Obit Dick Allen Baseball

Former Philadelphia Phillies’ legend Dick Allen, a fearsome hitter who was a seven-time All-Star, the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year and the 1972 AL MVP, died at 78. —AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The Phillies will open its regular season hosting the Atlanta Braves on Thursday (3:05 p.m.) at Citizens Bank Park. While this season could be an exciting one with standouts Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen, it will certainly have special significance.

The Phillies will recognize former star Dick Allen, who passed away on Dec. 7, 2020, by wearing a patch with his number on their jerseys.

“In September 2020, prior to Dick Allen’s death, the Phillies paid tribute to his storied career by retiring No. 15, making it only the seventh number to be retired by the Phillies. In addition, the club will honor the late beloved slugger by wearing a No. 15 on its jerseys for the 2021 regular season. As one of the most influential players in our team’s history, Dick is truly deserving of these honors,” in a statement from the Phillies.

Allen played nine of his 15 seasons (1963-77) in the majors with the Phillies. In 1964, he won National League Rookie of the Year. During his years with the Phillies, he hit .290 with 204 doubles, 204 home runs, 204 hone runs, 655 RBI, a .371 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage 9.902 OPS) in 1,070 games.

Allen’s slugging percentage is second-best in Phillies history, behind only Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (.553), and he ranks 10th in home runs. Allen led the league in OPS four times in his career, including twice with the Phillies in 1966 (1.027) and 1967 (.970).

Allen was a trailblazer. He was one of the early African Americans to play for the Phillies during the Civil Rights Movement.

Allen was one of the greatest sluggers of his era. He had the fifth most home runs (319) among all major league players over an 11-year span (1964-74) behind Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron (391), Harmon Killebrew (336), Willie Stargell (335) and Willie McCovey (327). Moreover, his combined .940 OPS was second best, narrowly trailing Aaron (.941). Finally, over those 11 years, his cumulative WAR of 58.3 was tied for sixth-highest among all players, including 37 Hall of Famers to play during that time.

Allen twice led the American League in home runs, including the 1972 season when he was named Most Valuable Player after hitting .308 with 37 home runs, 113 RBI, 99 walks, a 420 on-base percentage and a 1.023 OPS. His only postseason appearance came in 1976 when he made three starts for the Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Allen, a seven-time all-star (1965-67; 1970; 1972-74), played nearly every position on the field during his career, but was widely known as a first and third baseman. He played with the Phillies (1963-69; 1975-76), the St. Louis cardinals (1970), Los Angeles Dodgers (1971), Chicago White Sox (1972-74) and Oakland A’s (1977).

Allen is arguably one of the greatest players in Phillies history. He joins Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn (1), Jim Bunning (14), Mike Schmidt (20), Steve Carlton (32), Roy Halladay (34) and Robin Roberts (36) as the only Phillies in team history to have their numbers retired. In 1994, Allen was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. In 2018, he was inducted into the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum “Hall of Game.”

In 2014, Allen missed getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by one vote. He was on the Golden Era ballot that focuses on players who starred in the majors from 1950-69. He needed 12 votes to get enshrined. The Golden Days committee was scheduled to vote on the possibility of Allen being elected, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the vote. The patch should keep Allen’s in the national spotlight, in terms of improving his chances for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

The patch is also a terrific way of saluting one of the Phillies greatest players.

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