Johnny Allen didn't particularly want to, but as a young man he resumed attending Sunday school. This made him eligible to play outfield in a church baseball league. It was the right thing to do. In a few years, he was pitching in the major leagues. The book Fiery Fast-Baller traces how this superb, self-trained athlete made his own way from an upbringing in a North Carolina orphanage to tbe pinnacle of big-time baseball.. He was the game's top rookie after joining the New York Yankees in 1932, and set pitching records while with the Cleveland Indians in 1937 and 1938. His career paralleled that of Babe Ruth, a good friend of his. The book could not help wondering why Allen never has been admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe it's because, as someone driven to win, time and again he fought and argued with managers, umpires, club owners and other players. He made himself memorable as "Jawin' Jawn," one of baseball's most colorful characters.
About Wint Capel
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Published June 24, 2001
History, Sports & Outdoors, Biographies & Memoirs.