WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue Athletics Hall of Famer and longtime big leaguer Bernie Allen has been selected for the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame.
Allen was a three-year starter at shortstop for the Boilermakers from 1959 to 1961. He enjoyed an All-American campaign in his final collegiate season and was in the big leagues by Opening Day of the following year.
He played in 1,139 games over 12 professional seasons, taking the field for the Minnesota Twins (1962-66), Washington Senators (1967-71), New York Yankees (1972-73) and Montreal Expos (1973).
The 1999 Purdue Hall of Fame inductee was also a quarterback, placekicker and punter for the Purdue football team. In 1960, Allen started at QB and kicker in the Boilermakers’ upset of No. 1-ranked Minnesota. He earned an invite to the Blue-Gray college football all-star game and threw three touchdown passes while leading the Blue Team to a 35-7 victory.
Allen was the Veterans Committee nominee for the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association’s latest induction class. The ceremony has been postponed until the 2022 IHSBCA State Clinic in Indianapolis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Allen and fellow Purdue alumnus Joe McCabe (1958-60) were teammates again with the Minnesota Twins in 1964. McCabe was a first-team All-Big Ten catcher in 1960 and Allen garnered the same honor at shortstop the following year. They remained the Boilermakers’ last set of teammates at the big league level until Kevin Plawecki (2010-12) and Nick Wittgren (2011-12) were reunited with the Cleveland Indians in 2019.
Although complete statistics are unavailable from Allen’s 1961 season, he did bat .354 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI over 46 games in his first two years as a Boilermaker. He was named team MVP in 1959 and 1961. Purdue’s 18 victories in 1959 stood as a school record until 1976.
Allen was also part of some very good Minnesota Twins teams in the early years in the Twin Cities after the franchise relocated from Washington D.C. for the start of the 1961 campaign.
Minnesota won at least 89 games four times in Allen’s five years with the franchise, highlighted by an American League pennant in 1965. He was an Opening Day starter at second base while making his debut in 1962.
Allen played in over 100 games in six of his first nine MLB seasons. He finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 1962 after recording 46 extra-base hits and 64 RBI in 159 games. He had 20 doubles again in 1963. Allen remained a quality defensive player while seeing action at second base and third base during his career.
Allen has called Carmel, Indiana, home since the mid-1980s. He and his wife have been married for over 50 years. They have six children and 16 grandchildren.
The Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Jasper on the campus of Vincennes University Jasper. The IHSBCA is the sponsoring body of the state’s hall of fame for baseball.