|Lenny Dykstra on the|
1993 Phillies poster
I was anxious to see The Dude. As I mentioned in my last post, his previous Philly Show appearance was an eye opening event. At that point stories of his problems had already surfaced, including some from that very weekend when he was accused of trashing his Philadelphia hotel room, and walking out on a dinner check. As a huge fan of his during the 90s, it was difficult to see.
This appearance could not have been different - I was immediately met by Dykstra thrusting his right hand forward for a handshake, and a making a very clear statement, "Thanks for coming." I brought my 1993 team poster for him to sign. As far as 1993 goes, there is probably no bigger piece to the project - and I wasn't sure if I would get to add him any time soon. I was happy to add this autograph.
We've all had down times, and I've got to give much credit to anyone who admits their mistakes and tries to improve themselves. I know there are many of people who will not give Lenny a second (or third) chance - but, he's good with me. There is no bigger fan of a comeback than me, hopefully this is the beginning of another one for #4.
|Dick Allen - 1964 Bulletin Pictures|
As polarizing as Lenny Dykstra is - has there ever been a more controversial figure in the history of Phillies baseball than Dick Allen? I'm way too young to have ever seen Allen play - but, I was raised on stories of his 40 oz. bat, and home runs soaring over the roof of Connie Mack Stadium. My dad was a big fan of Allen's and always painted him in the positive light. Of course, there were the other stories - he was chronically late for games, his fight with Frank Thomas and that "mysterious" injury in 1967. Both sides of the argument have always been well-represented.
I know Allen has long made amends with Philadelphia, and its baseball fans - but, on Saturday, I couldn't help but wonder what the former slugger was thinking as a line of middle-aged (plus) white men waited for him to sign his name. I pictured his critics standing close by, fascinated to see the interactions as one fan after another approached his table. They would display the look of the Grinch on Christmas morning, when he realizes he was wrong about the meaning of the holiday: Each was greeted warmly...There was no hint of irritation at having to sign cards that bore the name, "Richie Allen"...And, he didn't mind reminiscing about his first tour of duty in Philly...???
Even though the price was a little more than I am used to paying for autographs - it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I was very excited to finally get his 1964 Bulletin pictures signed. I've been plugging away on both sets for a few years - and he is hands-down one of the most important members of the project.