September 30th, 2013

September 30 – Happy Birthday Johnny Allen

Born in Lenoir, NC in 1904, this hot-tempered right-hander had a knack for long winning streaks until he injured his arm in 1938 and never fully recovered. As a young man, Allen worked as a bellhop. When a guest in his hotel complained he couldn’t get any heat in is room,  Allen was sent to check out the complaint. The occupant of the room turned out to be the great Yankee scout Paul Krichell. Allen told the cold talent evaluator he was a pitcher and after he got the heating problem solved, a grateful Krichell arranged a Yankee tryout for him.

He pitched some excellent baseball for New York in the early thirties. As a 27 year old rookie, he went 17-4 for the 1932 Yankees. After winning 50 games during his four seasons in Pinstripes and fighting with the Yankee front-office about money, Allen was traded to Cleveland, where he promptly won 20 games in 1936 and went 15-1 the year after. At one point over three seasons, Johnny won 27 of 29 decisions with the Indians. It was a good thing too, because he was a sore loser, known to go after both umpires and teammates when he came up on the short end of a close or disputed decision.

After Allen hurt his arm, he was traded to the Browns and then spent some time with Brooklyn, winning 8 of 9 decisions as a Dodger. He ended his career with the Giants in 1944. This made him one of a very few pitchers who pitched for the Big Apple’s three original Major League franchises. He compiled a 142-75 record, lifetime. He was just 54 years of age when he suffered a heart attack and died.

Allen shares his birthday with this one-time Yankee outfielder.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1932 NYY 17 4 .810 3.70 33 21 6 13 3 4 192.0 162 86 79 10 76 109 1.240
1933 NYY 15 7 .682 4.39 25 24 1 10 1 1 184.2 171 96 90 9 87 119 1.397
1934 NYY 5 2 .714 2.89 13 10 2 4 0 0 71.2 62 30 23 3 32 54 1.312
1935 NYY 13 6 .684 3.61 23 23 0 12 2 0 167.0 149 76 67 11 58 113 1.240
13 Yrs 142 75 .654 3.75 352 241 68 109 17 18 1950.1 1849 924 813 103 738 1070 1.326
CLE (5 yrs) 67 34 .663 3.65 150 121 25 60 9 6 929.2 905 427 377 36 342 505 1.341
NYY (4 yrs) 50 19 .725 3.79 94 78 9 39 6 5 615.1 544 288 259 33 253 395 1.295
BRO (3 yrs) 18 7 .720 3.21 55 20 15 6 1 4 213.1 186 92 76 20 76 86 1.228
NYG (2 yrs) 5 10 .333 3.74 33 13 13 2 1 2 125.0 125 64 52 10 38 57 1.304
SLB (1 yr) 2 5 .286 6.58 20 9 6 2 0 1 67.0 89 53 49 4 29 27 1.761
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2013.