Thursday, April 15, 2010

#237 Bernie Allen

#237 Bernie Allen
Bernie's not practicing his bunts. He's actually working at his second job: bat salesman.

Fun facts about Bernie Allen:

-Born in East Liverpool, OH, Bernie was a two-sport athlete at Purdue University, where he also played quarterback.

-He signed with the Twins in 1961 and played only 80 games in the minors before jumping to the big leagues the following year.

-As a rookie second baseman, Allen played in all but three of the team's games and set offensive marks that he would not surpass for the rest of his career: a .269 average, 12 home runs, 64 RBI, and 27 doubles. He was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team.Link
-On May 6, 1962, his walkoff three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth gave the Twins a 10-7 win over Detroit.

-The dreaded sophomore slump struck in 1963, as he carried a .198 average in mid-August before heating up over the final weeks of the season to end the year at .240.

-A takeout slide by Don Zimmer in June 1964 tore the anterior cruciate ligament in Bernie's knee. A team-sponsored doctor misdiagnosed him, claiming that he did not need surgery.

-The infielder sought out a surgeon at his own expense and had the knee repaired, even though the ligament had shriveled in the ensuing months since the injury.

-Despite worries that his career was over, Allen did return to play 767 games over the next nine seasons. He was not quite the same player, hitting above .250 only once.

-After stints with the Senators and Yankees, he finished up with the Expos in 1973. For his career, Bernie hit .239 with 73 home runs and 351 RBI.

-He currently lives in Carmel, IN.
#237 Bernie Allen (back)


  1. Good thing Bernie's not practicing his bunting technique. Otherwise he'd have a few bruised fingertips with THAT grip.

  2. Jim - True; I've seen it happen. I think Luis Matos broke a finger or two.

  3. We see mis-diagnosed knee injuries more than we'd care to today, so it's no surprise that Bernie Allen was mis-diagnosed back in '64.

    High level athletes like Bernie (especially as a two-sport athlete) may sometimes have higher thresholds for pain than a doctor is used to seeing which may contribute to an incorrect diagnosis.

    Second (or even third) opinions can sometimes be invaluable.