Who Was Arnie Allen?

By Zane Moses, photo by Jason Denicola
Many Falmouth Commodore jerseys have been worn throughout the years, but only one deserved retirement. No Commodore player will ever wear the number 30 again, as that number belonged, and always will belong, to Arnie Allen.
Arnie Allen started his long career with the Commodores at age seven as a bat boy for the team. Since then Allen served as either bat boy or the team’s equipment manager for a total of 46 seasons, never missing a game along the way.
Sadly, in October of 2003, Allen passed away due esophageal cancer. His legacy was immortalized through the retirement of the number 30 jersey as well as naming the field his beloved Commodores play on: Arnie Allen Diamond.
Arnie was more than just an equipment manager and he was more than just a fan, his whole life was baseball. Al Irish, who was present alongside Allen when the team moved to Guv Fuller field in 1964, noted that it was clear how much baseball meant to Arnie. Irish is also alongside Allen as the only two Commodores to receive the lifetime achievement award from the Cape Cod Baseball League.
“Everything was baseball to him,” Irish said.
Irish fondly remembers Allen spending his games chasing down the kids who ran after foul balls, offering them a quarter to give the balls back to the field when the team did not have much money and each ball was important. Allen also would bring a bucket of bazooka bubble gum for the players to most of the games. Irish said that Allen took care of everything, and everyone around the field.
“Everyone liked him,” Irish said, “All of the players, the coaches, everyone.”
Jeff Trundy respected and admired Allen for five years as manager of the Commodores. Now, twelve years later that respect and admiration clearly remains.
“It is easy to describe Arnie because the adjectives just flow, he is the most loyal and amazing fan we have ever had and we have had a lot of fans,” Trundy said.
Allen lived and died with every pitch, according to Trundy, who then joked that Allen knew what was going on in the game more than most of the coaches did. But what was clear is that Allen created a long lasting impact on everyone he met, and that he still lives with the Commodores.
“He is one of those people you know you are going to have the opportunity to know once in your life,” Trundy said.
Arnie’s impact on the baseball community spanned well past Guv Fuller field. When Darren Erstad, former Major League Baseball player and Commodore learned of Allen’s passing, he Arnie and the team bats and balls signed by the whole 2002 World Series winning Anaheim Angels team, according to Chuck Sturtevant, the former general manager of the Commodores. The memorabilia was buried alongside Allen.
Peter Gammons, a prolific baseball reporter for ESPN, said Arnie was probably the most known figure in the Cape Cod Baseball League by Major League players across the country. Everyone across the league got to know and love Allen through traveling to Guv Fuller field, and many of those players went to play in the big leagues, Sturtevant said.
“He meant a lot to the organization and he meant a lot to me,” Sturtevant said.
With each passing year new people join Commodore family, unfortunately unaware of the impact that Arnie Allen had on the team, but his memory will live on forever in the field named in his honor, and the jersey retired in his honor.

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