William Robert "Bob" Allison (July 11, 1934 – April 9, 1995) was born in Raytown, Missouri and was a Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played in the American League for the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins from 1958 to 1970.
A gifted all-around athlete, Allison attended the University of Kansas for two years and was a star outfielder on the baseball team and fullback on the football team. In his Major League career, he hit 30 or more home runs three times and 20 or more in eight different seasons. Although he struck out often like many sluggers, reaching the century mark in strikeouts in five seasons, he received more than his share of walks and despite a mediocre career .255 batting average, Allison finished with a lifetime on-base percentage (OBP) of .358 and he finished in the top 10 in OBP in four seasons. Allison wasn't an especially fast player, but he was among the most feared base-runners of his time in hustling out numerous doubles and triples - leading the league in triples in 1959 (with 9) and finishing in the top 10 twice in doubles (1960 & 1964) and four times in triples (1959, 1962, 1967 and 1968).
At the three outfield positions he showed good range, finishing in the top five in range factor per nine innings five times, and his strong arm was rated as one of the best in the league. He also played a solid first base late at his career and his competitive attitude was highly praised by teammates and opponents. Despite his skill in the field, which saw him finish in the top 5 in the American League in outfield assists three times (1961, 1962 and 1965) and outfield putouts twice (1959 and 1963), his range also produced many errors and Allison led the league with 11 errors in 1960, finished second twice (1959 and 1963), and finished fourth in errors by a first baseman in 1964.
By Dean Hanley
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