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.
Very sad news. His Twitter feed was really engaging and full of humor and reminiscences about his teammates.
Just a horrible year within the baseball world. And yes he belongs in the hall. Jim Rice before Jim Rice.
Dick Allen was nothing like Jim Rice.
Better than Rice.
Not sure why you both disagree. Look up the stats of each. Both hit moon shots, both hit for high average and neither started out as good left fielders (Rice improved especially at home). Also, both had right center power in addition to pulling the ball. Very much alike in my view.
2020 is still not satisfied taking good people away. ugh….
Heaven is getting a pretty good starting lineup from this year.
Very swell comment.
That they are my friend! Well said!
I remember him being the victim of a freak accident – while pushing an automobile his hand went through a headlight lens causing damage to the nerves in his hand. He did recover and continue his career. RIP
Wow. Baseball, like life in general, getting hammered.
He deserves to be in Cooperstown.
God rest his soul..
Great player. Also had one of the best baseball cards ever around 1972.
that is cool. I had not seen that before. Thanks for sharing.
One of the best baseball images out there.
1965 and 1971 are pretty cool also. The 1965 had that rookie badge on it, with a nice close-up of his face. The 1971 was a high number short print, and a pretty picture.
Great image, unfortunately not a real card for anybody searching. It was, however, an SI cover.
That was actually a SI cover
Beautiful card! Great year for Dick and White Sox❤️
Superstar Car Wash
COVID claims another one? It’s all COVID now.
RIP to one of the greats.
you were the only one to bring up covid
Here’s why I’m a White Sox fan… that, a drunk Harry Carey, and the Cubs collapse in 69.
As Jim Bouton said in Ball Four about Richie Allen
There was a rumor abroad in the land that the Astros were going to get Richie Allen from the Phillies and some of the Astros were against it. They said he’s a bad guy to have on a ballclub. Humph. I wonder what the Astros would give to have him come to bat just 15 times for us this season. It might mean a pennant. If I could get Allen I’d grab him and tell everybody that he marches to a different drummer and that there are rules for him and different rules for everybody else. I mean what’s the good of a .220 hitter who obeys the curfew? Richie Allen doesn’t obey the rules, hits 35 home runs and knocks in over 100. I’ll take him
May Richie Allen Rest in Peace
Thanks for sharing that
Ducky Buckin Fent
Good stuff, @Lefty.
I remember him. “Feared slugger”, was perfectly applicable.
I wonder sometimes whether these stories would be amusing anecdotes if he wasn’t black. I remember Cleon Jones being forced to apology after getting caught in a van with a white woman. If it had been Joe Pepitone, everyone would’ve laughed it off.
What an incredible talent. He was Albert Belle without the corked bats. He was Jason Giambi without the PED’s. He swung a bat like the Babe. Massive. Truly a HOF player.
People talk about McGriff being a Hall of Famer, McGriff might be, but McGriff was not anywhere near as good as Allen.
I read a story when Nolan Ryan was pitching for Angels. One night a game against Dick Allen and the White Sox, Ryan called catcher Ellie Rodriguez to the mound, He told Rodriguez to tell Allen that he was getting nothing but fastballs.. Dick couldn’t believe it. Ryan threw fastball after fastball. Allen fouled one over the roof and out of Anaheim Stadium. I believe he eventually struck him out.
Are you sure it was Dick Allen? I remember when Allen fouled one out of Anaheim Stadium. It’s the first time I ever remember that happening.
I remember Ryan did that with Reggie Jackson. I was watching the game. Reggie Jackson hit a rope but was out. Reggie Jackson walk by the mound, said something to Ryan and they both laughed.
Dick Enberg commented that something was up, guessed he told him which pitch was coming, and called it a tie.
Ryan wrote about the Jackson confrontation in his book, he did not write about the Allen confrontation.
Anyway, back in the early 70s, Ryan only had two pitches.
Maybe Ryan did that with a few of the elite hitters.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@halo. I will have to disagree with you on McGriff. But you are 100% right on COVID.
now he was before my time and I dont quite think he’s a HoFer like most do, but ive heard enough from others to tell me that he was certainly darn good. RIP.
Dick Allen had a lifetime OPS+ of 156. His OBP was 378. And he played most of his career in the 60.
Reggie Jackson had an OPS+ of 139 with an OBP of 356. Dick Allen was incredibly good.
And for those that didn’t know, he was the first 200,000 dollar a year ball player.
@halo Reggie Jackson really? Mr. October only had 100 more HRs, 700 more hits, 20 more WAR. Please go stand in the corner for the next hour terrible comp.
So 15 seasons with an OPS that was 56% better than the league average hitter of the time isn’t a Hall of Famer to you?
Tally up their stats between 1967-1974, when they were contemporaries, and let me know who had better stats.
I gave a comparison. But I watched them both in their prime. Allen was a better hitter.
I saw them both play. A lot. Dick Allen was better than Reggie. Period.
@Joebrady, cool idea. I did.
Jackson: .267/.364/.502 OPS+ 152
Allen: .293/.387/.553 OPS+ 166
I went into that blind. Allen was marginally better in every facet.
Yup, Twinsfan annoyed me by telling someone that the comparison was terrible. It was actually an excellent comparison. Allen was by far a better hitter, but with a lot shorter career.
@joebrady except for the part where we need to look at a players entire career for HOF consideration. What an odd meaningless way to try to prove your point. What a chumbolone. Have fun in your reality.
Hey Rookie, you were good.!
I used to mimic him when I stepped up to bat playing whiffle ball. A classic ball player.
Phillies legend. Sad news. Awful year.
We agree on that… Horrible year.
I think the HOF group is a stupid writers clique made up of crusty old farts, but some people care about it and Allen absolutely deserves to be in there. I’m always impressed by the minority players that thrived back in the day despite all the BS they had to endure.
What I find amazing is how much Jackie Robinson’s own legacy of facing racism head-on seems to hide stories like Dick Allen’s. This isn’t to say that it’s in any way Jackie Robinson’s fault, only that the troubling narrative of the treatment of black baseball players gets swallowed up by his story, as if racism ended after Jackie broke the color barrier. It’s unfortunately a fairly common issue with how our nation’s history is told, and attempts to portray the reality of complicated events and time periods is often met with cries of political correctness or revision history, or worse, a claim that one hates America for wanting to know the truth of its past.
I was familiar with Dick Allen where it concerned his numbers (and I firmly believe he should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame already), but I had no idea he wore a batting helmet in the field because of racist fans.
Well the way Robinson and his story have been sanitized for public consumption tells you everything you need to know. He was multidimensional, but you wouldn’t know it from the prevailing narrative that gets peddled.
Agreed. Take a look at Aaron’s autobiography, I Had A Hammer. While Jackie went from Montreal to Brooklyn, Hank had the “pleasure” of integrating the Southern League. He was riding busses and playing minors games in Texas and the Deep South.
No knock on Jackie who is deservedly an icon, but Hank’s rise to the top was insanely brutal and is completely overlooked.
Wasn’t he called Richie Allen at one time ? He had the same type persona as Jack Clark. Never got cheated taking at cut!
Jose Canseco, Jack Clark and Dick Allen, all cut from the same cloth. Great players who just had stigmas of “ego”, that probably were not even valid criticisms in the first place. Canseco always a nice guy in person, always says he was really nice to Madonna, instead of bragging about it all gross. Bouton was right, they were just built different.
Canseco cheated, but past that, I only thought he was just a dopey SOB, not a bad clubhouse person. Nothing wrong with that. And he was fun to watch when he absolutely scorched the ball.
Nothing has changed today. People do this with certain players; create a fictional narrative that becomes the truth in the public eye. So and so is a clubhouse cancer, even though a large amount of evidence suggests otherwise.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Which totally sucks.
Both today & in the past.
I understand these guys are well compensated. So there’s that. It’s just that a lot of these narratives are oftentimes inaccurate & vindictive.
And I can’t help but think it impacts HOF votes.
Jack Clark pure stud !
“Wasn’t he called Richie Allen at one time ?”Yes and that was part of the racism he faced. He was never known to anyone as “Richie”…he always went by Dick Allen until he arrived in Philly and the press named him “Richie” He didn’t like it, the press knew it and continued to do it. They blamed him for the great collapse in 64. Philly was a racially torn city at that time and the last team to integrate. Most all media hated him. Even Bill James who wrote this in 1994 “Allen never did anything to help his teams win, and in fact spent his entire career doing everything he possibly could to keep his teams from winning.” Read this to get a feel for the time https://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/1978747.
This is from the Philly Inquire which also helps explain what he went through….
“Allen was the Phillies’ first African American superstar. In 1964, he was voted the National League Rookie of the Year. Over the next seven years, he batted over .300 three times, averaging almost 30 homers and more than 90 RBI. But fans never forgave him for allegedly instigating the trade of Frank Thomas, a popular white veteran, in 1965. They booed Allen every night, often using the N-word, and threw pennies, bolts, or beer bottles at him. Off the field, they sent him hate mail and dumped garbage on his front lawn. Philadelphia’s sportswriters excoriated the beleaguered star as a rebel who manipulated race and expected special privileges. In fact, Richie was a sensitive individual who was hurt by the horrific treatment and internalized it.”
He was a great player, I seen him play in the low minors. One could tell then he was destined for greatness.
How could a pig . . . ?
For Love of the Game
What a monster hitter he was? RIP, Mr. Allen.
For Love of the Game
Supposed to be a “!”
Always belonged in the HOF. COVID doesn’t discriminate. Wear a mask and wash your hands.
For a period from 1964-1974, 11 years, Allen’s wRC+ and wOBA were the best in BB, according to FG. Run it yourself, just to see the names that he is ahead of. It’s like saying the leading scorer in B-ball over 11 years doesn’t belong in the HOF because of defense.
And he was at least good enough to start at 3B.
RIP to a great hitter.
He also wore WAMPUM on the back of his jersey instead of his name, which is so cool.
bee bee chappas
Of the Major League batters with 500 or more career home runs whose play intersected Dick Allen’s career at the beginning or end, only Mickey Mantle’s lifetime OPS+ of 172 topped Dick Allen’s lifetime 156 OPS+. His career OPS+ is the second highest of any retired player not in the Hall of Fame (only topped by Mark McGwire).
A great ballplayer and a good, strong human being.
Another thing about him. He wore the city where he was born “Wampum”” on the back of his Uni, and Oliver Stone mentioned that city in the Movie Platoon.
I was so upset when I saw this news. I feel almost for certain that he will be elected to the HOF on the next go around. He should have been elected this year. They really just couldn’t meet virtually? I am beyond pissed about this. If he is elected he deserved to see it after everything he went through. Talk about one of the greatest injustices in baseball…RIP.
It was before my time, but 1964 was such a defining moment in Phillies history and Allen was a huge part of that. My dad tells me so many Dick Allen stories. He was a legend to me. RIP.
Steve.. PLEASE delete all the idiots posting away about covid on a topic here about the sad passing of Dick Allen please?
John… I agree, delete them all.
Amen! Thought we were inching close to have a “comments closed” on a death story. I would love to get a membership but refuse to until there is a way to mange these and troll like posts.
A man who should be in the hall of fame!! One of the best to play the game…..just ask his teammates.
He used a 40 in. 42 oz. bat. Unheard of today. Google up his game against Blyleven 7/31/1972. Two inside-the-park HR’s to center field. A man among boys.
I’m a Cubs fan, but went to a White Sox game with a friend who was a big fan of theirs. Allen hit a walk off homer that night, It was electrifying!
Phillies now state they would not trade Zack Wheeler for Babe Ruth AND Dick Allen
One of the toughest people to ever swing a baseball bat. He overcame so much through his career, and I was thrilled to see the Phillies retire his number.
That was a real cool moment, and in the midst of all the bad press Middleton is currently getting, I’m really grateful he made that happen.
Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Was at a game at Anaheim Stadium when he was playing with the White Sox sitting about a half dozen rows above the visitors dugout when he yelled ” Hey kid, stand up”, and then threw me the ball he had been playing catch with. Got the ball signed by Nolan Ryan after the game and still have it displayed today. Will never forget him for doing that.
My 91 year old Uncle did not die as a result of Covid, yet there he is, part of that Covid statistic.
I studied the Michigan stats at random. Starting with May, the year-over-year deaths from Pneumonia & Flu dropped significantly from 2019 to 2020. The May-Nov, 2019 deaths were 787, and down to 665 for the same period in 2020.
I’m not saying they are being dishonest, but they could easily be attributing deaths to Covid that might have otherwise passed away from other causes.
dick allen-name isn’t in red, as it should be.
Hardest ball I ever saw hit was by Dick Allen in the mid 60’s. The ball almost took off the pitcher’s head and I swear the ball was still going up when it hit high off the centerfield wall by the flagpole in Connie Mack Stadium. Standup triple. Of all the games I saw in my younger days, that’s the memory I’ll never forget.. It’s unfortunate that politics kept him out of the HOF this long and now, when it happens he’ll be there in spirit only. Rest in peace Richie.
One of my favorite players as a kid. The first time I saw National League Baseball in person was on July 14, 1968, at Shea Stadium. It was a Bat Day doubleheader in which the Phillies swept the hometown Mets. Allen belted a tape-measure homer in each game off Mets starters Al Jackson and Danny Frisella. A couple of moonshots — the one he hit off Jackson might still be ascending.
Allen pulverized Nolan Ryan to the tune of a 1.247 career OPS. Against Ryan, he was 16-44 with 3 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 22 BB, and 11 SO. That heavy piece of lumber did just fine against the Ryan Express.
The linked song by singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky, a Phillies fan, refers to how Allen used to scratch the letters “B-O-O” in the dirt around first base. The song is titled “Letters in the Dirt” and can be found on Brodsky’s excellent 2002 album, The Baseball Ballads.
super cool, thanks!
The song made me do a search and found a cool blog with a bit more to add:
Thanks for that link. I saved it and will stay up all night looking at it. In addition to The Baseball Ballads, he usually has a baseball song on each of his albums. That album and the second of the three by The Baseball Project are fantastic collections. Have you heard “Buckner’s Bolero” by The Baseball Project? The amount of details in the song is astounding. It’s probably my favorite baseball song, though it is really more than just a baseball song. A poignant piece of songwriting. Here it is if you’ve never heard it.
Noted to check more later.
Does Meatloaf- Paradise or Nelly- Batter up count as baseball songs? (haha they don’t) Centerfield- Fogerty does! Haven’t really had the pleasure to travel down a path involving baseball music.
One song I’m a big fan of is ‘My oh My by Macklemore’, a tribute to Dave Niehaus. Performed Mariners Opening Day before he became a huge pop rap star.
R.I.P. Mr. Allen. Sorry To hear this news.
Former Red Sox, Braves, and Rangers pitcher Rogelio “Roger” Moret also died on Monday. Skinny guy. At 6-4, 170, he made Oil Can Boyd look like C.C. Sabathia.
An updated roster of MLB players who have died in 2020. The 28 players I have chosen include 12 pitchers and 16 position players. Six Hall of Famers, would be seven had Allen been enshrined. Together, these players total WAR of more than 1,050 and 109 all-star games. An interesting group of players and personalities. They will be a tough team to beat in the afterlife.
SP: Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, John Antonelli, Mike McCormick
RP: Lindy McDaniel, Ron Perranoski, Don Larsen, Bart Johnson, Bob Miller (Whiz Kids version), Rogelio Moret, Bob Lee.
C: Hal Smith, Don Pavletich
1B: Dick Allen
2B: Joe Morgan
3B: Tony Taylor
SS: Tony Fernandez
LF: Lou Brock
CF: Jim Wynn
RF: Al Kaline
DH: Bob Watson
IF: Glenn Beckert, Frank Bolling, Eddie Kasko
OF: Lou Johnson, Jay Johnstone, Claudell Washington
MGR: John McNamara
Not making the cut are former all-stars Ed Farmer, Matt Keough, Biff Pocoroba, and Damaso Garcia as well as Horace Clarke and Bob Oliver.
Very tough! Wow.
Another baseball-related death (of sorts) just rolled in. US Air Force officer and test pilot Chuck Yeager, the man who broke the sound barrier, has died at the age of 97. He was the uncle of former Dodgers and Mariners catcher Steve Yeager. Nicknamed “the fastest man alive,” General Yeager was honored during a Phillies game in 2018. He was presented with a Hero Award. A nice honor, though not as good as the Chuck Yeager bobblehead given to fans at a Lancaster Jethawks game.
I remember a play 1B Richie Allen made during a 76 game. Phillies Vs. ? Allen was waiting for a high pop up near the 1B bag with a runner at 1B. The umpire did not call for infield fly rule. Allen let the ball hit the ground, caught it on the bounce upward, tagged the runner then stepped on 1B for a double play. The play happened so fast, the camera barely caught it. The opposing Manager argued long and hard. I think he stole a base that game too. My memory fades.
Here’s an oddity about Dick Allen and Roger Moret dying on the same day. While pitching for the Red Sox on August 24, 1974, Moret hurled a one-hit shutout against the White Sox. The lone hit came in the seventh inning off the bat of none other than Dick Allen. Just 17 days earlier, Allen’s ninth-inning infield hit broke up a no-hit bid by Nolan Ryan.
Back to Moret. Some here might remember a bizarre incident near the end of Moret’s career when he was with Texas Rangers, Scheduled to start against the Detroit Tigers, he was spotted in the Ranger locker room in a catatonic state, with his arm extended holding a slipper. Unresponsive to examiners, he was immediately taken to a psychiatric facility and placed on the disabled list. Moret would pitch just six more games in his career.
Please , troll, back under that bridge. Bye, Felicia.
Baseball-ref hyperlink would be clutch Steve
Always one of my favorite players. He succeeded despite all the racism and misunderstandings thrown his way. It’s a shame he had so much hard and tragic luck throughout his life. Cheated by the hall of fame constantly changing their old timer voting rules.
RIP Mr. Allen…..
Dick Allen was the most exciting member of the White Sox I ever saw.
I attended a game in the Astrodome where Dick Allen hit a line-drive homer to right field so hard, the ball stuck in the hardwire fencing above the home run line. WOW! Dick had so much power.