Introducing… Bob Allison

A brawny slugger for the Twins in the 1960s, Bob Allison played most of his career as the power-hitting compliment to Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew.  The two blasters became the first teammates in baseball history to hit grand slams in the same inning.  Allison had eight years with 20+ homeruns at the Major League level. 

A two-sport star in college, Bob chose baseball over football when he signed on the dotted line with the old Washington Senators in 1955.  He received an eleven-game trial late in the 1958 season before exploding on the Major League scene in 1959.  Bob won the Rookie of the Year Award with 75% of the vote.  The big masher led the AL in triples, was named to the first of three All-Star teams and teamed with big bopper Jim Lemon to give the Senators the only outfield duo in the Major Leagues with 30 long balls apiece.  Add third baseman Harmon Killebrew’s 42 homeruns to the mix, and the Senators had a potent, powerful attack. 

Although Allison nearly doubled his doubles output in 1960, his 30 homeruns in 1959 were cut in half the next season.  With just fifteen dingers as a sophomore, Allison had to prove that he was a legitimate power threat, but had to do so in a new locale.  The Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1961.  The move west brought out the boisterous baritone of Bob’s booming bat as he clubbed 29 homeruns for the Twins while notching his first 100-RBI season.  More than a brain-dead masher, who swings at everything, Bob had a selective eye and was able to eclipse 100 walks drawn in ’61.

Showing remarkable consistency in 1962, Bob blasted 29 homeruns again while leading AL right fielders in RBI.  Big Bob was one of only two American League players to drive in and score 100 runs that season.  When pitching began to spike in the early 1960s, Allison wasn’t effected by the shift in power.  His muscles could flourish in any era.  He proved this in 1963 when he made his second All-Star team by swatting 35 homeruns and leading the American League in runs scored and on-base-plus-slugging.  The Twins easily had the AL’s best power-hitting outfield as Bob’s 35 dingers, left fielder Harmon Killebrew’s 45 long balls and center fielder Jimmie Hall’s 33 taters gave Minnesota the only outfield to combine for 100+ homeruns.

Bob rotated between first base and the outfield in 1964 but the positional carousel didn’t throw a wrench into his hitting.  Allison blasted 32 homeruns that season with 90 runs scored and a lofty .404 on-base percentage (2nd in the AL).  The Twins captured the AL pennant in 1965 and Bob hit a homerun in his only Fall Classic appearance.  After a dismal ’66 season, Bob posted back-to-back 20+ homerun campaigns in 1967 and ’68.  When the leagues were divided into divisions in 1969, Bob played in both the 1969 and 1970 league championship series’ but by that time he was past his prime and no longer a regular.  His last Major League action came in the 1970 ALCS.

THE NUMBERS

G 1,541/R 811/H 1,281/2B 216/3B 53/HR 256/RBI 796/SB 84/BB 795/SO 1,033/BA .255/SA .471/OBP .358

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1 comment
  1. brettkiser said:

    With under 1,300 career hits, Bob Allison and his big time power seem like a weak fit for the HOF. But Ralph Kiner, another masher–albeit better–is in the HOF with big power totals and a rather minsicule base hit total. Allison’s HOF chances are weak.

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