I was born in 1964. Some people may call that my rookie year, but if you know about baseball you know my birthday on 9/23 was just a late September call up and my Rookie year would be in 1965.
In a similar fashion, Dick Allen (my first White Sox hero) debuted for the Philadelphia Phillies on 9/3/1963 came back in the spring of 1964 and played his rookie season. He played all 162 games for the Philadelphia the only Phillie to do that in 1964 and just 1 of 12 in the majors.
When I was growing up I wanted to be the starting third baseman for the Chicago White Sox. In 1964 22 year old Allen was the starting 3rd baseman for Philadelphia. Allen had an amazing season, one of the finest rookie seasons in MLB history. He led all of MLB with 125 runs scored. His 13 triples were tied for first with Cubs 3rd baseman and fellow hero of my youth, Ron Santo. He had 201 hits and 29 homeruns (5th overall for both achievements.
Allen had many successes but a few bumps in the road that eventually saw him be voted N.L. Rookie Of the year. He was an adventure at 3rd base amassing 41 errors at the hot corner. He also led the national league in strikeouts which is great when your a pitcher but not so good when you have a bat in your hand. Allen struck out 138times in his rookie year but still managed to hit .318 in '64 with a slugging percentage of .557.
Allen's Phillies spent 135 days in first place that year but lost 10 games in a row from September 21st to the 30th in one of the greatest sports collapses in the 20th century. That most of these 10 losses happened in my first week alive is merely coincidence. At least I hope it is.
Bleacher Report has an excellent article about Allen which talks about how claims that Allen was somehow to blame for the collapse have no basis in fact. That article can be found by clicking here.
1964 was a great year to be born and a fine year to play your first full season in the majors. I discovered Dick Allen for myself in the early 70's and he is one of the main reasons I became a White Sox fan,
The scout that signed Dick Allen to the Phillies also saw Babe Ruth play and said of Allen that he was the only player he had seen that hit harder than Ruth.
Dick Allen died December 7th 2020 in at the age of 78.
He is considered by many to be the best baseball player not to be enshrined in Cooperstown.