The Obit For Allen Lewis

Allen Lewis, Hall of Fame baseball writer, dead at 86

09/15/03 12:38 EDT

.c The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Allen Lewis, a longtime baseball writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer who earned a spot in the Hall of Fame, has died.

Lewis died early Sunday in Clearwater, Fla., after a long illness, his daughter, Margie O'Malley, said. He was 86.

``He loved sportswriting and he loved baseball,'' O'Malley said. ``They were his life.''

Lewis, the Philadelphia Phillies beat writer from 1946 until 1972, retired from the Inquirer in 1979 and was a member of the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee from 1979 until 2000. He served as chairman of Major League Baseball's Scoring Committee from 1960 to 1974.

He briefly covered the Philadelphia Warriors of the Basketball Association of America, the forerunner of the NBA, and chronicled that team's championship in 1946.

In 1981, Lewis was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which gained him admission to the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Lewis was born in Beechville, Pa., in 1916. He graduated in 1940 from Haverford College, where he played on the football and baseball teams. He was drafted the following year and achieved the rank of Air Force captain by the end of World War II.

``He was very fair and professional in his trade,'' said Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who was a shortstop on the 1980 championship Phillies team. ``He made sure he had a thorough knowledge of the game before he came into the clubhouse. He was just a great guy.''

Lewis came out of retirement in 1980 to assist with The Inquirer's coverage of the Phillies' World Series triumph, and later provided a weekly baseball trivia question for Sunday papers.

He also became a regular at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater at Phillies' spring training games, where he often could be spotted talking to scouts, managers and the media.

In 1998, he was the first official scorer for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, performing those duties until last year.

Lewis' wife, Elizabeth, died in 1989. He is survived by his daughter and her husband, Barry, of Levittown; two granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter. The family said a memorial service will be planned in Clearwater.