Examining the Hall of Fame case for Philadelphia Phillies legend Dick Allen

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 7: Former Philadelphia Phillies infielder Dick Allen takes part in the Alumni Night celebration before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 7, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets won 1-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 7: Former Philadelphia Phillies infielder Dick Allen takes part in the Alumni Night celebration before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 7, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets won 1-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Phillies legend Dick Allen has been one of the players from the 1960s and early 1970s that didn’t get much traction on the writer’s ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame but, fortunately, he has received some more traction on the Era Committee ballots.

However, he hasn’t received enough traction to get into the Hall of Fame as he fell one vote short on the 2022 Golden Days Committee vote and not soon enough for him to receive the honor while he was still alive as Allen died in December 2020 at the age of 78.

But just because he isn’t in the Hall of Fame doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia Phillies legend Dick Allen should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Dick Allen spent parts of 15 seasons in the major leagues from 1963 through 1977, spending nine seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He was a seven-time All-Star who won the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year Award, and won the 1972 AL MVP award while he was with the Chicago White Sox. He also received MVP votes in six more seasons, including two top 10 finishes.

He was a career .292/.378/.534 hitter with an OPS+ of 156. He had nine seasons with 85+ RBI and four seasons where he was in the top 10 in the league in RBI as well as 10 seasons with 20+ homers. Since he played in a low offensive era, he was in the top 10 in his league in homers eight times. That’s also why his OPS+ is so high.

Allen split his career between first base (47 percent of his games) and third base (39 percent of his career). His 156 OPS+ is the highest OPS+ among any primary third basemen who played after 1885. Among first basemen, there are only nine first basemen that played more than 800 or more MLB games with a career OPS+ of 156 or higher. Eight of the nine are Hall of Famers and the only player that isn’t (Mark McGwire) isn’t in the Hall of Fame because of his PED history.

Additionally, from 1964 through 1974, his OPS+ was 165 and his wRC+ was similar, as it was 163. Both were the highest of anyone (minimum of 4000 plate appearances) in that time period. The players behind him in wRC+ were all-time greatsBold indicates that the player is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  1. Allen, 163 wRC+
  2. Willie McCovey, 158
  3. Frank Robinson, 158
  4. Hank Aaron, 158
  5. Willie Stargell, 150
  6. Reggie Jackson, 150
  7. Willie Mays, 150
  8. Roberto Clemente, 148
  9. Harmon Killebrew, 147
  10. Carl Yastrzemski, 145

Six of the next 10 players after Yastrzemski on the list are also Hall of Famers.

Defensively, Allen was not good. If you look at Total Zone Runs (TZ or Rtot), he had -110 TZ in his career, or an average of -7.33 TZ per season.

Despite that, his career rWAR is 58.7. He had six seasons with an rWAR of 5.3 and three more seasons with an rWAR above 3.5.

One of the main knocks against Allen is that he only played in 15 seasons and he only played in 130 or more games in a season six times. He also was not a favorite among teammates or among media members. But there is at least one former teammate of his that is a Hall of Famer that thinks Allen belongs too. That’s Goose Gossage, who played with Allen on the White Sox from 1972 through 1974.

“I’ve been around the game a long time and he’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen play in my life” said Gossage to USA Today in 2014. “He had the most amazing season (1972) I’ve ever seen. He’s the smartest baseball man I’ve ever been around in my life … There’s no telling the numbers this guy could have put up if all he worried about was stats. The guy belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

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Dick Allen’s family will have to wait until 2026 (for induction in 2027) to wait to see if Dick Allen can make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame then but Allen should have been in the Hall of Fame nearly 40 years ago and he should have been able to have the honor bestowed upon him while he was still alive.