They don’t make em’ like this dude anymore! Part-time R&B singer, full-time baseball crusher (possibly a juggler, too). Played for many teams including the Phillies, White Sox and A’s.
John Ogden, the scout who discovered Allen, and played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1919-1925 under Jack Dunn (the guy who discovered Babe Ruth) and also pitched against Ruth later in the AL, said Allen was the only player he ever saw that hit the ball as hard as Ruth.
Allen was an All-Star in seven seasons. He won the 1964 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award and the 1972 American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award. He also led the AL in home runs for two seasons; led the NL in slugging percentage one season and the AL in two seasons, respectively; and led each major league in on-base percentage, one season apiece. His .534 career slugging percentage ranks among the highest in what was an era marked by low offensive production.
Allen batted .292 w/ 351 HR and 1,119 RBI in 15 major league seasons. Though often overlooked, Allen’s 33 HR per 162 games is another number that sticks out.
Dick Allen has criminally been left out of the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving just 3.7 percent of the writer’s vote in 1983 and never receiving more than 19 percent of the vote over 15 years of eligibility.
In recent times, however, he has missed the threshold very narrowly via the Golden Era Committee, missing by a single vote in 2015. Uggghhhhh…. The Golden boys are set to meet again this December and Allen is on the ballot… again.
According to Hall of Fame analytics such as Black Ink and Hall of Fame monitor, Allen is well beyond the standards for a Hall of Famer.
While his career 58.7 WAR is short of an average Hall of Fame third baseman, it’s better than five Hall of Fame third basemen, most of whom played before Allen.
Allen’s career WAR, which is 200th all-time among thousands of players, is also superior to Hall of Famers from his era such as Willie Stargell and Tony Perez. Yeah, those guys. Which I’ll be covering in the near future.
While Allen was an impact player on the diamond, he was also the first African-American superstar in Phillies history, and he was a superstar in an era with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. But it’s not necessarily that he was the first, as important as it may be, it’s the vitriol he endured — which he endured gracefully — while coming up through the minors. At least to me. Allen was booed during his minor league debut and all throughout that season not because he was a bust but because he was black.
Allen endured regardless! Facts, y’all.
Allen’s impact on society cannot be outweighed when you consider the history of the game. Indeed, Allen “made it” to the big leagues eventually, but the road wasn’t necessarily a welcoming one.
PUT HIM IN ALREADY! PUT! HIM! IN!