allentown...that incident with Frank Thomas occurred on July 3, 1965 and not in 1964. In fact, Frank Thomas, the player that caused the fight with Allen, was not even a member of the squad until August 7 of 1964, There were many things that came apart during the last 2 weeks of 1964 but Allen and a fight with a teammate was not one of them.
There were so many ironies about that fight, all of them sad and historic. First, the situation happened when the Phils were on a 6 game winning streak in 1965 and were playing their best ball of the season, Second, it occurred with Allen, Frank Thomas and star right fielder Johnny Callison, the three sluggers who carried the Phils during their seeming pennant drive in August/Sept of 1964. Third, it likely changed Allen forever as a Philadelphia Phillie and that was such a shame. After a brilliant rookie season, Allen was playing even better up to the fight in 1965. He was hitting a cool .341 and was playing like the best player in MLB. He was truly a sight to behold. Fourth, on the night of the fight, Allen with 2 triples, 3 hits and 4 RBI and Thomas, with his final home run as a Phillie, led a comeback which had the Phils ahead 7-4 after seven innings. Alas, the bullpen collapsed and the Phils lost 10-8.
I have always contended that it was NOT the fight but the aftermath that caused Allen to sour on the team and city. The Phils made the mistake of A] releasing Thomas the next day while B] ordering Allen not to talk about the fight. This was a huge mistake. The fans took their wrath out on Allen, blaming him for the release of the popular Thomas, while was made to issue "no comment" when great Phillie writers like Allen Lewis, Sandy Grady or Stan Hochman asked him about the fight. Allen, not surprisingly, hit less than .250 the rest of the way and finished at .302 for the season, still solid but no longer otherworldly.
Sadly, Allen's eventual ticket out of Philadelphia was written on July 4, 1965, though he would still have a strong '66 season and good seasons in '67-69, though a hand injury certainly hurt his power production. As for the Thomas-Allen relationship, the hulking Thomas, not known as The Big Donkey for nothing, later apologized and Thomas and Allen were seen hugging and laughing together at the 1989 reunion.
Interestingly, Phillie owner, John Middleton, a fan like many of us during Allen's first term as a Phillie, tried to make it all right again when Allen's number honored shortly before he passed and Allen did return to the Phils in 1975-76 to a wonderful fan salute. Unfortunately, he was not the same player and in my opinion, never was after the fight. Oh, he was still great. But the Allen I saw play in 1964-pre fight 1965 was the greatest player I ever saw play and I saw Schmidt, Mays, Mantle, Clemente, Aaron and all the rest. Yes, he was that talented.
By the way, Callison, while Allen was the greatest player I ever saw, Johnny Callison was my favorite player of all time. As a lefty hitter, I even tried to emulate the way he hit. His 1964 season was the second greatest clutch hitting season I ever witnessed, topped only by Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. I absolutely loved watching Allen and Callison play together.