Tenn.

April 28, 1993 -- 18 players and five team officials of Zambia's national soccer team in Libreville, Gabon.

July 13, 1993 -- Davey Allison, NASCAR driver, the day after a helicopter he was piloting crashed on the infield at Talladega Superspeedway in Birmingham, Ala.

April 18, 1996 -- Brook Berringer, Nebraska quarterback, two days before the NFL draft, when the small plane he was piloting crashed in Raymond, Neb.

May 11, 1996 -- Rodney Culver, San Diego Chargers running back, in Florida Everglades.

Oct. 25, 1999 -- Payne Stewart, winner of the 1989 PGA Championship and a two-time U.S. Open winner, two miles west of Mina, S.D.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Tootsie Plunkette:
Prior to 1986 (when boat designer Ron Jones introduced the F-16 Safety Canopy), unlimited hydroplane racing lost many great drivers in crashes. Among them, my childhood hero Bill Muncey died during a 1981 race in Acapulco. And in Washington DC, on June 19, 1966, "Black Sunday," three drivers were killed in two separate crashes.

I forgot all about hydro racing! I was a huge hydro racing fan when I was a kid. I well remember the Bill Muncey death, as well as Dean Chenoweth's flip on the Columbia River in 1982. Or that ugly Miss Executone crash on Lake Washington in either '84 or '85? IIRC that boat had a new design that caused it to flip halfway up into the air and then slam back onto the water like a giant hammer.

Side note: one thing I *loved* about hydro racing in the 1970s and 80s was that there was a *huge* Seattle contingent. My dad almost worked on a hydro pit crew, but that's not why. There was the KISW Miss Rock of Seattle, for years the last piston engine running the circuit (and therefore the loudest). You could go into the borough of Ballard, see the gigantic Bardahl sign, and be reminded of the Miss Bardahl. Or go to the local mall and buy clothes from Chip Hanauer's (pre-Budweiser) sponsor, the Squire Shop.

Oh yeah... almost forgot about another guy. Christy Mathewson, one of the great baseball pitchers of the Dead Ball Era, inhaled mustard gas during World War I (back in those days, sports stars actually served rather than participating in USO tours), was severely weakened, and contracted tuberculosis a couple years later. Despite this illness, and despite spending something like a year where he was basically too weak to move, he took over the presidency of the Boston Braves. The strain was too much for him, and he died a couple months after taking the position.

Speaking of the Great War, I believe that Harvard Eddie Grant was the only American professional athlete before Pat Tillman to die in combat. A baseball player (and, I believe, a teammate of Mathewson's), Grant died while conducting a search for the famed "Lost Battalion."

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chillas
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A more recent story.

quote:
NEW DELHI, Dec 27 (Reuters) - An Indian goalkeeper was banned for three months on Monday for fouling Brazilian-born striker Cristiano Junior, who then collapsed on the field and later died.


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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Adam Petty, son of Kyle and grandson of King Richard, died during either qualifying or practice for a Winston Cup event in New Hampshire.

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petre
Deck the Malls


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This thread could get REALLY long if we start including CAREERS that died on the field [Smile]
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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by petre:
This thread could get REALLY long if we start including CAREERS that died on the field [Smile]

Kermit Washington could go on the list.

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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by STF:
quote:
Originally posted by petre:
This thread could get REALLY long if we start including CAREERS that died on the field [Smile]

Kermit Washington could go on the list.
No Way! Bill Buckner!

Hall of Fame career, one, count 'em ONE, error and he is tarnished forever.

Back to OT, I remember reading several years ago in one of those "News of the Weird" type articles that before a soccer game on some island somewhere a freak lightening storm hit and killed every member of one specific team while the other team remained unharmed. According to the article, this had happened in an area rich with voodoo, making the storm "suspicious" to local authorities.

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Raving In Sanity
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No one's mentioned Sergei Zholtok yet? This locked-out NHLer died during a game in Europe only a couple of months ago.
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snopes
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quote:
No Way! Bill Buckner! Hall of Fame career, one, count 'em ONE, error and he is tarnished forever.
As much as I like Bill Buckner, I'd say the Hall of Fame would have to water down their already low standards even further to admit him as a member. He was a very good player for about 15 years, but not ever a superlative one.

- snopes

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jynni
Deck the Malls


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Joe Delaney of the Kansas City Chiefs died trying to save some kids from drowning. This link is also good.

The site is a tad bit outdated. Delaney was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame at the Chiefs/Texans game this year. We were at the game - it was very emotional.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by CD:
quote:
Originally posted by STF:
quote:
Originally posted by petre:
This thread could get REALLY long if we start including CAREERS that died on the field [Smile]

Kermit Washington could go on the list.
No Way! Bill Buckner!

Hall of Fame career, one, count 'em ONE, error and he is tarnished forever.



Sorry, but he's nowhere near being a HOFer. He was never a very good defender; the muffed grounder means people think of him as worse than he actually was, but don't let the inflated assists totals fool you: Billy Buck was never more than an average first baseman. Bill James actually breaks down the reasons for Buckner's high assist totals pretty well in his book, "The Historical Baseball Abstract."

Offensively, he was a one-dimensional singles hitter. Never, ever walked. Career .289 batting average. A long career that resulted in 2700 hits, but that's pretty much all. The 10 most similar batters to Buckner (thanks, baseballreference.com):

Mickey Vernon (881)
Al Oliver (869)
Steve Garvey (860)
Mark Grace (858)
Willie Davis (852)
Vada Pinson (833)
Buddy Bell (832)
Hal McRae (822)
Jose Cruz (821)
Keith Hernandez (812)

I don't see a single HOFer on that list. Jose Cruz is kind of close, but a. he's close because he played a harder defensive position much better than Buckner and his offensive stats are muted by playing his entire career in the Astrodome, and b. he's not getting in either. He was never considered one of the greats in the game when he played. He finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice (10th both times), was an All-Star just once, and very rarely led the league in anything worth leading the league in (BA once, doubles twice). I could name at least 30 guys who have better HOF credentials than Billy Buck.

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schemmy
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I agree, Buckner was a nice guy to have on your team, but nowhere near a HOFer.

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snopes
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quote:
He was never a very good defender.
That's not quite true. For the brief period he played left field for the Dodgers before he permanently tweaked his ankle (1973-75), Buckner was a pretty good defensive outfielder. Granted, left field is one of the least-skilled positions on the diamond, but he did a creditable job there.

- snopes

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schemmy
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Right, snopes, but as a left fielder or a first baseman, a guy just doesn't add very much defensive value, unless the guy's amazing - in which case he should be playing center (IE, early 90s Bonds).

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snopes
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quote:
Right, snopes, but as a left fielder or a first baseman, a guy just doesn't add very much defensive value, unless the guy's amazing - in which case he should be playing center (IE, early 90s Bonds).
True, but at the time Buckner was playing outfield for the Dodgers, he was there (either in left or right field) because the team already had first basemen who excelled with the glove (Wes Parker and then Steve Garvey), as well as veteran center fielders who were also very strong defensively (Willie Davis and then Jimmy Wynn). Whether Buckner was a good fielder or not, there simply wasn't any other place for the Dodgers to put him.

Bucker did have superb speed prior to his 1975 ankle injury, and he made a number of amazing catches chasing down fly balls that none of the other Dodger outfielders would have reached.

- snopes

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snopes
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quote:
The 10 most similar batters to Buckner (thanks, baseballreference.com):

Mickey Vernon (881)
Al Oliver (869)
Steve Garvey (860)
Mark Grace (858)
Willie Davis (852)
Vada Pinson (833)
Buddy Bell (832)
Hal McRae (822)
Jose Cruz (821)
Keith Hernandez (812)

It's kind of interesting that two of those names are people who kept Buckner from becoming the Dodgers' regular first baseman. If the Dodgers didn't have Willie Davis, they might have made Wes Parker the regular center fielder, freeing up first base for Buckner. Then, when Parker retired unexpectedly, Garvey's failure as a third baseman led him to becoming a (surprisingly good) first baseman, again keeping Buckner away from that position.

Ultimately, the Dodgers traded Buckner away because he couldn't play outfield very well after his ankle injury, and they weren't willing to displace Garvey (who couldn't play any other position) from first base for him.

- snopes

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CD
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Yankees Suck.
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Johnny Slick
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
It's kind of interesting that two of those names are people who kept Buckner from becoming the Dodgers' regular first baseman.



One thing that fascinates me about these "most similar" lists is how often you get guys that aren't just statistically comparable but comparable in terms of personality as well. For example, Al Belle:

quote:
Manny Ramirez (922)
Juan Gonzalez (900)
Jim Thome (877)
Moises Alou (873)
Dick Allen (867)
Hank Greenberg (859) *
Rocky Colavito (852)
Ralph Kiner (851) *
Jim Edmonds (849)
Frank Howard (848)

Is there a more comparable player to Belle in the history of baseball than Dick Allen? Rogers Hornsby, perhaps. Manny Ramirez has also struck me as being a bit of a Belle/Allen kind of guy, though he has not to my knowledge tried to run over trick-or-treaters or gotten into fistfights with Frank Thomas (the old white one). Ralph Kiner was a slowpoke who simply refused to field well and couldn't find a job after the Pirates released him in the mid-50s. Even Hank Greenberg had, from what I've read, that same kind of prickly personality that loses friends and influences people.

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Illuminatus
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Vanderbilt running back Kwane Doster was shot to death after his friends and a group of other men exchanged ``trash talk'' about their cars, Tampa police said Tuesday.

http://sportsillustrated.aimtoday.cnn.com/sports/story.jsp?idq=/ff/story/0030%2F20041228%2F1815887946.htm&sc=2060

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IlGreven, Swan a-Swimmin'
Grandma Got Run Over by a Rain Check


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Couple of more racers that've died on the track (or close to it):

Greg Moore in 1999 during a CART series race;

Tony Renna in 2003 during testing at Indy;

Kenny Irwin in 1999, 8 weeks to the day after Adam Petty's death at the same track in the same turn (link goes to the foundation set up in his name);

Clifford Allison in 1992, almost a year before brother Davey was killed, at Michigan International Speedway;

Scott Brayton in 1996 during practice for the Indy 500, which he'd won the pole for a few days earlier.

Also, I'd guess (even though he was never a competition runner) Jim Fixx would fit in here as well, since he did die while he was jogging...

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schemmy
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Slick:
Is there a more comparable player to Belle in the history of baseball than Dick Allen? Rogers Hornsby, perhaps. Manny Ramirez has also struck me as being a bit of a Belle/Allen kind of guy, though he has not to my knowledge tried to run over trick-or-treaters or gotten into fistfights with Frank Thomas (the old white one). Ralph Kiner was a slowpoke who simply refused to field well and couldn't find a job after the Pirates released him in the mid-50s. Even Hank Greenberg had, from what I've read, that same kind of prickly personality that loses friends and influences people.

True, but none of them really come close to the asshole that was Richie Allen.

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PsychoWoman
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As a quick hijack, Richie Allen, despite his past, is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I spent many an hour sitting on the bleachers at the training facility in Clearwater, watching the Phillies Minor League players with him, and talking about everything from baseball to life in general.

End hijack

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by PsychoWoman:
As a quick hijack, Richie Allen, despite his past, is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I spent many an hour sitting on the bleachers at the training facility in Clearwater, watching the Phillies Minor League players with him, and talking about everything from baseball to life in general.

End hijack

Sight reopen of hijack:

I knew Richie's brother Ronnie when he was in the Philadelphia organization. Nice family. Would have been surprised if Richie were as big an asshole as he was made out to be.

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whiskers
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I found some professional wrestling deaths that occurred in the ring, or after the match. From OWW

Victor the Bodyguard June 20, 2004 Heart Attack after Match.

"Dr. Destruction" John Coggeshall 34 April 4, 2004 In-ring Incident

Larry Latham November 29, 2003 In Ring

Owen Hart 34 May 23, 1999 Accident

Larry Cameron 41 December 13, 1993 Heart Attack During Match

Bruiser Brody 42 July 17, 1988 Murdered in locker room

Malcolm Kirk 51 August 24, 1987 During match with Big Daddy

Curtis "Spike" Peterson May 1971 Fractured Neck in match

Mike DiBiase 45 July 2, 1969 Heart Attack In-ring

Jeanette Wolf 18 July 1951 After a tag match

Isn't a complete list.

RIP all listed here, especially Hart and Brody

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by PsychoWoman:
As a quick hijack, Richie Allen, despite his past, is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I spent many an hour sitting on the bleachers at the training facility in Clearwater, watching the Phillies Minor League players with him, and talking about everything from baseball to life in general.

End hijack

To continue the hijack (because lately that's all I've been doing in this thread), I read his biography "Crash" a couple years ago, and I'm happy to hear that he's nicer now. To briefly recap his early life:

- Was in love with a white cheerleader in high school, but couldn't do anything about it because of the race issue

- Integrated the first minor league ballclub he played at (can't for the life of me remember which one) with quite a bit less support from his team than Jackie Robinson got

- Tagged with the nickname "Richie", which he hated because it's a kid's name and he, at least, believed that sportswriters were assigning children's names to black athletes

- Spent a good chunk of the 1960s and 70s seeing pretty much every encounter in baseball in terms of race

- In 1964, he got involved in a clubhouse fight with Frank Thomas, who was very popular in Philadelphia, but who also had a bit of a history of egging on players. Also, it should be noted here that it was Thomas who swung the bat at Allen, not the other way around

- Was as well known for missing playing time with suspensions and strange injuries (such as the time he cut his hand on the headlight while pushing a car... well, that's the story he told management, anyway). He also showed up late to games twice in 1969.

- Traded to team after team after team, at each stop quickly getting the reputation as being surly and withdrawn

- Had easily the best year of his career playing for Chuck Tanner, who apparently just left him alone

- Finally reached the end of the line in his mid-30s in Oakland

Personally, look at the career and come to the conclusion that he wasn't half the ass that Pete Rose or Ted Williams or Rogers Hornsby were, but I'm not the one who established his reputation as the Designated Jackass of the 60s and 70s.

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Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
Personally, look at the career and come to the conclusion that he wasn't half the ass that Pete Rose or Ted Williams or Rogers Hornsby were, but I'm not the one who established his reputation as the Designated Jackass of the 60s and 70s.
Well, let's see. Dick Allen:

o Punched out a popular teammate, thereby forcing the club to trade the other player away. (Yeah, Frank Thomas made the first move, but Allen deliberately instigated the fight.)

o Made himself such a pain in the ass to teammates, coaches, and management (showing up late for games, among other things) that he went through four teams in four years despite being one of the top offensive players in the game.

o After he finally landed with a club (the White Sox) that not only made him the highest-paid player in the game but was willing to put up with his antics (like allowing him to leave the stadium before the end of games in order to duck reporters), he walked out on them anyway.

o After the White Sox finally tired of him and sold him to Atlanta (for a mere $5,000), he staged a phony "retirement" in order to force a trade to a team more to his liking.

o He finally left baseball for good when his last team's owner caught him taking a shower in the middle of a game.

And after all that, Allen had the gall to proclaim, "I didn't quit on baseball; baseball quit on me."

- snopes

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Black Belt and Socks
The First USA Noel


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quote:

Back to OT, I remember reading several years ago in one of those "News of the Weird" type articles that before a soccer game on some island somewhere a freak lightening storm hit and killed every member of one specific team while the other team remained unharmed. According to the article, this had happened in an area rich with voodoo, making the storm "suspicious" to local authorities.

There is actually a video shown at soccer (football) referreeing classes of this happening at a match in Africa. The ref had abondoned the game due to weather, but the teams continued to play. Lightning struck the field, knocking several players unconcious, but no one died. Slow motion actually shows the lightning bolt stricking the field.

BB "smart ref" &S

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"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

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I Am 6-Ironsman
Deck the Malls


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Surprised that among racing deaths, nobody mentioned the 1955 LeMans race...

quote:
The worst ever motorsport accident unfortunately occured during the 1955 Le Mans race. Having voiced his unease at the narrowness of the straight in front of the pits, Pierre Levegh's Mercedes struck the rear of an Austin Healey driven by Lance Macklin on the pit straight. The car rammed the bank, exploded, and its engine flew into the packed grandstand, killing 80. Levegh died instantly, and the entire Mercedes team was withdrawn, including Stirling Moss and Juan-Manuel Fangio. This precipitated the complete withdrawal from motorsport for Mercedes.
From Le Mans History


And some more information and pictures: Le Mans 1955

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Jah Warrior
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by I Am 6-Ironsman:
Surprised that among racing deaths, nobody mentioned the 1955 LeMans race...

quote:
The worst ever motorsport accident unfortunately occured during the 1955 Le Mans race. Having voiced his unease at the narrowness of the straight in front of the pits, Pierre Levegh's Mercedes struck the rear of an Austin Healey driven by Lance Macklin on the pit straight. The car rammed the bank, exploded, and its engine flew into the packed grandstand, killing 80. Levegh died instantly, and the entire Mercedes team was withdrawn, including Stirling Moss and Juan-Manuel Fangio. This precipitated the complete withdrawal from motorsport for Mercedes.
From Le Mans History


And some more information and pictures: Le Mans 1955

And because of that race, neighboring country Switzerland decided to ban motorsports. Although, they may unban it for a future F1 date.
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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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A new death to report. Basketball player Antoine Key in MA had a coronary on 1/20/05 and was pronounced shortly thereafter.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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