From SABR member Joe Posnanski at JoePosnanski.com on April 1, 2019:
In the dog days of 1969, a ballplayer named Dick Allen (but who was still being called Richie Allen) rather suddenly scratched out a word in the infield dirt. This was a few days after he had been suspended by the Philadelphia Phillies for failing to show up for a doubleheader. He was playing first base, and he had a little time on his hands, and he scraped the word “COKE” with his cleats, so large that everybody in Connie Mack Stadium could read it.
This, it should be said, was on one of the many days when Philadelphia fans were taking particular relish in booing him. It was 1969, so by then, fans booed him every day (that is when they were not writing angry letters to the newspaper about him). He had taken to wearing a batting helmet throughout games, even when in the field and on the bench, because it made him feel safer. Anyway, some days were louder than others, and this was one of the deafening days. Allen raked out his one-word message.
COKE? What did it even mean? Was it a drug reference? Was it a call for a refreshing drink? Did he want to buy the world one?
In his next at-bat, Dick Allen smashed a home run over the Coke sign.
Read the full article here: https://joeposnanski.com/whats-in-a-name/
- Related link: Read our biography of Dick Allen at the SABR BioProject
Originally published: April 2, 2019. Last Updated: April 2, 2019.