Ethan Allen

This article was written by Bernard Crowley.

Baseball defined the essence of Ethan Allen. The game was his life’s work. A true student athlete who earned two degrees, Allen went from the University of Cincinnati to his hometown Cincinnati Reds in 1926 and remained in the majors for 13 seasons, never playing in the minors. He also played for the New York Giants, St, Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Browns. In 1934 Allen hit 42 doubles to tie Kiki Cuyler for tops in the National League. He retired with a .300 lifetime batting average.

Allen, who stressed a cerebral as well as physical approach to the game, was concerned that baseball “lacked a suitable treatise on the technical side.”1 To fill this void, after retiring as a player he wrote instructional books, produced films, broadcast, and coached college baseball. Remembered by most as the coach of future President George H.W. Bush at Yale University, Allen also developed and marketed the board game All-Star Baseball, based on players’ real-life statistics and a game some fans played well into adulthood.

Ethan Nathan Allen was born on January 1, 1904, in Cincinnati to Laura Francis Allen and David Allen. David was the assistant superintendent of the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati. At Withrow High School he lettered in baseball, basketball, and track. He passed up football for fear an injury might end his dream of a professional baseball career. The first Withrow graduate to play in the majors (five more followed), Allen was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1991.

After graduating from high school in 1922, Allen spent a fast-paced four years at the University of Cincinnati. He lettered in track, basketball, and baseball. For the track team, Allen competed in the high jump and broad jump, was a sprinter, and threw the discus. On the basketball court he averaged 10 points a game at guard and was named to the All-Ohio squad.

In 1926, his senior year, baseball team captain Allen hit .473. His coach, Boyd Chambers, was also a scout for the Cincinnati Reds and recommended Allen to the team. After a tryout the Reds offered Allen a contract for $1,500 a year. But then queries arrived from the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, both of which also offered tryouts. The Philadelphia Athletics were also interested.

Allen went to Philadelphia, then to Cleveland for a tryout with the Indians. In Cleveland “I was dead broke,” Allen said, but “[manager] Tris Speaker was like a father to me” and “[outfielder] Charlie Jamieson gave me some money.”2 In Detroit, after an afternoon of hitting and fielding drills, Ty Cobb took Ethan home for dinner. He never forgot the Cobbs’ hospitality.3

Back in Cincinnati, despite Speaker’s kindness, Charlie Jamieson’s generosity, Ty Cobb’s thoughtfulness, and Mrs. Cobb’s home cooking, Allen signed with the Reds. He made his major- league debut on June 13, 1926. Allen played in just 18 games in his rookie season, mostly as a late-inning substitute with only 13 at-bats, but The Sporting News wrote of him that he “is showing much promise in a Reds uniform.”4 Allen felt ill-prepared; his college coach had been a pitcher. Years later he said, “I received nothing from my college coach; he was a pitcher”5; but a hit he got against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in July after being “unable to solve major-league pitching” gave him “the confidence that enabled me to stick.”6

In his first spring training, in 1927, Allen was amazed at the lack of instruction. In the book Before the Game, Allen is quoted as saying, “Nobody taught anything to anyone; the sole purpose of spring training was to enable players to get into top physical condition for the ensuing season.” Describing the attitude of old-time ballplayers towards teaching the game, Allen recalled the time in the late 1930s that the Reds lost a game because of sloppy baserunning. Coach Jimmie Wilson offered to present a clinic on the subject, but manager Bill McKechnie refused: “If they can’t run the bases,” he said, “we’ll get some players who can.”

Allen played 111 games for the Reds in 1927. Finally comfortable with major-league pitching, he batted a solid .295. His speed was an asset in the outfield and basepaths as he hustled for 26 doubles and 4 triples. After the season, on October 16, Allen and Doris Wetzel of Dayton, Ohio, a recent graduate of Miami University in Ohio, were married.

The 1928 season began on a low note for Allen, who suffered a fractured cheekbone in an exhibition game in Buffalo. But the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Allen was soon back in the lineup and finished the season with a .305 batting average. His outfield defense was praised by The Sporting News, which commented, “Ethan can hit, run, field and think.”7 In 1929 Allen put his training as a sprinter to use when he stole 21 bases and had a personal-best 157 hits.

In 1930 Allen asked to be traded. New manager Dan Howley, who had come to the Reds after managing the St. Louis Browns for three seasons, “brought a lot of old players over from the American League like Bob Meusel and Harry Heilman. He had the team picked before we went south, and I thought that was the wrong attitude to take. I felt that if talk could have won a pennant, then he would have been the champion manager of all times.”8 And on May 27, 1930, Allen and pitcher Pete Donahue were traded to the New York Giants for utilityman Pat Crawford.

Allen, who was traded or sold five times in his career, viewed the transactions as positive. “I never minded being traded,” he wrote. “My wife liked it because she was interested in people. She enjoyed taking the kids to zoos and liked the musicals in some of the towns. Then the biggest kick was beating the haves, if you were traded to a have-not.” But now Allen was playing for the New York Giants, one of the haves. The Giants had played in the World Series four times in 10 years, winning the Series twice. And their manager was the legendary John McGraw. Allen wrote, “I thought McGraw was great because he treated everybody alike. He did some wacky things, though.”9

Allen could hit for power. He was the first to hit a home run over 400 feet to dead center field in Redlands Park (later named Crosley Field). The blast was off the ace of the Cardinals pitching staff, Jess Haines. Asked to characterize himself as a hitter, Allen said, “I could hit the ball pretty far, and I hit a few for distance, but generally speaking, I was a line-drive hitter. … I think I could have hit “20 to 25 home runs a year.”10 Allen, who hit two pinch-hit homers as a Giant, one a grand slam, wrote, “The only time I went for a home run was when the count reached 3-1 or 3-2.” But he was better as a baserunner. In a field day at the Polo Grounds in 1931 sponsored by the New York World Telegram, Allen ran the bases in 13.8 seconds to win the event.11

Allen hit 47 home runs. That doesn’t count the inside-the-park blast he hit for the Cardinals in 1933 against the Giants. (He had been traded in the offseason.) After sliding into home plate, he was called out by the umpire for batting out of order. Allen explained, “I normally hit ahead of Medwick, but the lineup was changed that day.”12

Meanwhile, all was not well with the Giants. Manager McGraw’s health was beginning to falter in 1931. And infighting between younger and older players did not improve his well-being. The sour economy resulted in sagging attendance. Allen decided to plan for the future, and after the 1931 season he enrolled at Columbia University’s Teachers College. His goal was an M.A. in physical education. He hoped the degree would prepare him for a coaching career. He got his degree in 1933.

At spring training in 1932, Allen was told, “You will be in competition with others for an outfield position.”13 McGraw decided Allen would “alternate” in the outfield.14 In early June McGraw, his nerves and health shot, stepped down. Allen had a dismal year under new manager Bill Terry. He played 54 games in the outfield and batted .175. Years later he wrote, “I don’t know what went wrong that season – I played some when I probably shouldn’t have, with injuries.”

In October 1932 Allen was sent to the Cardinals in a six-player trade. He struggled at the plate with his new team, finishing the 1933 season with a .241 batting average. In 1991, in an instructional essay on hitting for Coaching Digest, Allen wrote, “What … is the secret that, year after year, enables the same players to dominate the 300 circle? The answer is twofold; first a good swing; and second, perfect timing that comes with weight control.”15

After one season the Cardinals sent Allen to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash. Playing for a seventh-place team, he proceeded to have his best season offensively and defensively. Allen led all National League left fielders with 12 assists and three double plays turned. He batted .330 and tied Kiki Cuyler for the National League lead with 42 doubles.

Baseball was loaded with colorful characters in the 1920s and ’30s. And Allen had two for roommates: future Hall of Famers Dizzy Dean on the Cardinals and Hack Wilson on the Phillies. Allen called Dean “an oddball.” Wilson by 1934 was “just a shell of the player he was,” Allen said. People blamed his demise on “his affection for the bottle,“ but Allen did not agree. “He drank some, but I never saw him intoxicated.” Allen believed that Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby was partly to blame for Wilson’s downfall. “I asked a coach what was wrong with Wilson,” said Allen, and he said, “‘Hornsby is taking the bat out of his hands.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Well it gets to be two balls and no strikes and everybody in the league know that Hornsby likes for you to take a pitch. So, down the middle goes the ball. When it gets to three balls and a strike, once again he takes. The ball comes down the middle and there he stands. Hack needed three swings, because he might hit a home run on the second and third swing. So his average went down and his home runs went down. But he was the damnedest hitter I ever saw.”16

In 1935 Allen batted .307 while playing in a league-leading 156 games. His 46 doubles were second and his 23 assists as a center fielder led the league. In the MVP balloting Allen received 17 votes.

In the first major-league night game, on May 24 at Cincinnati’s Crosley field, Allen had one hit in a Phillies 2-1 victory, but in the outfield he misplayed a fly ball. “Actually, it was scored as a hit, because it was a sort of low shot that went off my glove,” he said. “The lights were so bright, it was almost like a day game, except you could see your shadow on all sides of you. I remember that very well, looking at those shadows.”17

Allen was in the outfield at Baker Field for Babe Ruth’s final game. Let go by the Yankees, Ruth, who hoped to manage one day, signed with the Boston Braves for 1935. He played 28 games. On May 30 Ruth batted third in the lineup and meekly grounded out in the first inning against Jim Bivin. Bivin, who played only that season in the majors, was the last pitcher to face Ruth.

On May 21, 1936, the Phillies traded Allen and pitcher Curt Davis to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Chuck Klein, pitcher Fabian Kowalik, and cash. In mid-June The Sporting News reported, “Ethan Allen is hitting and fielding in a fashion that makes the $50,000 paid for him and pitcher Davis look good.”18 In July the newspaper praised Allen again commenting, “(T)he bald-headed graduate of the University of Cincinnati has played well for the Cubs.”19 Soon after, he was spiked by an umpire in a game in Boston. The injury put him out of the lineup for weeks. He played 121 games and batted .295 for the year.

Allen wrote, “I had this idea, even when I was playing; that you could put a man’s playing record on a disc.” He told Cubs teammate Roy Henshaw, ”I don’t see why you can’t graph a player’s batting average on a circle.”20 Henshaw was not impressed. Convinced his concept was marketable, he set out to find a partner. It proved to be a hard sell. Allen remembered, “While I was with the Cubs, I went to various manufacturers with the hope of selling the idea to them as a game, only to have most of them practically kick me out of their offices.”21 Confident in the game’s uniqueness, Allen continued to refine his theory.

On December 2, 1936, the Cubs sold Allen’s contract to the St Louis Browns. He signed a contract for $7,000 and was reunited with Rogers Hornsby, who was the Browns’ manager. “I thought he was going to send me to Oshkosh or something, but I was a 10-year man, and they couldn’t send me anywhere. But he just wanted to get some older guys to team with some of the younger players.”22 The Browns got off to a 25-52 record and Hornsby was sacked. First baseman Sunny Jim Bottomley replaced him as player-manager.

The 1937 Browns finished eighth, 56 games out of first. By midseason Allen was relegated to pinch-hitting. He played in only 80 games in the outfield. Allen signed a 1938 contract for $6,000, a pay cut of $1,000.

In 1938, after playing in 19 games for the Browns, Allen was released on June 19. Now he would begin his life’s work. In the fall of 1938 his first book was published.

Major League Baseball, published by Macmillan, was a 253-page book containing 232 pictures. Allen wrote in the foreword, “Baseball, like most games, requires the execution of certain basic techniques or fundamentals, such as running, catching, throwing and batting. It is the object of this text to interpret these as they are executed in the major leagues, where baseball reaches its most advanced stages.” To demonstrate those “fundamentals,” the book included photos of Dizzy Dean, Joe Cronin, and Bill Dickey in action. The book received favorable reviews. Allen published 12 more tracts on baseball, the last in 1975. All stressed fundamentals.

In 1935 the American League formed a Film Bureau. The concept was the brainchild of former player Lew Fonseca, the league’s director of promotions. Late in his playing career Allen had purchased a movie camera for $50 and began filming players in action. He thought instructional films were the ideal complement to his books. In 1938 the National League established a Film Bureau and hired Allen as director of motion-picture activities. The Allens moved to Scarsdale, New York.

Allen remembered, “I was supposed to be in charge of instructional films. But they had this guy from Hollywood who had already shot a lot of footage. I looked at it and told them to throw it all away. One scene had cleaning ladies sweeping out the box seats, wagging their fannies right behind the first baseman. Another scene had a Kellogg’s sign on the wall behind the outfielder – and our sponsor was Wheaties!”

For the 1938 baseball “centennial,” each league produced a 40-minute film. The National League film produced by media-savvy Ethan Allen included the Cubs’ Stan Hack eating a bowl of Wheaties. The Film Bureau continued to produce films under Allen’s guidance. Of Safe at Home, released in 1941, John Drebinger of the New York Times wrote, “The picture reveals thirty minutes of high speed action, inside information and a touch of diamond comedy that should prove highly instructive as well as entertaining.”23 Dan Daniel of the New York World Telegram wrote, “Director Allen makes highly informative use of split screen shots to illustrate the fundamental hitting and pitching rhythm.”24

The films were distributed to schools, churches, civic organizations, and military posts. It is estimated that more than 3 million people viewed the movies. Allen in a letter to Rogers Hornsby wrote that his position at the Film Bureau allowed him the opportunity “to rave and rant about (my) favorite subject.”25 In 1943, in the midst of World War II, both leagues’ film bureaus were disbanded.

Winning Baseball, Allen’s third book, was published by McGraw Hill in 1942. That year Allen also found a manufacturer to produce and market his concept for a baseball game.

Ethan Allen's "All-Star Baseball" gameEthan Allen's "All-Star Baseball" gameCadaco was founded by Charles Berisheimer and Charles Mazer in San Leandro, California, in 1935. The new firm had early success with Elmer Layden’s Scientific Football. In 1937 Mazer’s wife, Eleanor Ellis, financed a buyout of Berisheimer and became the company’s new partner. The company was renamed Cadaco-Ellis and moved to Chicago. The company had turned down Monopoly, but didn’t repeat the same mistake with All-Star Baseball. In 1941 Allen called on Mazer in Chicago. He told Bill Madden of The Sporting News in 1983 that Mazer “was a very direct and straight talking guy. He listened to me and then blurted out, ‘That’s a good idea, we’ll do it!’ They don’t make people like that anymore.”

All-Star Baseball was the second game to rate players on statistical performances. The first was National Pastime, introduced in 1931, which survived only one season. Ethan Allen All-Star Baseball first appeared in 1941 and sold for $1.25. The first version contained 40 discs based on players’ statistics from the 1941 season. A spinner was placed atop the disc. You picked your lineup, then turned the spinner to find out what the player did with his at-bat. There were 14 possibilities, from striking out to hitting a home run. Jack Major in Baseball’s Ethan Allen: The Original Spin Doctor, wrote, “Pitching skill played no part in the outcome, but Ethan Allen All-Star Baseball produced scores that seemed real. No two games were alike.”26 The appeal was the simplicity. A 10-year-old could manage a team of major leaguers,

Over the years Allen and Cadaco-Ellis updated the game. For 50 years Allen contacted every player featured in the game, acquiring written permission to use their names and stats. The players, many of whom felt honored to be included in the game, were not paid. In 1993 the Major League Baseball Players Association required licensing fees for the use of players’ names, statistics, and images. Cadaco-Ellis declined to pay the fees and discontinued the game. In 2003 a more favorable agreement was reached with the union and Cadaco reissued the game. The final year of production was 2004.

In all, Allen copyrighted 13 games, for baseball, basketball, football, and track. But he never found a company to demonstrate them.27

In 1944 Allen was living in Bronxville, New York. On Sundays he played in father-and-son baseball games with his son, Tobey. He also played on the New York City sportswriters’ team. Allen and Lefty Gomez co-hosted a radio show, Game Time, on WINS in New York City, going on the air before and after Yankees games. Of the program, which was sponsored by the Ruppert Brewery, the New Yorker magazine wrote, “Gomez is a little alarmed by big words, and while they are on the air Allen is given to pointing ahead to any that appear in the script, just to make his partner squirm.”28

Describing the format, Gomez said, “Allen and I commented on anything pertaining to sports, and gave the scores of any game in progress in any sport. But we did more than read, replay and rehash. … We did stories with human appeal. Before the WINS broadcast we talked to people on the streets, fans in the stands, newsmen, and of course, players in the locker rooms. A people- oriented script. Our spontaneous format was more of a risk but it made the show more creative.”29

Allen called Gomez “one great guy.”30

After the 1944 season, Allen left the program to join the Army Special Service Section Sports Troupe. Among other things, he ran a baseball clinic in Rome. (One of his instructors was Sergeant Joe DiMaggio.) After the war Allen returned to WINS. He also supervised baseball clinics at the Polo Grounds sponsored by New York Journal American.

The year 1946 began on a comic note for Allen. On a trip back from Florida, he left his overcoat in a restaurant and had to continue the trip north in his bathrobe.31 But when he arrived home there was a job waiting: He was named the head coach of baseball at Yale University. His predecessors were major leaguers Smoky Joe Wood (1924-1942) and Red Rolfe (1943-1945). For a salary of $6,500, “My duties at Yale also included freshman basketball the first two years,” he said. Also in 1946 his fourth book, Want to Be a Baseball Champion?, was published by General Mills.

On April 15, 1946, Yale defeated the University of Connecticut, 4-3, the first of Allen’s 327 victories at Yale. At first base was an ex-Navy pilot, George H.W. Bush, who drilled a single to drive home the first run of the season. The Elis went 13-4 to win the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League championship.

In 1947 Yale went 19-6 and played in the first College World Series. In the Eastern semifinals the Elis defeated Clemson and New York University. The national finals, a best-of-three series, were held at Kalamazoo, Michigan. The University of California (featuring Jackie Jensen), swept the Elis, 17-4 and 8-7.

In 1948 Yale again won the NCAA Eastern Regional Tournament, defeating North Carolina and Lafayette, and returned to Kalamazoo to face California for the national championship. This time Yale won a game, but California won two to take the series.

That was team captain Bush’s last year playing for Yale. Asked if he recognized Bush’s presidential qualities, Allen replied, “Hell, I was only interested in winning ballgames.” He added, “I do not remember anything special about George Bush. He was a likeable and respected captain and an excellent first baseman. His forte was catching throws that gave our infielders confidence.”32 A loyal Democrat, Allen never voted for Bush. He said it would “bother (my) conscience.”33 Political differences aside, the two remained friends.

When Allen retired from Yale in 1968, Bush, who kept his old mitt from Yale in his desk, wrote Coach Allen a note: “Regret Yale will be losing a great coach but happiness is knowing that you will continue to make a significant contribution to American sports in whatever you decide to do.” He continued, “One of the great experiences of my own was playing at Yale during your first three years. I will never forget the spirit we had, the pure enjoyment of it all, and the great benefits I felt that I got as a person playing for a wonderful coach, a real gentleman, and most important a warm and close friend.”34

The Elis captured the Eastern Intercollegiate League championship in 1946, 1947, and 1955, along with Ivy League titles in 1956 and 1957. “The 1956 team was the best at Yale,” Allen recalled. “We were not permitted to go into a District Tournament because the dates for the National Tournament conflicted with Harvard and Princeton games.”35

Four of Allen’s players went on to major-league careers: Frank Quinn, Dick Tettelbach, Bob Davis, and Ken Mackenzie. Tettelbach, an outfielder who played for the Yankees and Washington Senators, said of Allen, “He was just like Stengel, so thorough on fundamentals. When I got to pro ball after being exposed to Allen for three or four years, I really knew more baseball than most of the guys in the major leagues.” He added, “Ethan Allen was A-Plus, totally the best coach I ever played for.” Chris Getman, who played at Yale in the mid-1960s, remembered Allen as a no-nonsense coach. In the first inning pitching against Wesleyan, he gave up a home run and a hard liner that almost “took my head off.” Rattled, he asked Allen to take him out. “He glared at me and took me out and sat me for two weeks,” Getman said. Allen told him “He didn’t want quitters on his team,” Getman said.36

Allen’s two favorite players at Yale were not quitters. “I was proud of a little second baseman named Tony Aguiar who weighed less than 140 pounds,” he said. “He was cut from the squad his junior year and came back his senior year and completed his final year with two hits and a game-ending double play to clinch a victory over Harvard. Also Bob Riordan who, also lacking talent, climaxed another game against Harvard with a key hit.”37

While at Yale, Allen published eight books. Baseball – Major League Technique and Tactics was published by Macmillan in 1953. In 1975 his 13th and final book, Batting and Bunting, was released. For a series produced by Coca-Cola on the fundamentals of baseball, football, and basketball, Allen contributed films on pitching, pickoff plays and fielding. The films each ran 11 minutes and could be borrowed from Coca-Cola bottlers.

In 1954 Allen became a vice president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, and in 1956 he served as president. He was also active in dealing with the NCAA Rules Committee. Always the diplomat, Allen in 1957 tried to mediate a grievance between college coaches and major-league scouts. College coaches complained that the scouts were stealing players. (Organized Baseball had dropped its rule barring the signing of college players.) They demanded that scouts be banned from college games. The Sporting News reported that an “urbane” Allen said, “Were not mad at anybody. Were just mad at what they do.”38 (The coaches eventually adopted rules barring scouts from practice fields and locker rooms.) In January 1970 the Baseball Coaches Association inducted Allen into the College Coaches Hall of Fame.

Always eager to teach his favorite subject, Allen ran baseball clinics at military bases in the offseason. On one tour of the Pacific he traveled to Hawaii, Okinawa, and Japan with fellow coach Archie Allen of Springfield College. Back in New Haven in 1966, Coach Allen won his 300th game at Yale, a 5-1 victory over archrival Harvard.

Allen retired from Yale after the 1968 season. His final game was a 9-0 loss to Harvard. Allen coached the Elis to 327 victories, 318 losses, and 7 ties from 1946 to 1968. Ken Mackenzie, the captain of the 1956 Elis, Allen’s favorite squad, succeeded him as coach. A pitcher, Mackenzie had played in the majors for six seasons. However, he considered his 6-0 record against Harvard his most significant accomplishment on the diamond.

Joe Rossomando, Allen’s assistant coach throughout his tenure at Yale, said Allen was a “fine gentleman” and a “wonderful man” whom he held in “the highest regard.” But most importantly, “he not only taught baseball, but taught character.” Rossomando said Allen’s “legacy as a man of character remains in place with all those who played for him.”39

Ethan and Doris, who preferred the small-town life, retired to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. New Haven had “grown too much, there’s too many people,” they felt. For relaxation, Allen played 18 holes of golf three days a week and attended cultural events with Doris. But baseball remained his focus. He wrote articles on the game. (One, in The Sporting News, condemned the spitball.) Always in search of outlets to teach the game, Allen continued “to peddle” how-to booklets to “advertisers and any company that might show interest.” He contacted toy manufacturers with fresh thoughts for baseball, football, and basketball board games.

Allen stayed in contact with many of his players at Yale. Most stopped in for a visit. Those who could not make the trip to Chapel Hill wrote to him. George H.W. Bush, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, found time during the 1980 election campaign to send a note. He began, “Dear Curly, We’re still elated over Iowa but the road to the nomination is still long and difficult.”40

To be closer to their son Tobey, Doris and Ethan moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1991. Ethan suffered a stroke in February 1992 that left his left side partly paralyzed, and Doris, who had been in failing health, died on December 28, 1992.

In the summer of 1993 Ethan accompanied Tobey, who was retired, to Brookings, Oregon. Still active at 89, Allen wrote, “I am now trying to sell booklet idea and baseball and basketball games to McDonald’s, Kraft, Oscar Meyer, etc. Maybe I will be able to fool someone.” But on September 15, 1993, Allen died in the Crescent City Hospital in Crescent City, California.

“My playing career does not belong in the Hall of Fame,” Allen wrote, “but eventually books, films and games might be given some recognition.” Why did he continue to rave and rant about his favorite subject?41 “Just doing something for the kids.”



The author’s personal correspondence with Ethan Allen.

Bush, George, with Victor Gold. Looking Forward (New York: Doubleday, 1987).

Steven Conn, Yale University sports information director.

Gomez, Verona, and Lawrence Goldstone. Lefty: An American Odyssey (New York: Ballantine Books, 2013).

Jeffry H. Orleans, executive director, Council of Ivy Group Presidents.

Joseph Rossomando, former assistant baseball coach, Yale University.



Major, Jack. The Original Spin Doctor,

Rubin, Louis. Before the Game (Dallas: Taylor Publishing, 1988).

Cincinnati Reds Report

Coaching Digest

Brooklyn Eagle

Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram

Cincinnati Enquirer

New Haven Register

New York Herald Tribune

New York Times

Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

USA Today



1 From undated, unidentified newspaper on file at Yale University Sports Information Office.

2 Chapel Hill Newspaper (on file at Yale University).

3 Letter from Ethan Allen to the author.

4 The Sporting News, July 1, 1926.

5 Letter from Ethan Allen to the author.

6 The Sporting News, June 1, 1933.

7 The Sporting News, February 22, 1928.

8 Cincinnati Reds Report, November 1989.

9 Letter from Ethan Allen to the author.

10 Letter from Ethan Allen to the author.

11 Unidentified, undated article on file at the Yale Sports Information Office.

12 Chapel Hill Newspaper (on file at Yale University).

13 The Sporting News, March 17, 1932.

14 The Sporting News, March 31, 1932.

15 Ethan Allen, “Hitting Keys and Swing Timing,” Coaching Digest, August 1991.

16 Cincinnati Reds Report, November 1989.

17 Chapel Hill Newspaper, July 15, 1990 (on file at Yale University).

18 The Sporting News, June 18, 1936.

19 The Sporting News, July 19, 1936.

20 Arthur Rotstein, Associated Press, undated article on file at Yale Sports Information Office.

21 Bill Madden, The Sporting News, January 10, 1983.

22 Cincinnati Reds Report, November 1989.

23 John Drebinger, New York Times, December 26, 1941.

24 Dan Daniel, New York World Telegram, undated copy on file in Yale Sports Information Office.

25 The Sporting News, October 25, 1945.

26 Jack Major, “Baseball's Ethan Allen; The Original Spin Doctor,”

27 All-Star Baseball was the only one of Allen’s copyrighted games that made it to the market.

28 The New Yorker, April 29, 1944.

29 Veronica Gomez and Lawrence Goldstone, Lefty (New York: Ballantine Books, 2012).

30 Letter from Allen to the author.

31 Letter from Allen to the author.

32 Arthur Rotstein, Associated Press, unidentified article on file in Yale Sports Information Office.

33 Letter from Allen to the author.

34 George H.W. Bush, All the Best (New York: Scribner, 2013).

35 Letter from Allen to the author.

36 From Getman’s acceptance speech upon receiving the Lifetime of Leadership Award at the Yale University Athletics Blue Leadership Ball, November 18, 2011. Getman remarked, in tribute to Allen, “I was truly a major-league prospect ... from the neck down. … It wasn't until we were playing Wesleyan, and I had given up what was arguably the longest home-run ball ever thrown by a Yale pitcher and then had my head ripped off by a liner back through the box, that I had an epiphany. Coach Allen came to the mound and saw the look of pure terror on my face, ' I think you better take me out,' I mumbled. He glared at me and responded, 'You want to come out?' To which I timidly nodded. Ethan sat me down for two weeks, remarking that he didn't want quitters on his team. Having the courage not to quit was an important life lesson which I learned then and which has stuck with me ever since.”

37 Letter from Allen to the author.

38 The Sporting News, January 16, 1957.

39 Telephone interview with Joe Rossomando, 1992.

40 Bush, All the Best.

41 Letter from Allen to the author.

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