In saddening news, the family of iconic slugger Dick Allen announced on Twitter that the seven-time Major League All-Star passed away at his home in Wampum, Pennsylvania this morning. He was 78.
Allen, the 1964 National League Rookie of the Year with the Phillies and the 1972 American League MVP with the White Sox, was one of baseball’s most feared hitters at his peak. During an 11-year run from 1964-74, he clubbed 319 home runs in 6270 plate appearances while posting an overall batting line of .299/.386/.554 — good for a whopping 165 OPS+ and 163 wRC+.
In what many consider to be a glaring snub, Allen was not voted into Cooperstown despite a remarkable career as one of the game’s most prominent sluggers. As Jay Jaffe detailed for Baseball Prospectus in 2017 and Matt Gelb of The Athletic explained in September, racism negatively affected Allen throughout his career.
Allen may very well have been inducted by the Veteran’s Committee this year had the vote not been delayed, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale points out, though Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia notes that he will be on the ballot again next year. He was honored by the Phillies earlier this summer when they retired his No. 15 in a well-deserved tribute. Owner John Middleton was one of the driving forces behind the decision.
“The Phillies are heartbroken over the passing today of our dear friend and co-worker, Dick Allen,” the team said in a press release. “Dick will be remembered as not just one of the greatest and most popular players in our franchise’s history, but also as a courageous warrior who had to overcome far too many obstacles to reach the level he did. Dick’s iconic status will resonate for generations of baseball fans to come as one of the all-time greats to play America’s Pastime. He is now reunited with his beloved daughter, Terri. The Phillies extend their condolences to Dick’s widow, Willa, his family, friends and all his fans from coast to coast.”
MLBTR joins the Phillies and those around the game in offering our condolences to Allen’s family, friends and fans.