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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Hochman: Dick Allen for the Hall of Fame

This is long overdue…no, not the Dick Allen biz…Stan Hochman using OPS+!

DICK ALLEN led the entire cockeyed world of baseball in OPS-plus for 10 years, from 1964 to 1973. His number was 165, higher than Henry Aaron, higher than Willie McCovey, higher than Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays.

Dominate any phase of the game for 10 years, pitching or hitting or slugging, and you oughta be in the Hall of Fame. Allen is not in the Hall of Fame. The other seven guys are.

...Not when your OPS-plus is higher than Aaron and Stargell and Mays.

OPS, that’s a sabermetric abbreviation for on-base percentage plus slugging. OPS-plus, that factors in the ballpark you played in and the league you played in. Figure that 100 is average, 150 is excellent, 165 is superstar. Case closed.

You can’t argue baseball without involving those decimal-point guys and their cockamamie equations and their baffling abbreviations, WAR, WHIP, OPS-plus. Bill James is their godfather, and Bill James once wrote that Allen was so disruptive that he cost his team more games than anyone in the entire cockeyed world of baseball. Said Allen was the second-most controversial player in history, right behind Rogers Hornsby.

Bill James was a snot-nosed, 15-year-old in 1964, when Allen hit .318, scored 125 runs, drove in 91, kept slugging in September when some of his older teammates gagged and spit up a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 to play.

Smacked 29 homers that season, some of them over the Coca-Cola sign atop the roof at Connie Mack Stadium, which is why he also scrawled “Coke” in the infield dirt in ‘69, the year he sulked his way out of town.

How in the name of Pythagoras did Bill James get to know Allen well enough to figure out an equation that made him so cancerous in the clubhouse that he cost his team so many games? Times tardy, plus times showing up with Heineken on his breath, multiplied by time spent with the grounds crew instead of schmoozing with the media, plus games spent dressing in an equipment room?

Repoz Posted: May 06, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4701597)
Finally a fresh, new topic.
   2. AndrewJ Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4701601)
Stan Hochman for the Spink Award, too.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4701609)
And here I was thinking, oh this could be a well reasoned argument. Allen was all types of awesome for quite a decent period.

However when your writing descends into this..

Bill James is their godfather, and Bill James once wrote that Allen was so disruptive that he cost his team more games than anyone in the entire cockeyed world of baseball. Said Allen was the second-most controversial player in history, right behind Rogers Hornsby.

Bill James was a snot-nosed, 15-year-old in 1964...


it has delved into the depths of the farcical and I for one am unable to take it seriously. Too bad actually, Allen has a compelling peak case in spite of all the controversy surrounding his career.
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4701616)
James wrote 30 years ago that Allen absolutely will eventually get into the Hall of Fame, because as time passes people will forget what a ferocious ######### he was and the degree to which his case will rest on his statistics will approach 100%.

He was right, and moreover, you can find a lot of people now who will tell you that his case should rest solely on his statistics and that it doesn't matter how much everyone hated him.
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4701617)
I like to think that Allen wasn't big on Heineken.
   6. Booey Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4701623)
He was right, and moreover, you can find a lot of people now who will tell you that his case should rest solely on his statistics and that it doesn't matter how much everyone hated him.


Problem of course is that his traditional stats DON'T scream HOFer. They're borderline at best. The passage of time may help everyone forget how hated he was, but it also could make them forget just how much lower offense really was back in Allen's time. His numbers don't look awesome until you adjust for era more than many people seem willing to do.
   7. dr. scott Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4701626)
it has delved into the depths of the farcical and I for one am unable to take it seriously. Too bad actually, Allen has a compelling peak case in spite of all the controversy surrounding his career.


sure, but the statement right after has some merit....

How in the name of Pythagoras did Bill James get to know Allen well enough to figure out an equation that made him so cancerous in the clubhouse that he cost his team so many games? Times tardy, plus times showing up with Heineken on his breath, multiplied by time spent with the grounds crew instead of schmoozing with the media, plus games spent dressing in an equipment room?


Even if its really a rhetorical question, I have to say i would like an answer. I understand there is a point where a person's personality can cause more harm than their talent, but how the hell do you evaluate that.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4701629)
Allen was indeed a heck of a hitter on those occasions when he was in the lineup. His decade of "domination" includes seasonal games played totals of 122, 118, 122, and 72. That's almost 1-1/2 seasons of replacement-level play to account for when he wasn't on the field.

Bill James was a snot-nosed, 15-year-old in 1964. ... How in the name of Pythagoras did Bill James get to know Allen well enough to figure out an equation that made him so cancerous in the clubhouse that he cost his team so many games? Times tardy, plus times showing up with Heineken on his breath, multiplied by time spent with the grounds crew instead of schmoozing with the media, plus games spent dressing in an equipment room?

If there's anything the young Bill James held in high regard, it was schmoozing with the media.
   9. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4701630)
No.
   10. pep21 Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4701631)
Fu@k Bill James!
   11. Zach Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4701632)
For those of us born too late, exactly how bad was Allen's reputation? Are we talking Albert Belle, or Chris Truby?
   12. pep21 Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4701634)
Fu(c)K Bill James.
   13. Srul Itza Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4701637)
If you don't know how to spell fuck, stop trying.
   14. AROM Posted: May 06, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4701640)
How the #### did you get that past the nanny?
   15. AndrewJ Posted: May 06, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4701644)
James wrote 30 years ago that Allen absolutely will eventually get into the Hall of Fame, because as time passes people will forget what a ferocious ######### he was and the degree to which his case will rest on his statistics will approach 100%.

And it doesn't hurt that Allen's been in community relations with the Phillies for nearly 20 years now without embarassing himself or the club in public -- in a Twitter/TMZ universe, that's no mean feat.
   16. sptaylor Posted: May 06, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4701666)
James wrote quite a bit about Allen in his short career series* back in 2010. He partly substantiated his opinion of what Allen cost his teams by using Team Success Percentage. Part of what he wrote follows:

*In which he establishes a third HOF test - three seasons with a Win Shares Value over 30 (so three MVP caliber seasons).

I have argued these [negative] things for many years, I believe, in an effort to promote understanding, in this way: That I knew that a time would come when people would look at Dick Allen’s playing record, and demand to know why he was not in the Hall of Fame. I was trying to say “There is a reason there, if you take the trouble to look. If you take the time and make the effort to go back and re-construct the full record of his career, you will see that his exclusion was not arbitrary or capricious, but was a natural consequence of Dick Allen’s own choices and his own actions.”

OK, that’s the argument that I have made for 30 years, and let us set aside the issue of whether it was true or whether it was false. The time has come, I think, to put the past away, and to elect Dick Allen to the Hall of Fame.

Look, 35 years ago I argued that “a time will come in the future when Dick Allen will be a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.” At first people thought I was goofy for even suggesting such a thing, but I knew that, in the exact same way that bones endure long after the flesh rots, statistics endure long after the memories of a player have rotted into nothing. That time has come. Almost no one really remembers most of the dozens or hundreds of Dick Allen controversies over the years 1962 to 1980 (and now that I think about it, I am certain that it was in fact hundreds.)...

The question, then, is “How do we feel about the fact that all of these things have been forgotten?” And I have to say: I’m OK with it. Let’s forget them, let’s bury them, let’s move on. We’ve argued about them long enough. ...

The time has come to set aside Dick Allen’s failings or the allegations of them, recognize the excellence of his performance on the field, and put the man in the Hall of Fame.

   17. bobm Posted: May 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4701676)
benschmidt.org/mvp/

Baseline cherrypicker
Baseball edition

Statements of the form "Jack Morris won more games in the 1980s than anyone else" are fascinating. Although they're true, they rest on cherry-picked years that may or may not illustrate a deeper truth in context. [...] For baseball, there are thousands of statements just like the ones here that you can make about any single cumulative stat over the game's history--10,296, to be exact. Printed out, all the statements you could make with the data here (which now includes individual franchise and league leaderboards) would take about 120,000 pages, single-spaced. This visualization lets you hone in on the patches of interest.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4701677)
I'm pretty sure that Allen, like lots of "hated" players, wasn't hated by many players.

Are we talking Albert Belle

Worse. Substantially worse I'd say.

In the last 40+ years, we've become used to the boorish/sensitive/aggressive celebrity. We've also become used to the black celebrity. We've nearly become used to the boorish black celebrity or at least there are a lot of folks who aren't bothered by it.

Allen was possibly the first "angry black man" in baseball. At a time when the country was seeing "angry black men" for the first time.

But that wasn't all of it -- i.e. he did do stuff that is anathema in team sports. Even his defender here cops to him "sulking his way out of Philly." But he also walked out on the White Sox. Mid-season, left the team. From Wiki:

He almost ended his career in 1967 after mangling his throwing hand by pushing it through a car headlight. Allen was fined $2,500 and suspended indefinitely in 1969 when he failed to appear for the Phillies twi-night doubleheader game with the New York Mets. Allen had gone to New Jersey in the morning to see a horse race, and got caught in traffic trying to return.[7]

Despite his making the All-Star team in each of three years with the team, Allen's stay in Chicago ended in controversy when he left the team on September 14 with two weeks left in the 1974 season. In Crash, his autobiography (co-written with Tim Whitaker), Allen blamed his feud with third-baseman Ron Santo, who was playing a final, undistinguished season with the White Sox after leaving the crosstown Chicago Cubs.[11]

With Allen's intention to continue playing baseball uncertain, the Sox reluctantly sold his contract to the Atlanta Braves for only $5,000, despite the fact that he had led the league in home runs, slugging (.563), and OPS (.938). Allen refused to report to the Braves and announced his retirement.


In many ways these are not necessarily much worse than what Belle or Sosa or Sheffield or ... have been accused of. But they are legitimately disruptive to a sports team (well, not being hated by the fans in Philly) and definitely his choices.

But the extra hatred was because the rest of America was only just beginning to see this sort of behavior from black Americans. It wasn't tolerated when white athletes held out, etc. but for a black athlete to do it at that time. Belle, Sheffield and Sosa never really faced that level of racial ####.

On the playing time issue, etc. ... from 64-73, Allen was 6th in WAR with Aaron, Yaz, Clemente, Santo and Mays ahead of him, the 2 Robinsons, Rose, B Williams, Morgan (about to hit his peak), McCovey and Torre behind. Damn, damn fine company.

If you look strictly by oWAR, he's #1 -- he lost about 9 wins due to crappy defense -- and only Aaron is particularly close, Santo (3rd) is 8 wins behind. If you look strictly at Rbat, he is 20 runs behind Aaron, basically tied with FRob and 60 runs ahead of #4 (McCovey).

But the playing time argument should really be a non-starter. Over this 10-year period he had only 400 fewer PA than Aaron, about 100 fewer than Robinson, about 500 more than McCovey. In PA terms he's only blown out of the water by Yaz, Billy Williams (busy setting the NL consecutive games streak record at the time), Rose and a few others.

This was also his age 22-31 years. For the integration era, 22-31, he is 7th in oWAR behind Mantle, ARod, Aaron, Mays, Mathews and Pujols, essentially tied with FRob and a smidgen ahead of Bonds, Jeter, and Rickey. He had more oWAR in 300 fewer PA than Frank Thomas over the same age ranges. Cabrera might catch Allen by the end of the year (currently 5 oWAR behind) but in about 800-900 more PA.

However if you look at it strictly by Rbat, he falls to 13th. At least some of that is era but some of that is his oWAR benefiting from him being a (terrible) 3B. He's now behind Cabrera and Manny, a bit ahead of Thome. Bring other stuff into it and he falls to 25th by WAR.

But he's still ahead of Thomas and Cabrera in WAR and oWAR, not far behind Cabrera in Rbat but way behind Thomas in Rbat. Cabrera is pretty much the perfect comp -- they've even both spent a good amount of time at 3B, Cabrera had/has a drinking problem to balance Allen being a bit of a jerk. If you think Cabrera is in the hit-by-bus category already, you should think Allen was there in 1973 unless you're really hung up on the number of MVPs. He's even close to Thomas through age 31.

If you buy the argument that a guy who is (nearly) the very best hitter in baseball for 10 years should be in the HoF, Allen qualifies. If you think defense, career length/quality and not walking out on a team still count a lot even for great hitters, he's borderline.

I'm enough of a peak guy and willing to blame enough of his behavior/image on the times that I'd put him in. But I'm also not that upset that he's out because I recognize that his short career hurts his candidacy and that he was a guy whose "character" issues might have actually had on-field impacts. That is, I would like to see the character clause removed but it is there and I can't blame voters for considering character and, if there was a modern player of sufficiently bad "baseball character" to get dinged, it was Dick Allen.

But when it came to hitting, there aren't many greater than Allen.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 06, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4701717)
exactly how bad was Allen's reputation?

at its apex or nadir depending on how you view such things it was pretty bad. but that was among writers and the fans who received their news from the writers

players were and have always been more forgiving of guys who can play because players respect great talent. but there was also the tension that exists between players who have kill themselves to get stuff done on the field and a guy like allen who could hang out at the racetrack, show up a half hour before the game and do serious damage in the batters box while not embarrassing himself in the field.

there remains a huge schism here at bbtf among the legions of allen apologists who think folks like me didn't see what we saw on the field and wihtout stating so on the board likely regard the views as a form of racism. i think many here are so eager to revise history they just ignore anything inconvenient to cast allen in the most sympathetic light possible.

i will stick to my assessment. in the batters box he was gary sheffield's big brother. just tremendous. outside of the batters box it depended on his mood after the first few years in the league.

he got a pretty raw deal in philly. but he didn't get a raw deal in the other towns, had chuck tanner kiss his 8ss nonstop and he still couldn't bring himself to exert a max effort when not hitting. and when he stopped hitting he was out of the league



   20. Srul Itza Posted: May 06, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4701750)
How the #### did you get that past the nanny?


Backspin
   21. DL from MN Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4701764)
Dick Allen can wait. Let's get Minoso elected this year.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4701785)
How the #### did you get that past the nanny?

It only takes a pure and innocent heart, coupled with a sincere desire to spread knowledge to the community of baseball. I thought every motherfucker knew that.
   23. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4701786)
Very fucking touching, Andy
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: May 07, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4701810)

well, 1964 was not a great year to be a rookie in Philly, I'll say that.

whether Allen should have "gotten over it in later years" and all that, well, that's a fair debate I suppose. the guy had a great stroke, for sure...
   25. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 07, 2014 at 01:04 AM (#4701814)
I'm not old enough to remember Allen's early years. I am old enough to remember Allen's later years, and in retrospect it seems odd that he made it back to Philadelphia. Maybe the name change from Richie to Dick worked.
   26. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 07, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4701859)
whether Allen should have "gotten over it in later years" and all that, well, that's a fair debate I suppose.

He did by the very tail end of his career. As a broken-hearted survivor of 1964, there was nothing more stunning than the return of Allen.
   27. BDC Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4701871)
Walt and Harv convey most of what I know about Allen. I did see him play in Philly in the late '60s and again in his '70s encore, and have read a lot about him. He was a great talent, and he got a lot of ####. But unlike those politicized players who have become more admired as the years go on (Clemente, Flood), he was often unprofessional. He'd write strange stuff in the infield dirt with his cleats, and act as if his job was beside the point of whatever Allen drama was going on at the time. There were rumors that he'd show up for work drunk or stoned – I couldn't have known this for a fact at the age of nine, but I would hear it at age nine, and that's kind of distressing. Who needs that.

I've often maintained that you can't really establish that Allen's antics hurt his clubs, aside from the giving up on the White Sox, which hurt his individual record too, so it's its own penalty. By the mid-'70s back in Philadelphia he was kind of an elder statesman and much-respected – and still a smart ballplayer, to all appearances sober and serious, though his gifts were gone. Mike Schmidt thought very highly of him. Allen was a strange man in his playing days. I don't think he needs to be in the Hall of Fame, though he seems more than qualified for the Hall of Merit. In fact, I'd argue an inverse case from the trade that turned out to be so momentous: that Curt Flood, also a very tormented guy personally, but a total professional and extremely principled, should be in the Hall, despite having half Allen's baseball ability.
   28. Bruce Markusen Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4701879)
I have heard that Allen sometime showed up to the ballpark hungover, but I don't know that he ever showed up drunk.

Most of Allen's troubles seemed to have been with managers, management, and sportwriters. Generally speaking, his teammates liked him, with a couple of exceptions along the way, like Frank Thomas and Ron Santo.

A number of the Phillies from the 70s, especially Schmidt and Dave Cash, really liked him as a teammate.
   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4701884)
though the point should be made that if you are clashing with frank thomas of the 60's that may be to your credit. the thomas of that era was a guy with a rough personality.

   30. dejarouehg Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4701887)
Are we talking Albert Belle .....Worse. Substantially worse I'd say.
I'm not sure that's true. A lot of former teammates have good things to say about Allen, who really was ridiculously talented. I've heard Seaver talk about the whooping Allen put on him.

I know one teammate of Belle's who thought he had all the charm, decency and warmth of Mel Hall. He was a mean-spirited, arrogant, (IMO roid-raged,) d-bag who, unlike Hall, was extraordinarily talented. To me, Belle is a meaner version of Allen.

Not being liked by Frank Thomas might be a badge of honor. Santo might be a different story.
   31. Rob_Wood Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4701889)

not enough time has passed ... get back to me in 100 years
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4701890)
dick allen didn't disrupt clubs because he was throwing things at fans or throwing body blocks on opposing infielders.

i don't support allen for the hall of fame but he wasn't in the same class as an albert belle. that's silly
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4701899)
I've often maintained that you can't really establish that Allen's antics hurt his clubs, aside from the giving up on the White Sox, which hurt his individual record too, so it's its own penalty.


Maybe, but there's a difference between being well-liked and being a good influence on your club. Carlos May, by all accounts, liked Allen, but he liked him so much he decided to emulate Allen's preparatory habits. That probably hurt the White Sox in the long run.
   34. Ron J2 Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4701907)
#27 Well his fight with Frank Thomas certain cost the team. Cost them both Thomas (released in the aftermath) and Allen (injured in the fight).

Now you can argue (as Pat Corrales did -- one of two non-participants who witnesses the whole thing. Johnny Callison was the other) that it was Allen standing up for a teammate (Johnny Briggs) being bullied by Thomas. The media (helped by Gene Mauch's handling of the matter) placed the blame mostly on Allen.

And his running battles with (among others) Skinner in 1969 also cost the team since he was finally suspended.

Skinner was pretty generous to Allen a few decades later. Made the point that Allen never tried to drag any teammates in with him. He never sought support from his fellow players in any of his battles with the press or management.

And he was generally very popular with his peers (though there was never a shortage of guys who couldn't stand him). I can recall Game of the Week noting the leadership role he was playing with the (surprisingly successful) White Sox in 1972. Specifically his work with Carlos May (who did have a career year in 1972).

   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4701908)
i guess i should not be surprised that while everyone wants to credit chuck tanner for the 1972 white sox and the 1979 pirates nobody seems to want to hang the fallout for both clubs around chuck's neck.

bill james was as at his acerbic best in assessing tanner's work. yes as a manager you CAN get results by letting workers do whatever the h8ll they want. for a while. eventually everyone needs guidelines. guardrails. framework. otherwise, slack approaches and bad habits erupt.

   36. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: May 07, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4701945)
Dick Allen can wait. Let's get Minoso elected this year.

I also agree that Minoso, who is nearly 90, should be elected this year

A question I always had about Bill James and what he wrote about Allen in Whatever Happened to The HOF. In it he criticizes Allen as having a very negative affect of Mike Schmidt and Garry Maddox. I've always wondered exactly what James meant.
   37. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 07, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4701959)
I swear I have baseball cards that had Minoso born in 1922. I see that he was born in 1925. Was there a reverse age-gate? I'll have to go back to my cards and see if my ever-more-faulty memory is well, ever-more-faulty.
   38. Ron J2 Posted: May 07, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4701991)
#36 Dunno. See the Danny Ozark quote below. All quotes are from Craig Wright's response to James' hatchet job on Allen. Worth noting that Wright is a very good friend of James' and still felt the need to write the rebuttal.

Now I think

a) passage of time softened some people (Bob Skinner would not have been as generous in 1969 as he was two decades later for instance)

b) some people are over-crediting him. Specifically Ozark with regards to Schmidt. A natural reaction to the fact that Allen attracted more blame than he probably deserves.

Roland Hemond:

"He came in with a tremendous amount of respect from our players, and that was always there. He was a very analytical player with a great memory for past situations. A smart player, an outstanding baserunner. I'll never forget him, and I'll always be grateful to him."

Chuck Tanner:

"Dick was the leader of our team, the captain, the manager on the field. He took care of the young kids, took them under his wing. And he played every game as if it was his last day on earth."

Danny Ozark:

"...he did a lot of good things that nobody saw. He helped other players. He liked to help the young guys. He helped Mike Schmidt more than anyone. Mike will back that up. He got people talking in the dugout--what a pitcher was doing, base running. He made them think."

Gene Mauch:

"I've never been in contact with a greater talent. He was held in absolute awe by every player in the league. He had tremendous power. He had a great feel for the game, and he was one of the finest base-runners [...] that I ever saw. If I was managing California today, and Allen was in his prime, I'd take him in a minute."

"...he wasn't doing anything to hurt [his teammates] play of the game, and he didn't involve his teammates in his problems. When he was personally rebellious, he didn't try to bring other players into it."

"His teammates always like him. You could go forever and not meet a more charming fellow."

Red Schoendienst:

"He was great in our clubhouse. He got along with everybody. He wasn't a rah-rah guy, but he came to play. They respected him, and they liked him."

Pat Corrales:

" played for him and against him, and on the field he gave 100%. He was ready for the game, and he played it to the max. It wasn't just raw talent, either. He knew how to play [...] We knew that if everyone played the way he did, there wouldn't be many losses. That's what mattered to us."

Jim Kaat:

"the best teammate I ever had"

   39. Jeltzandini Posted: May 07, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4702004)
The usual story of anti-black racism of the thirty or so postwar years is how it affected good people like Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. It affected less great people too. Dick Allen minus the racist nonsense he had to deal with, especially in his first Philadelphia stint, might have been a somewhat surly great player whose behavior never really caused that much trouble to his teams. Like dozens of other guys. Or maybe not, we'll never know.

As is, he's borderline HOF, and I generally don't get bothered much which way borderline cases go. By definition it's not a great injustice either way.
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 07, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4702019)


Fixed?

Fug.
   41. Ron J2 Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4702037)

Sorry,.

Edit: for the record the problem was from the Corrales quote that I just pasted in. Starts with open square bracket I close square bracket.
   42. Mike Webber Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4702044)
I swear I have baseball cards that had Minoso born in 1922. I see that he was born in 1925.


It was generally considered 1922 until
his 1994 Bio Just Call Me Minnie came out. In it he explains the birth date issue. I remember because I pointed it out to the SABR types that keep track of such things, and eventually they went with the date in the bio.

It is important in the hall of fame discussion because if racism kept him from getting to the majors until he was 28, well then you probably have to give him a lot of credit for value that he lost.
   43. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4702088)
RonJ2, thank you for the quotes. I think some James' quotes about Allen negatively affecting Schmidt & Maddox may have had its origins from Allen threatening to boycott the '76 NLCS since friend/long time Phillies player Tony Taylor wasn't included on the roster
   44. will Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4702096)
My Dick Allen story.......

I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. I have a strong memory as a Little Leaguer (would have been 1965 or 1966)of the field we played on, with 20 or so parents watching, and a few kids on each team, not in the game, playing catch. One guy had a radio with the Phillies on, and when Dick Allen was up, he would yell "Richie Allen is up" and all the dads and the kids not in the game would gather at the radio, to see what would happen.

It doesn't suggest he was a Hall of Famer, but for a couple of years, he so regularly did extraordinary things with his at bats, that the whole City stopped to watch (and listen).
   45. alilisd Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4702101)
Problem of course is that his traditional stats DON'T scream HOFer. They're borderline at best.


No, they don't scream it, but if you look at it on a seasonal basis, rather than a career basis, they're a good bit better than borderline. This is also the simplest way to "adjust for era," and one which voters should be able to do. It's essentially a Black Ink/Gray Ink test. In a very low offensive era he still hit .300 or better in seven seasons (and he was a slugger!); although some of those seasons were in limited playing time, he still had 6 Top 10 finishes and 3 Top 5. Runs, 6 Top 10 and 3 Top 5, plus one time leading the league. Only 4 Top 10 for doubles, but 6 for triples, 5 Top 5, plus leading the league once. HR, 8 top 10, including 2 second place finishes and 2 times leading the league. RBI not so much, 4 Top 10, 3 Top 5, and led the league once.

This gets you to 27 Black Ink, dead on average for a HOF, and 159 Gray Ink, a bit above the 144 average for a HOF. So if he can show this well on traditional stats in a short career, he certainly has a good peak case based on those same tradtional stats. It's simply a matter of whether you believe in peak cases.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4702577)
I'm not sure that's true. A lot of former teammates have good things to say about Allen, who really was ridiculously talented. I've heard Seaver talk about the whooping Allen put on him.

We were talking reputation and "hatred". Belle may have been the biggest jerk in the world but he was never "hated" by fans, media or (semi-publicly) by some players in the way Allen was.

That doesn't mean Allen's behavior was worse than Belle's.
   47. bobm Posted: May 07, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4702607)
</I> fixed?
   48. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4702622)
This is messed-up.
   49. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4702629)
Failed fix.
   50. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4702631)
And so was this.
   51. Srul Itza Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4702632)
   52. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4702633)


Almost in time.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4702653)

Allen wore the name of his hometowm, "Wampum" on the back of his uniform in Oakland in 1977

http://dickallenhof.blogspot.com/2009/02/wampum-60.html

   54. Accent Shallow Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4702656)
   55. Accent Shallow Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4702657)
You're welcome.
   56. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4702661)
Man, this italics issue brings me back to the old days.
   57. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 08, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4702762)
dick allen didn't disrupt clubs because he was throwing things at fans or throwing body blocks on opposing infielders. i don't support allen for the hall of fame but he wasn't in the same class as an albert belle.

Not that Belle was ever valedictorian at the charm school, but back when the collision occurred, the un-big Phil Rizzuto said that Belle did nothing wrong in knocking down Fernando Vina, and put the blame on Vina. I'm inclined to agree. I know that if Cal Ripken or Nolan Ryan had put the same forearm into someone in their basepath, it would've been hard-nosed old school.
   58. Captain Supporter Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4702795)
What people on this site seem to have a hard time understanding is the ballplayers who are cancers in the clubhouse create real problems for their team, which translate into wins and losses. This is not a Strat-o-matic league, which is why actual ballplayers would never even consider putting people like Albert Belle in the HOF. Now whether Dick Allen belongs in that class or not is hard for me to say. The evidence certainly appears mixed. But I would take opinions from people who were around the team at the time him far more seriously than someone who just looks at stats.


   59. Morty Causa Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4702851)
Allen was an extremely divisive player. There's tons of primary source on this. In Ball Four, Bouton notes how his teammates hate and loath him. Bouton excuses Allen under that time-honored rubric, the great deserve special treatment.
   60. Ron J2 Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4702868)
#58 I have a tough time thing that Belle was ever in the class of Ty Cobb or Rogers Hornsby in terms of clubhouse issues. And there's no shortage of other great players who weren't good teammates (Babe Ruth picked up 5 suspensions in a single season. Also had a fight in the dugout with a teammate and a major run-in with his manager. I'll take him). How this plays out in practice depends on a lot of things.

My own personal favorite in this respect was Rickey! in 1990 saying that if the As were going to pay him like Mike Gallego maybe he should play like Mike Gallego. Easy to see how this could have caused problems. But very level-headed responses Sandy Alderson (and the rest of the As management team) and Gallego (I had no idea Rickey thought so highly of me -- or something close to that) combined with great play by Rickey and ... no problem.

You'd like your superstars to have (say) Stan Musial's temperament but with great players you take what they bring.
   61. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4702879)
I enjoyed that column, but then again my name is Rants.

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