October 18, 1952|
|Died: November 7, 2014
|April 10, 1978, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 14, 1982, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Earned run average||4.50|
Allen Stevens Ripley (October 18, 1952 – November 7, 2014) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for three different teams between the 1978 and 1982 seasons. Listed at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 190 pounds (86 kg), Ripley batted and threw right-handed. Born in Norwood, Massachusetts, he attended North Attleboro High School. His father, Walt Ripley, also was a major league pitcher.
Ripley spent five and a half years in the Boston Red Sox Minor League system (1973–1978) and averaged 10 wins per season. He entered the majors in 1978 with the Red Sox, playing for them in parts of two seasons before joining the San Francisco Giants (1980–1981) and Chicago Cubs (1982).
His most productive season came with the 1980 Giants, when he had a 9–10 mark with a 3.54 earned run average in a pitching rotation that included Vida Blue (14–10), Ed Whitson (11–13) and Bob Knepper (9–16).
In a five-season career, Ripley posted a 23–27 record with a 4.50 ERA in 101 pitching appearances, including 67 starts, four complete games, one save, 229 strikeouts and 148 walks in 463⅔ innings of work.
Additionally, Ripley went 72-41 with a 3.28 ERA in 169 minor league games from 1973 to 1980, striking out 619 while walking 337 in 942 innings.
Ripley's best season came in 1977 with the Red Sox' Triple A affiliate Pawtucket, when he won 15 games and posted a 1.40 ERA, including eight consecutive wins and the highest winning percentage (.789), setting team single season records which stand today.
The Buffalo Heads
Remembered as a colorful player, Ripley formed part of an informal group of counterculture Red Sox players known as The Buffalo Heads who clashed with team management. The group included outfielder Bernie Carbo and pitchers Ferguson Jenkins, Bill Lee, Dick Pole, Jim Willoughby and Rick Wise. They took their moniker from Jenkins' for Red Sox manager Don Zimmer, a quintessential non-nonsense conservative man, despised the team's more free-spirited and outspoken ball players.
- On April 22, 1978, Cleveland Indians' Andre Thornton hit for the cycle in Fenway Park off four different Red Sox pitchers, with the single coming off Ripley; the triple off Bob Stanley; the home run off Jim Wright, and the double off Tom Burgmeier.
- While commenting on a mammoth home run that Cincinnati Reds' slugger George Foster hit off of Ripley, former Giants catcher Bob Brenley disclosed that his former battery mate was known as "Speed Limit," because Ripley "never threw anything faster than 55 mph."
- MiLB.com – Pawtucket Red Sox : All-Time Records
- Baseball Almanac – Bill Lee Interview
- Hand, Jim (November 12, 2014). "Ex-Boston and Pawtucket Red Sox player Allen Ripley of North Attleboro dies at age 62". thesunchronicle.com. The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Cleveland Indians 13, Boston Red Sox 4; Game Played on Saturday, April 22, 1978 (D) at Fenway Park". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- "Apr 22, 1978, Indians at Red Sox Box Score and Play by Play". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. Retrieved November 8, 2014.