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Dick Allen’s son is trying to get him into the Hall of Fame

Mar 19, 2014, 11:06 AM EST

Dick Allen

Dick Allen is one of the biggest Hall of Fame oversights of all time. Despite a career OPS of .912 and an OPS+ of 156 while playing in an era skewed heavily in favor of pitching, Allen never got as much as 19% of the vote. He’s since been overlooked by the Veteran’s Committee as well.

Allen has made few if any public comments about this. But his son is beating the drum to get the Veteran’s Committee to put him on the Golden Era ballot this December. From Philly.com:

“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be attached to any campaign,” Allen Jr. said last night. “He feels it’s a bad thing to stand there pounding his shoe on the desk saying, ‘Let me in, let me in.’ “

Junior feels otherwise and is trying to get his father’s name on this year’s Golden Era ballot.

“It’s a last shot for him,” Allen Jr. said. “From what I understand, he’ll have exhausted his options.”

Allen Jr. is working with Mark “Frog” Carfagno to promote the cause. They even have a Facebook page – “Dick Allen Belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

It’s a nice gesture by his son, but I doubt it’ll do much good. Allen’s case was already a tough one given that (a) his career was shorter than a lot of Hall of Famers'; (b) his value is heavily weighted in favor of rate stats as opposed to counting stats and those guys always fare relatively poorly; and (c) he was viewed as a contentious personality in his day and was not well-liked by reporters to say the least. I’d vote for him in a second, but I doubt a lot of others would even if he made it back to the Veteran’s Committee ballot.

Oh, biggest takeaway from that article: the allegedly contentious Allen now works in public relations for the Phillies. So either he’s mellowed with age or else what reporters thought about him in the 60s and 70s isn’t all that representative of the man.

 

  1. nymets4ever - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    …”pounding his shoe on the desk”?

    • dan1111 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe-banging_incident

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        From some reason…I have always thought Nikita Khrushchev was a great name. Real solid.

    • chew1985 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Shoe pounding is not the point. He should be in for this reason alone

      • stevesherman161 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Great clip. Thank you.

        There is no doubt in my mind that he belongs in the Hall.

  2. shutdownespn - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    “One of the biggest Hall of Fame oversights of all time.”

    Uh, I think not. Career bWAR of 58.7. That includes 4 MVP-level seasons, a couple more good seasons, and a number of fairly pedestrian seasons. Certainly, letting Dick Allen into the HoF would not be the greatest travesty of all time (he’s 10 WAR ahead of Jim Ed Rice, for example). But he needs to get in line behind Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Kevin Brown, Kenny Lofton, Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker, Dwight Evans, and Luis Tiant, among others.

    • dan1111 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Which seasons were “fairly pedestrian”? From 1964-1974, the lowest OPS+ he posted was 145. He was consistently a very good player, but his career was just too short. He was a power hitter who only hit 351 home runs. Also, his defense doesn’t rate well.

      • shutdownespn - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        1970: 2.3 bWAR. That’s basically an average major league player. 1973: 2.9 bWAR. That’s a slightly above average major league player. Indeed, after busting out of the gate with four seasons of 5 bWAR or better (All-Star level), Allen put up only two more seasons like that in the last 10 years of his career. And of course, your carefully selected range–1964-74–excludes his last two full-time seasons, where he put up a grand total of 0.2 bWAR.

        Ultimately, I am saying the exact same thing you are saying. He had some really great seasons, but the career value just isn’t there to make him a slam dunk Hall of Famer or “one of the biggest oversights of all time.”

      • happytwinsfan - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        Re his defense, i remember his nickname being “doctor strangeglove”

      • spudchukar - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Dr. Strangeglove was Dick Stuart.

      • happytwinsfan - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        dang you’re right. at least i had the first name right

    • dillongeeescapeplan - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      58.7 WAR in 7315 PA is really really good.

      • shutdownespn - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        It is good, but:

        a. Hall of Fame is not based on “rate” achievements, it’s based on total value of career. If Mike Trout puts up 10 WAR next season and then retires due to injury, he’ll have a very impressive 33 WAR in about 2000 PA, and he won’t be a Hall of Famer.

        b. It’s not slam dunk Hall of Famer good. By way of comparison, Larry Walker–to name one example–put up 72.6 bWAR in 8030 PA (or, 66.1 bWAR per every 7315 PA) and he’s still on the outside looking in. Ron Santo had 70.6 bWAR in 9397 PA (or 54.9 bWAR per every 7315 PA) and he took 20 years to get in.

        The point I was trying to make–which apparently is offensive to many–is that Allen is a pretty close call. And Craig’s assertion that this is “One of the biggest Hall of Fame oversights of all time” is the kind of “gut feel” pseudo-analysis, unsupported by evidence, that this site usually rails AGAINST.

  3. Youknowimright - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    He was a miserable guy overall and especially miserable to the media. The media votes you into the hall ergo……He is not getting in.

    • chew1985 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      If the players he played against could vote he’d have been first ballot HOF. Mickey Lolich had nightmares into the offseason about Allen’s line drives thru the box. Rich Gossage said he learned more about baseball from Allen sitting beside him on the Chisox bench from 72-74 than he learned from ANYone else EVER in the game. Orlando Cepeda and Willie Mays both said on the MLBtv special on Allen that he should be in. Chuck Tanner said he should be in. He left Allen to his own devices in Chicago and Allen responded by missing the Triple Crown by only a few points on his batting average in 1972. In ’73 he broke his leg but played a few more days ala Bob Gibson, leading in HRs at the time.

      Then in 74 his season ended early because of a shoulder-reinjury that essentially ended his career. He gave the rest of the league a month to catch up but they couldn’t; he still won the Home Run Title.

      The biggest fault lies with the Phillies front office and the Phillly writers. They should both be ashamed. Allen was sent to Little Rock Arkansas in his last minor league stop in 1963 with no forewarning like Jackie Robinson got from the Dodgers. He was the first black ever on that team. Then on to Philadelphia in 1964. What a great itinerary for the organization’s first black superstar. The writers gave him the Barry Bonds treatment BEFORE he gave it back to them

      Allen Barra, WSJ sports journalist in a truly serious and professional vein, wrote the consummate article on why Allen should be in – available online.

      To vote Andre Dawson and Jim Rice in while excluding Allen simply shows how juvenile and delusional many Hall voters really are. His son should be commended.

      • shutdownespn - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        While I agree that many Hall voters are juvenile and delusional, this particular case simply does not illustrate that tendency. He is not a slam dunk Hall of Famer, either by traditional counting stats (351 HR, 1848 hits) or by advanced metrics (58.7 career bWAR). There is a legitimate case for voting Allen into the Hall of Fame, and there is a legitimate case for NOT voting him in. Someone who falls into the latter camp is not inherently juvenile and/or delusional.

        Also: Andre Dawson has a better HoF case than Allen, by most standards. Longer career, more career value, better counting stats, more All Star-caliber seasons.

      • spudchukar - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        I say screw the “counting stats”. Some guys are suns who “shine semi-brightly” for a long time, and others are comets, who blaze through the sky to our delight, but disappear too soon. The HOF is big enough for both.

      • chew1985 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        I hear ya, shutdownespn. But not only did Allen play in the era of pitcher domination, including time at Dodger Stadium and Busch Memorial before they brought the fences in–he NEVER the “home field advantage” of bandboxes such as Fenway and Wrigley like Rice and Dawson did.

    • jrbdmb - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Another reason to take the HOF vote from the writers – blackballed if you were considered prickly or difficult with the media.

  4. hunterbishop2013 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Happy Twins Fan: Your memory needs an update. Dick Stuart at 1B was Dr. Stangeglove.

    • yournuts - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Dick Stuart was the original Dr. Strangeglove, given the nicname by Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince.

  5. spudchukar - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    If one had to decide which is more difficult, getting in through the HOF back door, or trying to put a positive spin on the 2014 Pheelies, my guess entry to Cooperstown is the easier task.

  6. spudchukar - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    He also swung one of the heaviest bats since the Babe, like 40 ounces.

  7. pastabelly - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    His career reminds of Jim Rice’s, even to the point of both retiring in their mid-30s and being unfriendly to the media. Rice barely got in and his career numbers were better than Allen’s because he played a bit longer, with Allen having an edge in OPS. Allen only played 140 games or more six times. That’s his biggest problem.

    • cohnjusack - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      The “edge” in OPS you speak of is a whopping 58 points. Factor in hitting environment, and OPS+ 28 points. That is not an “edge”, that’s a blowout.

    • dillongeeescapeplan - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      LOL no. Rice was a damn good player, but I don’t think he’s even close to being a HOFer (and I’m a Sox fan). He had about 5 really good seasons (77-79, 83, 86) and a bunch of average-ish years.

  8. drs76109 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Or, like many ex-Phillies players, coaches, and staff who are still employed by the team, it’s more a matter of preserving the perception of “family’ that the Phillies like to purport. And this is likely why Ruben Amaro Jr., has not (yet) gotten the boot.

    Dallas Green is a “special advisor to the GM”. Pat Gillick is still employed by the team. They hired Charlie Manuel into another “job”. They kept Chris Wheeler after they yanked the microphone and his team bus pass from him. What do they do? It’s well known in Philadelphia that Pat Gillick got the Phillies job only agfter he agreed to Monty and the Teflonics’ stipulation that none in the family would be let go. So, instead, he simply surrounded himself with his folks…

    The Phillies have been doing this for years. Which is why they’ve mostly been marginal, the Gillick years excepted.

  9. drs76109 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    BTW, one side note: that’s a picture of Dick Allen with the White Sox headlining a story about him bring employed by the Phillies…

  10. kountryking - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    They keep changing the rules for the old-timers. Damned shame! I still refuse to die until Gil Hodges receives his rightful place in the Hall alongside Robby, Pee Wee, and the Duke.

  11. cohnjusack - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I’m on the fence. The issue isn’t his ability…the guy was an absolute beast (his numbers look a bit softer than they are due to playing in a very light offensive era). The issue is with career length. He didn’t have much to offer after age 30 (great, but injury shortened years in 73 and 74, and far less great and injury plagued years after that) and couldn’t play a lick of defense.

    But my, oh my, could he hit in his prime. From 1964 to 1974, his lowest OPS+ was 145. 145 would have ranked 10th in all MLB in 2013. He nearly nabbed the triple crown in 1972, finishing .10 ba behind Rod Carew for the batting title (and posted a whopping 199 OPS+).

    He’s certainly better than a lot of players in the Hall and it wouldn’t be a lesser place with him in it. On my own personal line for what I think the Hall should be…I just don’t know.

    • stevesherman161 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      Albert Pujols will go into the Hall on the strength of 11 seasons, regardless of what he does for the rest of his career. Allen had 11 Hall-worthy seasons (admittedly not as great as Albert’s, but great nonetheless). It should be enough.

      • cohnjusack - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        Dick Allen’s seasons do not equal Albert Pujols’, and it’s not even very close.

        Ignoring the fact that Albert still put up a 5 WAR season in 2012 which we’re not even including, the 11 best Allen years are a whopping 28 WAR behind Pujols’s first 11 years. Pujols’ posted a higher OPS+ in over 1200 more PAs over that span, plus he could play defense.

        No sir, comparing him to Albert does little to help his cause.

  12. kalinedrive - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    I have a CD called “The Baseball Ballads” by Chuck Brodsky, and a song called “Letters in the Dirt” is about Dick Allen.

    Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen – I never understood why people did
    He hit a homer every time he stepped up to the plate – that’s what I remember as a kid
    Richie in the field out there by first base – the target of some mighty foul words
    With his shoes he’d scrawl between the pitches – “B-O-O” in great big letters in the dirt

  13. stevequinn - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    He belongs in the HOF.

  14. jwag777 - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:14 AM

    He played 15 years, which sounds pretty long to me. Not sure he has the numbers though. Don’t think I’d vote him in. Entertaining player to watch though.

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