Dr. David J. Fletcher is a 1972 alum of Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill., where he played baseball. Sometimes taking three trains as a teenager to go to baseball games in Chicago, Fletcher attended some 20 White Sox games in 1972, and witnessed first-hand what Dick Allen meant to the city.
In 1980, he graduated from Rush Medical College, and practiced medicine in the U.S. Army. Along with his private medical practice Safeworks Illinois (www.SafeworksIllinois.com) in Champaign, Ill., Fletcher has become a noted baseball historian.
In July 2005, he was granted the Hilda Award at the Shrine of the Eternals 2005 Induction Ceremony of the Baseball Reliquary in Pasadena, Calif. The annual award acknowledges a person’s unique passion and dedication to the game of baseball. Fletcher was recognized for his work for trying to clear the name of former White Sox third baseman and banned Black Sox George “Buck” Weaver. Fletcher created the website www.ClearBuck.com and is an expert on the Black Sox.
In 2005, Fletcher began efforts to develop the Chicago Baseball Museum (www.ChicagoBaseballMuseum.org), which would honor Chicago’s many contributions to the national pastime. In 2007, the CBM, through Fletcher’s efforts, acquired the private baseball library and papers of sportswriter and MLB’s first official historian, Jerome Holtzman.
Fletcher and John Owens have teamed up before for “Buck O’Neil and Black Baseball in Chicago”, a documentary written and filmed by Owens. The documentary aired on PBS and won the praise of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who noted that the film was “vitally important for future generations.” In September 2010, Fletcher screened the documentary at the Baseball Hall of Fame film festival in Cooperstown, N.Y.
For several years, Fletcher had urged that Dick Allen be recognized for his many contributions to the White Sox franchise. In 2012, he convinced the seven-time All-Star to participate in a two-day event at U.S. Cellular Field, co-hosted by the White Sox.
After the 2012 event, Fletcher became very close to Dick and his family. In September 2020, Dick personally asked Fletcher to attend the ceremony in Philadelphia to retire his Phillies uniform No. 15. Sadly, in December 2020, Fletcher also served as a pallbearer for Dick and spoke at his funeral in Wampum, Pa.