Headlines from History series examines a transformative time in Chicago

The Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny Park resumes its Headlines from History series with a presentation by the authors of "Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, the '72 White Sox, and a Transforming Chicago."

John Owens and Dr. David J. Fletcher will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28.

The free presentation will take place in person at the Cantigny Park Visitors Center (parking $5) and online via Zoom. Those needing a Zoom link must register in advance at

Co-authors Fletcher and Owens will discuss a unique time and place in baseball and Chicago history, when the arrival of a controversial slugger electrified the city just after the White Sox nearly moved to Milwaukee.

Their recently published book weaves a narrative of Allen, his teammates, broadcaster Harry Caray, and organist Nancy Faust during a more innocent time in baseball, set against the backdrop of Chicago in the 1970s.

The authors will be signing copies of "Chili Dog MVP," which will be available for purchase at the presentation.

John Owens is an award-winning media professional with more than 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist, producer, director, and videographer.

His work includes full-length documentaries and programs for broadcast and online platforms. "The City's Pastime" received the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for best historical documentary in 2005, and "Kenwood's Journey" won the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for best topical documentary in 2015.

David Fletcher attended 20 White Sox games in 1972, witnessing first-hand what Dick Allen meant to Chicago. He later became close to Allen and his family, even speaking at the seven-time All-Star's funeral in 2020. Fletcher graduated from Rush Medical College in 1980, practiced medicine in the U.S. Army, and developed a private practice, Safeworks Illinois. Along the way he became a noted baseball historian and expert on the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" team.

Prior to "Chili Dog MVP," Fletcher and Owens worked together on "Buck O'Neil and Black Baseball in Chicago," a documentary written and filmed by Owens.

Cantigny Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, please visit

"Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, the '72 White Sox, and a Transforming Chicago" book cover
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