Happy birthday, Bob Allison

Ron KaplanContributor IJuly 11, 2010

The Minnesota Twins slugger would have been 76 today. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 61 in 1995.

In 1967, Hal Butler published The Bob Allison Story. By that time, the athlete was on the downside of his career. In 13 big league seasons — all with the Twins and their predecessor, the Washington Senators — Allison had 256 home runs, 796 RBIs, and a batting average of just .255. He was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1959 and an All-Star three times.

The book notes that he was a star athlete in high school and college.

When he accepted a contract from the then Washington Senators, it seem his ambition was fulfilled. But in reality, his greatest challenge still lay ahead. For now Allison was no longer the outstanding athlete of his small town, but one of the hundreds of players vying for the major leagues…. [T]his book does not recount any sudden breakthrough or overnight triumph. Instead, it is an account of hard work, unsparing self-criticism, fierce determination in the face in injury and temporary setback, and step-by-step progress toward the eminence that Bob Allison has come to enjoy.

Butler also wrote The Harmon Killebrew Story and There’s Nothing New in Sports.