Dick Allen was the prodigious power hitter whose off-field antics cost him prodigious fines. But in 1972, he earned the AL MVP while almost getting the Triple Crown for the White Sox and that was enough for any 11 year-old on the Southside.
Allen’s ignominious SI cover-- cigarette and all-- adorned my bedroom wall to the consternation of my dear mother. Despite her frustration, she took me to many ballgames to root for the Red and White. As the years wore on, my friends and I would root for Harold Baines in right field with chants of “HAR-ol’, HAR-ol’” with the two or three thousand other stalwart fans who braved the southside to see our desperate and beloved Sox. Those sporadic catcalls can be heard occasionally now whenever Baines peeks his timid countenance from the dugout where he serves as Ozzie’s bench coach.