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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Phillies to retire No. 15 in honor of Dick Allen

The Phillies will bestow the highest honor a club can confer upon a former player by retiring Dick Allen’s No. 15, Managing Partner John Middleton announced today. The ceremony will take place on September 3, 2020, the 57th anniversary of Allen’s major league debut with the Phillies. The organization will also honor Allen next season when fans will be in attendance and can properly salute his storied career.

“Dick Allen burst onto the 1964 Phillies and immediately established himself as a superstar. His legendary performance on the field gave millions of fans lasting memories, and he helped cement my love for baseball and the Phillies as a young boy,” said Middleton. “The Phillies organization is thrilled to give Dick and his family this honor that recognizes his Hall of Fame-worthy career and his legacy as one of the greatest Phillies of all time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2020 at 01:07 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dick allen, phillies

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   1. asinwreck Posted: August 13, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5969462)
Glad they are doing it while he is alive to enjoy the honor.
   2. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: August 13, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5969464)
Somewhere, Harveys spins in his grave. Or his urn. Whichever.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 13, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5969465)
I wonder if Bill James will organize a picket.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 13, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5969466)
Glad they are doing it while he is alive to enjoy the honor.
Agreed. I was watching the White Sox broadcast the other day, and Steve Stone was talking about how Allen was not only a great hitter, but a very smart player and one of the best teammates he ever had. Apparently Allen also happened to be watching the broadcast, and Tweeted a very nice thank you to his friend Steve Stone. It was a nice moment.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 13, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5969467)
Allen is extremely positive and upbeat on Twitter, always having a kind word for one of his former teammates or friends. He's really a joy to follow.
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 13, 2020 at 06:40 PM (#5969490)
‘Bout time.
   7. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 13, 2020 at 07:27 PM (#5969509)
philly is always too hard on its stars. except for curt schilling; that guy can go #### himself.
   8. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 13, 2020 at 07:45 PM (#5969511)
Where would you put Dick Allne on your "Should be in the Hall of Fame" list?

He's behind Whitaker and Schilling for me, but he could be as high as the 3rd-best candidate not yet in the HOF. He has an 11-year stretch from 1964-1974 that is pretty crazy - a 165 OPS+, .299/.386/.554 during that 11 year stretch, which includes some pretty tough years for hitters.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: August 13, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5969517)
Where would you put Dick Allne on your "Should be in the Hall of Fame" list?


Agree with the Whitaker and Schilling, probably Grich should be ahead of him also. Ignoring the 'ped' guys like Bonds, Arod, Clemens, Sosa, Ramirez, McGwire, Palmiero, and the banned guys like Jackson and Rose, and the deadball era guys like Dahlen, Glasscock, or the guys who haven't have enough chances yet like Abreu, Helton, Lofton, Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, or the underrated guys like Reggie Smith, Sheffield, Etc...

I'm sure that he might finish third on some list if you go out of your way to ignore the massive number of better players ahead of him.
   10. Rally Posted: August 13, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5969525)
I’m glad he’s being honored by the team. Just because that is done does not mean he’s a HOFer.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: August 13, 2020 at 08:48 PM (#5969527)
I’m glad he’s being honored by the team. Just because that is done does not mean he’s a HOFer.


Agree, although I don't think he's not a hofer, just think the argument he's the closest to the line but not in, is a thin argument. He's clearly better than Baines or Brock or Rice or Sutter or another half dozen guys in, but he's also not the best candidate not in the hof, which is where the argument should always be focused on.
   12. Rally Posted: August 13, 2020 at 08:48 PM (#5969529)
At his peak he was the equal of Willie, Hank, and Frank in the batter’s box.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5969543)
Hopefully he'll have better walk-up music than this
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5969546)
Allen's always been borderline for me. An obviously great prime as a hitter but nothing outside of that. Probably his best recent HoF comp is Edgar and even Edgar, of all people, was more durable and put together a longer career. I certainly wouldn't object to Allen going in and the VC has been putting in far inferior players.

On the personality stuff ... walking out on your team is very bad but I suspect most of his conflicts were the result of being a proud black man in that era of baseball. I haven't walked a mile (or even 10 feet) in his shoes so I'm not gonna judge him. He was one hell of a hitter and I'm gonna judge his case on that.
   15. BDC Posted: August 13, 2020 at 10:33 PM (#5969550)
Not a lot of hitters really close by career PAs and OPS+; most guys who can hit like Allen have considerably longer careers. The closest are DiMaggio and Mize, who lost years to the war. Votto should have a few seasons left, and his career OPS+ is likely to drop; he's only briefly comparable. McGwire is an interesting comp, not terribly close but of similar impact and prominence.

Player          dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI  SB   BA
Joe DiMaggio     3.2 7672  155   39.7 361 1537  30 .325
Joey Votto      
-3.8 7437  150  -27.7 287  952  79 .306
Johnny Mize     
-6.5 7370  158   10.0 359 1337  28 .312
Mark McGwire   
-12.2 7660  163  -15.2 583 1414  12 .263
Dick Allen     
-16.3 7315  156   16.1 351 1119 133 .292 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 8/13/2020.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 13, 2020 at 10:48 PM (#5969554)
Somewhere, Harveys spins in his grave. Or his urn. Whichever.


Harv's tears are flooding the next cloud over.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2020 at 11:53 PM (#5969561)
BDC: Greenberg might be the best comp. He only made it to 6100 PA thanks to the War but Allen's case is pretty much entirely his 11 year prime.

HG: 6100 PA, 313/412/605, 159 OPS+, 432 Rbat, 56 WAR, 35 WAA, 54 oWAR (a slightly positive TZ)
DA: 6300 PA, 299/386/554, 165 OPS+, 431 Rbat, 58 WAR, 36 WAA, 68 oWAR (the 3B time helps) -- 1964-1974 only

I may have just talked myself into Dick Allen for the HoF. Granted "fought in war" is a lot more impressive than going off a cliff, missing time for your own reasons, and maybe being a jerk for a short career and having a peak/prime-only case. But those two are awfully darn close.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2020 at 12:12 AM (#5969562)
Philly in 1964 was still viciously racist.

I usually can remember off the top if my head what HOM did (I have voted in every election), but I'm old and it's midnight.

his peak was hellacious, and if he now loves with an inner peace, that makes me happy.
   19. Rally Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:04 AM (#5969574)
His "only 11 years" and nothing else beside is really quite remarkable. In the first year of the 11, he had a 162 OPS+ in one of the greatest rookie seasons ever. In the last one, he had a 164 OPS+ and led the league in HR and SLG.

Before that stretch? zero WAR, because only 24 AB in a September callup. After that? Total of 0.4 WAR in 3 years as a part timer.

Was Allen a jerk during his career? I don't know, wasn't there. From what I've read it seems to depend on who you ask. One thing seems fairly clear, reading some of the anecdotes in this thread, he has become a very nice old man.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5969579)
Was Allen a jerk during his career? I don't know, wasn't there. From what I've read it seems to depend on who you ask. One thing seems fairly clear, reading some of the anecdotes in this thread, he has become a very nice old man.


He was dumped four times for very little return in the reserve clause era during that 11-year run. I have no doubt that his clubs didn't deal well with an outspoken black man in the 1960s. I also have no doubt that his contemporary reputation as a pain in the ass was not entirely without merit.

But yes, it's nice to see that whatever he was, he seems to be a pretty pleasant old dude. And I expect the Hall to give him the call this December.

   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 14, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5969583)
His "only 11 years" and nothing else beside is really quite remarkable. In the first year of the 11, he had a 162 OPS+ in one of the greatest rookie seasons ever. In the last one, he had a 164 OPS+ and led the league in HR and SLG.


Even within those 11 years, he was only averaging 135 games a year. There's a reason people like to cite his rate stats as opposed to his raw stats. Allen wasn't getting on the field that much more than Larry Walker did, and Walker's fragility is cited as his primary negative.
   22. Bug Selig Posted: August 14, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5969585)
Philly in 1964 was still viciously racist.
In 56 years, the needle has moved precious little.
   23. The Duke Posted: August 14, 2020 at 11:09 AM (#5969592)
I’m happy for Allen. I’m fully expecting him to go in the HOF soon. We are running out of players on the writers ballot so we need the vets committees to right some wrongs
   24. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: August 14, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5969593)
The problem is that the Veteran’s Committee is just as likely to wrong some rights.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5969597)
Nah, he’ll go in this time.
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 14, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5969598)
Where would you put Dick Allne on your "Should be in the Hall of Fame" list?


Agree with the Whitaker and Schilling, probably Grich should be ahead of him also. Ignoring the 'ped' guys like Bonds, Arod, Clemens, Sosa, Ramirez, McGwire, Palmiero, and the banned guys like Jackson and Rose, and the deadball era guys like Dahlen, Glasscock, or the guys who haven't have enough chances yet like Abreu, Helton, Lofton, Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, or the underrated guys like Reggie Smith, Sheffield, Etc...

I'm sure that he might finish third on some list if you go out of your way to ignore the massive number of better players ahead of him.


I've never considered myself a Dick Allen apologist or something, but when I took a second to look at his career again, I think I had undervalued how high his peak was, and it was a heck of an 11-year stretch. But here's the thing: As the Hall of Fame clears out its backlog of contemporary candidates, and begins to clear out its backlog of off-the-ballot quality candidates, we are getting to a place where there aren't a lot of candidates who are much better than Dick Allen (if you value peak candidates highly, which I do). Consider:

1) I'm not counting the PED guys. I would personally vote for Clemens, Bonds, ARod, Ramirez, and a few others without hesitation...but it is also true these guys would all have been first ballot with their stats if the PED stain was not on them. They are all clearly better than anybody else not in the HOF - but that's not germaine to the discussion. Same thing with Jackson and Rose.

2) In terms of the deadball era guys, if we want to induct Dahlen, maybe a few others, whatever. I'm not even sure their grandchildren are around to accept the honor, and virtually nobody will go to the induction ceremony, or visit the museum, because of their induction. And Dick Allen was better than Bill Dahlen.

3) In terms of the guys still on the ballot, or who were recently on the ballot, are we really sure Kenny Lofton was better than Dick Allen? Bobby Abreu? Todd Helton? Scott Rolen? I would urge people to take a minute and look at Dick Allen's BB-Ref page again and look at how good he was for 11 years. There's nothing around it, which is why he's not a slam-dunk HOFer, but let's be clear: Virtually nobody not in the HOF right now should have been a "slam dunk" candidate (unless we're talking about PEDs, gambling ban, etc.) Among the guys at the top of my list, Whitaker is probably going to get in sometime in the next decade from the veteran's committee; Schilling has a good chance of getting elected next year, anyway; some of the other guys on the this list (like Rolen) may well get elected in the next several years, anyway; Dwight Evans missed getting in this year by only four votes from the veteran's committee. Guys like Dave Parker and Steve Garvey got significant support. I mean, at this point, the list of quality holdover candidates is probably going down faster than they are getting added, unless your definition of a Hall of Famer is easing with time.

The final thing for me is that, love him or hate him, Dick Allen wasn't just an elite baseball player...he was a consequential elite baseball player. The history of baseball, especially baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, would have to include something about Dick Allen. In 1964, he had one of the greatest and most impactful rookie seasons in history. In 1972, he had one of the best MVP seasons of his generation. In between, he was one of the best hitters in baseball for 11 years, to the point where, even though he was impossible to deal with in the clubhouse, his bat was still keeping him in the lineup, and he was a central part of the game of baseball.
   27. Jaack Posted: August 14, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5969601)
Dick Allen was a great player and would be a deserving Hall of Famer, but I'd certainly take Scott Rolen, Bill Dahlen, Bobby Grich, and Jim Edmonds before him for sure.
   28. The Duke Posted: August 14, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5969603)
Pujols was only really good for 11-12 years. Being HOF good for “only” 11 years shouldn’t be disqualifying. It seems to me that Allen has more of a Larry walker problem. He played a couple full seasons early and then never did again.
   29. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 14, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5969612)
I also have no doubt that his contemporary reputation as a pain in the ass was not entirely without merit.


Look. I dont even think that this is a given. What struck me was watching an old timer's game in the mid 1990s and Dick Allen shows up. And he was just mobbed by old players. This was totally at odds to what I expected having read Bill James's article around this time. He appeared to be beloved from the reaction I saw.

So I dont know what to think. On the one hand we have Bill James, and contemporary newspaper articles that I read back in the day (especially after his 1973? season ended) were not kind. And of course one Old Timer's day isnt the last word either.

Whatever the case, I dont think we've reached the definitive conclusion on Dick ALlen. THere must be more that we will learn about him.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5969616)

Look. I dont even think that this is a given.


I think a lot of ballplayers felt guilt over their role in not being ready to deal with a proud black man such as Allen, and have responded by trying to make things right. Also, he could have gotten along fairly well with his teammates and was just a PITA to management.

But he was dumped four times for, very virtually nothing, in his prime, which is extraordinarily rare for Hall of Fame talent. He did walk out on his team. He did have a widespread reputation as a pain in the ass. It's possible that was all fabricated. That seems spectacularly unlikely.


   31. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 14, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5969620)
Allen was certainly not beloved by management during his career, but the only conflict with another player I ever heard of was with Frank Thomas, who was an older guy (ie, grew up pre-Civil Rights era) and perhaps not enamored of brash youngsters. Now, there were stories of Allen preferring to spend time at the track rather than working on his defense; maybe it's just that time heals all wounds, so the other players have forgiven him.

But we should also remember that the anti-Allen stories were penned by sportswriters who, BITGOD, tended overwhelmingly to be shills for management, as well as being generally conservative older white guys who were perhaps not entirely comfortable with a young black man who wasn't just grateful to be given a chance.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 14, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5969622)
They might as well also retire the first name “Dick.”
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 14, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5969629)
But he was dumped four times for, very virtually nothing, in his prime, which is extraordinarily rare for Hall of Fame talent.


I think this is a little bit of an oversell. The first time Allen was traded was in the infamous Curt Flood deal; it was Allen-plus for Curt Flood, Tim McCarver, and a few other pieces. That seems like a reasonable trade to me, and is certainly not virtually nothing.

The second time, the Cards sent him to the Dodgers for Ted Sizemore and Bob Stinson. That's more of a dump, although Sizemore at least had a career, and Stinson was integral to the early Replacements.

The third time, the Dodgers sent him to the White Sox for Tommy John, a HOVG pitcher. That seems like a fair trade.

Then, after Allen retired, the Sox sent him to Atlanta in an outright dump.

So at least twice, teams got decent value for Allen. Still, it doesn't speak well of him that so many teams wanted to get rid of him.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5969632)
well, he was a Dick

#dropsmic

actually, from the Topps cards of my youth he was:
Richie 1964-69
Rich 1970-72
Dick 1973-76

a little odd that he didn't get a 1977 or 1978 card (339 PA in 1976 w 131 OPS+ and 200 in 1977 w 89 OPS+)

when he was traded to the White Sox in Dec 1971, he announced he preferred to be called "Dick"
   35. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 14, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5969633)
He was dumped four times for very little return in the reserve clause era during that 11-year run.


Tommy John had 37.9 WAR after being traded for Dick Allen. The Dodgers got 15.0 of that in his six seasons with them, an 87-42 record, 2.97 ERA, in almost 1,200 innings. They also won three pennants with him as a major contributor. That's a decent return.

Edit: Looks like Tom made the same point while I was looking up the stats.
   36. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 14, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5969635)
One can have a well-earned reputation as a pain in the ass without being the one in the wrong. Proud black man in the 60s dealing with a conservative, white institution. MLK had that same reputation. Not equating the two, just sayin'.
   37. BDC Posted: August 14, 2020 at 05:02 PM (#5969667)
To be mildly contrarian, though ... Allen did have a drinking problem; he did disappear oddly from his teams at times; he did write weird stuff in the infield dirt and behave in a spacy, uninterested manner at times. (See William Kashatus' book September Swoon for a balanced and factual appraisal that doesn't exonerate people like Frank Thomas and Gene Mauch, or the "Boo-Bird" fans, either.)

Allen's problems may increase sympathy for him. But I think they were personal demons that went beyond his being a proud black man and getting grief for it. Other proud African-American players of the time – Flood, Bob Gibson, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, younger guys like Reggie Jackson and Willie Stargell – took no guff from anybody, but also showed up to play consistently and sober. (Or if they stopped showing up, like Curt Flood, they did so to take a principled stand that wasn't just about them.)
   38. Eddie Gaedel Posted: August 14, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5969682)
It's interesting how much many of us weigh simply playing at a league-average level:

Dick Allen over 7315 career PA: 156 OPS+, 7x All-Star, RoY, MVP, 59 WAR, 70 oWAR
Albert Pujols, STL (7433 PA): 170 OPS+, 9x All-Star, RoY, 3x MVP, 87 WAR, 74 oWAR
Albert Pujols, ANA (4857 PA): 109 OPS+, 1x All-Star, 14 WAR
Player X over 7980 career PA: 132 OPS+, 4x All-Star, 60.4 WAR

Pujols's Cardinals career gives him a ~30 WAR advantage over Allen, but WAR numbers indicate Allen was an historically awful defender, which might not be entirely accurate. I don't have member access to Fangraphs, so I couldn't parse Pujols's wRC+ numbers to compare apples to apples, since wRC+ includes Pujols's record-breaking GIBP numbers (396 for Pujols, 164 for Allen). However, their oWAR indicate that Allen was nearly the hitter that Albert was as a Cardinal. Dude could mash.

Also, Player X is Jim Edmonds, who accumulated similar value to Allen over a similar number of plate appearances; Edmonds wasn't near the hitter that Allen was, but Edmonds's defense brought his WAR up to Allen's level.

If Allen were active today, his 156 OPS+ would place him second on the Active list behind only Mike Trout (https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/onbase_plus_slugging_plus_active.shtml). Dude could MASH.

Allen is #19 on the career OPS+ leaderboard. Of those in the top 26 (there's a tie at 25), the only players outside the HOF are:
- Bonds (PED ostracized)
- Trout (inelgible)
- Shoeless Joe (ineligible)
- Pete Browning (1800s player with a badass mustache)
- Mark McGwire (PED ostracized)
- Dave Orr (1800s player with a slightly less badass mustache)
- Manny Ramirez (PED ostracized)

DUDE COULD MASH
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2020 at 06:43 PM (#5969688)
this was a bear to find but....

Allen was elected to the HOM in "1983" (Year of Our Lord 2006).

he narrowly nosed out Billy Williams and Brooks Robinson, with Joe Torre a solid 4th.

top 4 were all first-year guys except Williams (his second year).

among other 1950s-1970s guys, Freehan 6th, Kiner 8th, Minoso 10th, Pierce 11th, NFox 17th, JWynn 19th, Boyer 20th.

iirc, all of these later became HOMers themselves.

heck, Hugh Duffy might be the only top 20 guy on that list who is still waiting to see his ticket punched.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5969712)

He was dumped four times for very little return in the reserve clause era


WHy do people feel that this even an argument? Do his stats not speak for themself?

He produced 58 WAR in 11 seasons? Is there something missing from this that the trades would make up for?

There could be many reasons a team might want to dump salary, especially in those days. BUt even now. You can justify any trade for any one of many reasons. "We're not contenders now, so we should dump salary." Makes sense. "WE're trading experience for youth." Ok makes sense lets get younger. "We're trading youth for experience." OK makes sense. "This guy's cancer so we dumped him." Yeah OK, makes sense. "This guys hurt..."this position is loaded.. "we need help at some other position.." etc. etc.
   41. Jay Z Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:14 PM (#5969720)
I just wrote an article on pro football wide receiver Art Powell, who bore resemblance to Dick Allen in certain ways. Including playing in Philly.

Powell grew up in San Diego, which was integrated. Football and basketball player. Didn't have the grades for PCC, so went to San Diego Junior College. Was averaging 30 points a game on the basketball team when he dropped out to go to San Jose State, amid accusations of tampering.

Played a year at San Jose State, led the nation in pass receiving in 1956. Basketball season cut short again when he dropped out to play with the Toronto Argonauts. Played one year in the CFL, some success as a receiver, but was cut several times.

1959 saw him drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. They were set at receiver, so Art returned kicks and played some safety. It was tough to break into the NFL at the time. Got fined a couple of times for curfew and telling off an assistant coach.

1960 training camp, the Eagles had a game scheduled in Norfolk VA. No overnight stay, but a layover in a hotel, where the white players got rooms and the black ones had to sit in the lobby. Art didn't want to play the game. The other black players didn't back him up, and the Eagles cut Powell. Eagles said Powell was out of shape, a couple of rookies could do his job. They wound up trading for another defensive back in a couple of weeks.

Powell signed with the AFL's Titans and became a star. Titans had Powell and Don Maynard, who made the HOF. Powell was better than Maynard. Team started .500 and got worse as other teams passed them by. In his second year the Titans played an exhibition game in the South. Powell said he didn't play in the game; press reports vary.

Powell left the Titans as a free agent, which happened occasionally in pro football at the time. Signed with the Raiders, who were terrible. Al Davis had been hired as coach and GM a couple weeks earlier. Powell and Davis got on well. Raiders had a exhibition scheduled in the South, segregated stands. Powell didn't want to play, backed up by more players this time. Davis moved the game to Oakland.

Powell did wind up moving out of Oakland and back to Toronto when he had neighbor issues. Powell's wife was from Toronto and was white.

Raiders diversified their offense a bit in 1965. Powell complained a bit about being used as a decoy. About this time the AFL scheduled an All Star game in New Orleans. Black players couldn't get served. Black players agreed to start leaving NO one by one. The AFL moved the game to Houston.

Al Davis left Oakland briefly in 1966 to become AFL commissioner. Powell lost it that year, complained and asked for a trade throughout the season. Davis didn't want to do it (he'd come back by the end of 1966.) Coach John Rauch pulled the trigger. Multiplayer deal to the Bills, Daryle Lamonica to the Raiders.

Raiders made the Super Bowl in 1967. Powell played six games with the aging Bills, hurt his knee, and was pretty much done.

Powell was a guy who was involved in the racial incidents of the day. He also clearly was never going to be content in any one situation for that long. Even Powell admitted he was wrong to force his way off the Raiders (he wanted to do business in Toronto, which I guess didn't work out, as he was back in SoCal after he retired.)

Getting back to Dick Allen. Allen was a charismatic guy, but the whole tragic/romantic narrative is people buying into a narrative. He was a black athlete of the time, all of them had some incident or another, they handled them various ways. I realize the white privilege, that the white players did not have the same path. But I look at Powell's career, I don't see this big tragic deal. He just had his incidents and that was it. Allen obviously has the personality that draws people into his narrative and overlooks his tendencies to #### the bed sooner or later, no matter where he played.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:20 PM (#5969725)
WHy do people feel that this even an argument? Do his stats not speak for themself?

He produced 58 WAR in 11 seasons? Is there something missing from this that the trades would make up for?


I'm not pointing out he was dumped* as an argument against his Hall candidacy. I'm using it as a point that he was difficult.

Four times during that 11-season run, his current team got rid of him. That's quite rare for Hall of Fame-caliber players, which Allen certainly was. Hornsby got dumped a few times while still playing excellent ball, but he was unquestionably a pain the ass.

And as Bob notes, it's not as if he was this lone black man willing to stand up for himself in that era. He was traded after one season by the Cards, who employed Gibson, Flood and Bill White, among other Black ballplayers who were unlikely to take a lot of ####.

Then he was peddled after a single season by the Dodgers, who had previously had no issues with Jackie, Campy, Nuke and several others prominent African American ballplayers. None of these guys earned anywhere near the reputation that Allen did.

Was it overstated? Probably. Were there racist attitudes behind it? Certainly. But as I said at the beginning, I find it hard to believe Allen's own conduct (which we know included walking out on his team in '74) played no small role in his rep.

This has nothing to do with whether he ought to go in the Hall. There are a lot PITAs in the Hall.


* Obviously, I misremembered what he brought back in the various deals.
   43. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5969734)

I'm not pointing out he was dumped* as an argument against his Hall candidacy. I'm using it as a point that he was difficult.


And that's relevant to what exactly? Cause Im not sure why you're bringing it up then. I mean I'm not totally sympathetic to Dick Allen and certainly think he had something to do with a lot of the strange turns in his career.

Are you bringing this up to be sympathetic to his issues? Im not getting it. As you say, Ty Cobb was difficult. So is Barry BOnds, so is Clemens. Not sure why that's relevant to what we're discussing.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5969742)
Cause Im not sure why you're bringing it up then.


I didn't bring it up. Several posters brought it up before me. I merely offered my opinion on a subject that was already being discussed. And then I responded to you challenging my suggestion. If you don't think it's a subject worth discussing, why did you jump in with your opinion?
   45. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 14, 2020 at 11:12 PM (#5969767)
He produced 58 WAR in 11 seasons? Is there something missing from this that the trades would make up for?


You can decide that since you know what Allen's WAR was, you know everything there is to know about the man, but I would point out that the Phillies and Cardinals and Dodgers knew vastly more about Dick Allen than you do, and decided they were better off without him. They knew that he liked to spend the afternoon at the track and show up a half hour before game time and drink before games and smoke in the dugout. They knew that they could let him live like this and hope it didn't rub off on the younger players or antagonize the veterans who were working under a double standard, or they could fight him on this and worry about having a mutiny on their hands. Either way, it was going to be a headache.

So eventually the Dodgers traded Allen to the White Sox, who were managed by the ultimate player's manager, Chuck Tanner, who let Allen live his life as he pleased. And Allen was fantastic for the Sox, winning the MVP as they surged to a wholly unexpected second-place finish. Maybe this was the answer, to let Allen do whatever he wanted and sit back and reap the rewards.

The Sox had more stars than just Allen; they had Carlos May, who hit .308/.405/.438 in a very tough time and place to hit (it was a 148 OPS+) and Wilbur Wood, a knuckleballer who had even more WAR than Allen that season. Allen took May under his wing, and took him to the track, and taught him his training habits, and May, who was just 24 in 1972, never again had a season half as good. Wood just got fatter and fatter and similarly saw his abilities dribble away. The Sox drifted back into mediocrity, and Allen himself got bored with the whole thing, retiring with several weeks to go in the 1974 season.

I know it's fashionable to pretend that we know more than MLB front offices because we have WAR, but we know much, much less about these players than they do. We don't know what kind of headaches they present. We don't know what kind of influence they have on their teammates. That doesn't mean the front offices always make good decisions in these areas, or that we have to surrender our judgment to them, but when several teams (and the Cardinals and Dodgers were two of the more successful franchises in the game at this time) decide they're better off without a Hall of Fame caliber player, I think we ought to try to understand why that is.
   46. Rally Posted: August 15, 2020 at 12:38 AM (#5969782)
Allen took May under his wing, and took him to the track, and taught him his training habits, and May, who was just 24 in 1972, never again had a season half as good. Wood just got fatter and fatter and similarly saw his abilities dribble away.


You seem to be implying that Allen was to blame for Wood’s decline. Either you have no idea what you’re talking about or intentionally deceptive. Wood was one of the most valuable pitchers in the game, mostly because he could throw his knuckleball more often than anyone since the deadball era. He was off to a fine start in 1975 when a line drive off his leg ended his season. He never recovered and was out of the gmae 2 years later. His ability did not dribble away, it was gone in a freak instant.
   47. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 15, 2020 at 01:27 AM (#5969784)
He was off to a fine start in 1975 when a line drive off his leg ended his season. His ability did not dribble away, it was gone in a freak instant.


Wood's ERA rose every single year between 1971 and 1975 (the injury happened in 1976, not 1975). His WAR declined every single year. He was off to a deceptively fine start in 1976, helped along by a slew of unearned runs; his ERA was 2.24, but his RA was 3.83.

After Ron LeFlore shattered his kneecap, Wood was never effective again, in part because he was not in good enough shape to rehab himself. I was a little kid in Chicago at this time, and even we knew that Wilbur Wood was fat. (Google "Wilbur Wood fat"; you'll get a lot of hits.) There were certainly other reasons why he pitched worse every year, including the fact that he was throwing 300-plus innings each year. But his weight was a problem.

I am not blaming Dick Allen for any of this. I am saying that the same atmosphere that allowed Allen to flourish allowed Wood to ignore his conditioning.

   48. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: August 15, 2020 at 06:54 AM (#5969789)
I'm just old enough to be a teenager and baseball fan in the mid to late sixties. Even at that young age it was evident that the sportswriters had it in for Richie and were not even particularly close to evenhanded in their treatment of him. I wonder why. I can remember the major impact he had on the game. Bottom line, poor fielding is understood (probably better than his sabermetrics tho), but man, his lifetime OPS+ is better than Hank Aaron, Joe D, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson and Mike Schmidt. It is way better than Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews and Mike Piazza. It is equal to WILLE MAYS and Ken Griffey. ROY, MVP with Black and Gray ink all over his stats.

Fine, he was a pissed off black guy in the 60s and 70's, maybe a little woke a little too early for everyone, maybe just an ass. Who cares? His lifetime OPS is better than Schmidt and Griffey, and as far as current greats (their OPS will decline as they age) it's better than Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, and Nolan Arenado. I like Lou Whitaker but where's his Black ink? Cu*t Schilling doesn't even make it into the Hall of Humans. Where's Grich's Black and Gray ink? Richie Allen shouldn't even be borderline.
   49. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 15, 2020 at 07:39 AM (#5969791)
LIke the Phillies really hated him, but they brought him back anyhow.
   50. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 15, 2020 at 08:24 AM (#5969792)

I'm not pointing out he was dumped* as an argument against his Hall candidacy. I'm using it as a point that he was difficult.


Yeah OK. Or perhaps more precisely that his reputation was that he was difficult. Well yeah if that's what you're saying I think what you're saying makes sense.
   51. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 15, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5969793)

You can decide that since you know what Allen's WAR was, you know everything there is to know about the man,


I never faqing said that. Im saying that you cannnot automatically conclude that the guy was some sort of cancer just because he was traded X number of times. THese old days were legendary for just getting ridding of players for any old reason.

Wasn't it Kiner who was told that "we can finish in last place just as well without you?" after they made some trade. And wasnt it one of Lombardi's players who wanted a modest raise and Lombardi leaves the room and comes back ten min. later and tells the guy that he's now the property of the VIkings? in recent times, the Pirates got rid of McCutheon for like nothing.

Almost any trade in baseball can be defended on some basis. In the case of the Dodgers and Cards sure they are better structured teams than the PHI. So let's look at those in particular and what they were trying to do instead of just automatically assuming Allen is spreading a disease to everyone he comes in contact with.

ANd Im not saying WAR is everything either. I've looked at Allen's defense on a play by play basis for a couple of seasons, the ones with a lot of errors, but he doesnt seem to making a huge amount of throwing errors with men on base (which are by far the most costly) so the TZ ratings that we have seem somewhat reasonable. But you can look at that sort of stuff as well.

Im just saying you cant just Count Da TRADZZZZ!!!!!!
   52. TJ Posted: August 15, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5969801)
So at least twice, teams got decent value for Allen. Still, it doesn't speak well of him that so many teams wanted to get rid of him.


Tom makes a good point, but I would take it further. I would say the teams trading Allen got what they felt was good value all three times. The Dodgers gave up Ted Sizemore who, at the time, was seen as one of baseball’s best young prospects at second base. That Sizemore did not turn out to be Bobby Grich is looking at the trade after the fact. At the time it was a perfectly fine haul for getting rid of Dick Allen.

That’s how I see the Dick Allen trades- teams who thought they were close to competing were willing to trade for Allen because he was so good and was available, so he might be enough to get them over the top. Even the Cardinals, who finished fourth in their division before acquiring Allen, won 87 games. I can see them thinking that there was no way the Miracle Mets would repeat and they could compete with the Cubs and the Pirates, so Allen might make the difference. When those teams who acquired Allen didn’t make the playoffs, they traded him away so they did not have to put up with his antics. Flags fly forever, so it would be worth dealing with Dick Allen if it meant winning a title.

If this was indeed the case, then I don’t fault any of those teams who either acquired or dealt away Dick Allen. They knew what they were tying to do, who Dick Allen was and what he brought to their teams both good and bad. It makes sense to me.
   53. BDC Posted: August 15, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5969806)
the Phillies really hated him, but they brought him back anyhow

Several things had changed: Ruly Carpenter had taken over as owner, Paul Owens was GM, Danny Ozark was managing. It was a new team and new era; Allen himself was somewhat mellower and more interested in being a mentor and role-player on the club.

But even at that, there were issues. Allen insisted that Tony Taylor should be on the 1976 playoff roster, a gratuitously divisive move.
   54. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 15, 2020 at 01:56 PM (#5969812)
So why did the Phillies insist he was Richie?

I wouldn't call the Taylor thing -- respect for a longtime player at the end of the line -- gratuitous. His presence did nothing to damage the team, they only used 22 players. Who did he block?
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: August 15, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5969819)
Allen's mother called him "Dickie"

as the SABR bio notes, Allen grew up in western PA.

the Phillies, meanwhile, were the last NL team to integrate, in 1957.

in 1963, Allen was on the verge of being ready for "The Show." but the Phillies, who had moved their AAA team from Buffalo to Little Rock after the 1962 season, sent Allen there.

this is charming: "Governor Faubus attended the season opener, and the opening night crowd waved placards that read, “Let’s not NEGRO-ize our baseball.” The very first pitch of the game resulted in a routine fly ball to Allen, who promptly dropped it.

"The racially charged atmosphere frightened young Allen. He came from a small town where blacks and whites got along and socialized to some degree. He heard racial taunts from the crowd and found threatening notes on his car after games.

Allen told a writer in 1964, “I didn’t want to be a crusader. I kept thinking, ‘Why me?’ It’s tough to play ball when you’re frightened.” Allen was harassed at a local store and by a policeman, and was afraid to walk around town."

"By the end of the season Allen was voted Most Valuable Player by the Travelers’ fans, and wound up hitting .289 and leading the International League with 33 home runs and 97 RBIs. He was called up to the Phillies and made his major-league debut on September 3, 1963, in Milwaukee.

"During spring training of 1964, manager Gene Mauch decided that Allen, whom the team insisted on calling Richie, would play third base, a position he had never played regularly at any level. The reason was simple: The Phillies were a predominantly left-handed-hitting team. They needed Dick’s right-handed bat and power in the lineup."

"In what would be the first of many controversies surrounding him, Allen complained about being called Richie, For whatever reason, the Phillies insisted on referring to him as Richie on all printed rosters, scorecards, and team correspondence.

“To be truthful with you, I’d like to be called Dick. I don’t know how the Richie started. My name is Richard and they called me Dick in the minor leagues." He added, “It makes me sound like I’m ten years old. I’m 22. … Anyone who knows me well calls me Dick. I don’t know why as soon as I put on a uniform it’s Richie.” The moniker stayed with him until 1966, when the Philadelphia sportswriters began referring to him as Rich Allen."

"By September 20 [1964] the Phillies had built a comfortable 6½-game lead with 12 to play in the National League, and looked forward to winning their first pennant in 14 years. But while World Series tickets were being printed, the Phillies lost ten painful games in a row. Cincinnati and St. Louis played their best baseball of the season and caught the Phils down the stretch.

"During the season’s final two weeks, Allen hit .429 and fashioned an 11-game hitting streak. On the season’s final day, with the Phillies needing a win and a Cardinals loss to force a playoff, Allen went 3-for-5 with two home runs in a 10-0 win over the Reds in Crosley Field. However, the Cardinals beat the New York Mets and clinched the pennant... That 1964 season was the closest Allen ever came to playing for a pennant winner."

then comes a holdout for money in the spring of 1965, then a midseason altercation with Frank (the white one) Thomas, who was promptly released. that led the fans to blame Allen for the loss of washed-up Thomas.

finally, in case you wondered, "Allen began wearing a batting helmet for protection from the projectiles being thrown at him. Allen wore a batting helmet at all times for the remainder of his career."

as for trade value, Allen in 1967:

"I’d like to get out of Philadelphia. I don’t care for the people or their attitude, although they don’t bother me or my play. But maybe the Phillies can get a couple of broken bats and shower shoes for me.”

(Fyi, TONS more background in the link)
   56. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 15, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5969822)

But even at that, there were issues. Allen insisted that Tony Taylor should be on the 1976 playoff roster, a gratuitously divisive move.


Right, I think that's a very interesting part of it. Because they had separate celebrations in the clubhouse after they clinched the division. I thought Mike Schmidt was always a pro-Dick guy if I recall. Of course this would be a point for Allen's detractors. But I'd like to know more about why they did that. How divided was this club?

Note on his birth. It's just over a mile from his birth home to that of Hack Wilson's. I think Wampum PA is some sort of small neighborhood in the Evans City area. Chuck Tanner is from New Castle a few more miles west.
   57. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: August 15, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5969824)
I thought Mike Schmidt was always a pro-Dick guy


You're thinking of another Mike -- Piazza.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: August 15, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5969827)
more from SABR

(Sept 1976, Allen and Greg Luzinski are wounded and the Phillies are fading badly)


"The locker room was devolving as well. In August Allen stated that he believed that [manager Danny] Ozark’s outfield platoon was racially motivated. He questioned why black players, including Ollie Brown and Bobby Tolan, were not playing as often as their white counterparts, suggesting that the Phillies were “working a quota system.”

"By the time the Phillies finally righted themselves and clinched the Eastern Division, they were clearly and openly separated along racial lines — the communal spirit of [2B Dave] Cash’s “Yes We Can” mantra having been replaced with spite and suspicion. As the team celebrated its divisional title in the cramped clubhouse of Montreal’s Jarry Park, Allen initially refused to join in, preferring to remain, alone, on the frigid bench.

"When he finally entered the clubhouse, the club’s racial division was presented for all to see: Allen, Cash, Maddox, and Mike Schmidt (whom Allen had taken under his wing) removed themselves from the rest of the club and celebrated in private, in a clubhouse broom closet.

"When the team boarded the plane from Montreal to St. Louis, Allen was nowhere to be found. Later, he announced that he would not participate in the postseason unless Tony Taylor — who had all but officially retired during the season, having only 26 plate appearances all year and by then serving as a de facto bench coach — was activated for postseason play.

"With the team headed for its first postseason series since 1950, the team was now openly feuding. Several black players questioned Ozark’s managerial moves, echoing Allen in wondering why the white Jerry Martin rather than the black Ollie Brown played in the second game of the doubleheader in Montreal, after the Phils had clinched the division in game one.

"The Broom Closet Incident was rehashed, with Tug McGraw stating in a team meeting that “some of us white guys” were wondering “where all the black guys were.”

On the eve of game one of the League Championship Series against Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, the club was finally able to coax Allen back by promising that Taylor would be in uniform for the postseason, albeit as a coach and not as a player. Although Allen had previously insisted that Taylor be activated for the postseason, this time he stated that all he really wanted was for Taylor to be in uniform in some capacity and that he was happy with the brokered deal.

During the series, Allen, still smarting from the cavalcade of incidents over the past couple of months, refused to participate in the team’s pregame batting practice (Allen, not unlike some other top players of his era such as Ernie Banks and Willie Mays, considered batting practice to be an unnecessary ritual and often skipped it."

(The Phillies got swept, and well, there's lot more in this link, too.)
   59. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 15, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5969839)
"The Phillies got swept."
By the Big Red Machine that also swept the NYY.
That was also Dick Allen's fault somehow.
   60. The Duke Posted: August 15, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5969890)
What a different world. Makes me like him more. I can’t imagine the manager calling me Duchess all season long when my name is Duke.
   61. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 16, 2020 at 01:38 AM (#5969922)
Thank CHrist Allen retired after 1976 otherwise Mike Schmidt's career would have gone the same as Carlos May's.
   62. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: August 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5969937)
Thank CHrist Allen retired after 1976 otherwise Mike Schmidt's career would have gone the same as Carlos May's.


He'd have lost the top of his right thumb?
   63. Ron J Posted: August 16, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5969944)
#62 Allen gets both over-praised and over-criticized. In response to what can only be described as a hit piece by Bill James, Craig Wright wrote a very detailed response. One of the thing he did was contact many of the people who dealt with him.

Now time does heal all wounds (see in particular the Gene Mauch quote -- and it's worth noting that there was nothing on in the article from Bob Skinner. Though I did find a Skinner quote subsequently and he was as generous as was possible considering)

But see the Danny Ozark quote for an example of the over-praise. It's not like Mike Schmidt hadn't had a teeny bit of success before Allen joined the team. I think he'd have done OK.


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."

Also worth noting that Corrales and Johnny Callison were the only witnesses to the Thomas/Allen confrontation. If Callison ever said anything on the record I never found it. Corrales' account matches up unusually well with Allen's.
   64. BDC Posted: August 16, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5969964)
I wouldn't call the Taylor thing -- respect for a longtime player at the end of the line -- gratuitous

I was thinking about this – evidently not at the speed of light – and I'll stand by it. The Phillies get to the postseason for the first time in 26 years. Allen essentially tells fans, yes, I know you want to finally win a pennant, but let's get our priorities in order and deal with this slight to an individual player.

OK, maybe it really was a crucial issue. But maybe it was also a good week to concentrate on playing baseball. "Team gets to vote on its own playoff roster" didn't ultimately turn out to be a big labor issue.

Of course, you probably had to be there. In a sense I was – I was a Phillies fan in 1976 and IIRC I thought it was a rotten shame that they weren't going to put Tony Taylor on the roster. But I was also 17 years old and had never even played baseball ..
   65. Jay Z Posted: August 16, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5969974)
I was thinking about this – evidently not at the speed of light – and I'll stand by it. The Phillies get to the postseason for the first time in 26 years. Allen essentially tells fans, yes, I know you want to finally win a pennant, but let's get our priorities in order and deal with this slight to an individual player.


The rules allowed for 25 players on the post season roster. Taylor was #26.

Taylor had only been playing because Allen missed all of August with an injury. Maybe Allen should have resigned his own spot so Taylor could play. Neither Allen nor the team was going to do that.

It's not like there was a Johnny Come Lately that was taking Taylor's place. Keep in mind that at this point Taylor is a 40 year old player who can hit singles and nothing else. He couldn't play the field or run any more.

Top subs were Tolan and Ollie Brown, who were the black guys Allen complained about getting shafted. They didn't get shafted, their OPS was lower than the starting outfielders. McCarver and Johnny Oates could catch and frankly hit singles as well as Taylor. Jerry Martin could run and play defense, and likely also hit singles as well as Taylor. Tommy Hutton was not really that helpful, but he'd been on the team for five years at that point, longer than Taylor. Terry Harmon? Taylor could out hit Terry Harmon. But Harmon could run and still play middle infield, which Taylor could no longer do.

That leaves the 10 pitchers. The Phillies only used 11 pitchers, the other one being Randy Lerch, who pitched one game in September. That's exceptional. They had 5 starters and three good relievers. The two long men, Ron Schueler and Wayne Twitchell, had exceptionally good years for long men.

To get Taylor on the roster you have to tell a more established, more valuable player to take a hike. The Phillies made the right move.
   66. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 16, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5969975)
... and hadn't yet learned that players are disposable parts.
   67. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: August 16, 2020 at 08:03 PM (#5969995)
Allen is definitely one of those players that old fans love to argue about. That much is very true

Also not a fan of the baseball hall of fame.

Don't know the guy. Never saw him play. Just looking at the record here are the things that I find interesting

Played 140 or more games in his career six times. That seems low for a 'great' player. Someone mentioned Hank Aaron earlier. Dude had 16 seasons of that in a row. Seems better. Ok Aaron is one of the best of all time. Who is closer to Allen who is still considered 'great'? Vlad work? Allen was in 15 MLB seasons. Vlad did 16. Vlad cleared 140 game in 12 of those seasons. Checked out at age 36 while Allen was finished at age 35. Piazza only had 6 seasons like that but he was a catcher so that matters. Manny seems similar. He had 9 seasons of more than 140 games.

Being available I think matters. Allen was out a lot. But if you type in 'dick allen injuries' one gets all kinds of hits including a guy who wrote a LOT claiming he had the family's permission to discuss Allen's physical history (and also refute suggestions that Allen was an alcoholic). Allen definitely got hurt a lot. That sucks.

Allen played a lot of different positions defensively. Didn't seem to play any of them well. And based on the injury record looks like he got moved from role to role because of the team having to compensate for things Allen couldn't do. He dislocated his shoulder so couldn't throw very well. He ###### up his hand and that further impacted his ability to play defense. No dh. So he was out there and not really helping. Credit to him for gutting it out.

He was seriously contributing through age 32. Then it was done. Man there are a lot of players finished at age 32 in baseball history. Some of them still considered great. Going back Eddie Matthews had his last good season at 33. Johnny Bench last good season was at age 32 (catcher though) I thought Sandberg was one of those guys but he came back and played decent in 1996 so no (what's that story?) There are a lot of players done at age 32 but not really a lot of players that people have said are 'great' done at age 32 except for some circumstances that explain why the player is done. (And not counting the old timey players. Didn't seem like a reasonable comparison)

FWIW very clear that when in the lineup Allen could really hit.

Also very clear that he wasn't in the lineup consistently in his career and didn't do much outside of hitting and stopped contributing after age 32.

Not talking about the noise around his career. Find that stuff boring.

   68. dlf Posted: August 16, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5970002)
Played 140 or more games in his career six times. ...

Also very clear that he wasn't in the lineup consistently in his career and didn't do much outside of hitting and stopped contributing after age 32.


I'd only point that using 140 or more is, if anything, being generous to Allen. He had one season of 141, but no seasons where he just barely missed the threshold. He had none between 130-139, and two between 120-129. From 1964, his first full season, to 1974, his last really valuable one, he averaged 135 games.

His 1972 campaign of 148 games, however, is in terms of durability slightly more impressive than it would otherwise seem as because of the strike, the ChiSox only played 154 on the season.
   69. Ron J Posted: August 16, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5970003)
#67 Larry Walker? He lasted longer. 140+ 4 times. 130+ 6 more times. Walker's 8030 PAs is one of his negatives. That's 715 more than Allen. It's an interesting comp. Offensively anyhow. Walker of course was a better fielder.

(Barry Larkin also missed a lot of time but isn't a good comp for Allen)

By OPS+ (seasons of 400+ PAs)

Name   Year OPS+  PA
Allen  1972  199 609
Allen  1966  181 599
Walker 1997  178 664
Allen  1967  174 540
Allen  1969  165 506
Allen  1974  164 525
Walker 1999  164 438
Allen  1964  162 709
Allen  1968  160 605
Walker 2001  160 601
Walker 1998  158 524
Allen  1971  151 649
Walker 2002  151 553
Walker 1994  151 452
Allen  1970  146 533
Allen  1965  145 707
Walker 1992  141 583
Walker 1995  131 562
Walker 1991  127 539
Walker 2003  121 564
Walker 1993  120 582
Walker 1990  112 478
Allen  1975   94 481 


(And yes, I'm aware of the limitations of OPS+. Quick and dirty comp)








   70. John DiFool2 Posted: August 16, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5970004)
#33: It is probably much harder to find quotes of a negative nature many years after the fact & when tempers may have long since cooled--most people if they can't say anything nice won't say anything at all.

   71. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 16, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5970009)
It is probably much harder to find quotes of a negative nature many years after the fact & when tempers may have long since cooled--most people if they can't say anything nice won't say anything at all.


Ozzie Guillen would be available.

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