Allen was a native of Wampum, Pennsylvania, a town of less than one square mile in total area, not far from Pittsburgh. He was one of three professional athletes to come from the tiny borough. His brother Hank and NHL player Stephen Johns also came from Wampum. Allen played 14 full seasons in the big leagues largely with the Phillies but also had terms with the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Oakland A’s. “The Wampum Walloper” won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1964 while leading the league in runs scored and total bases as a 22-year old. He came up as a third baseman but also played in the outfield and eventually settled in as a first baseman for most of his career. Allen won the 1972 American League Most Valuable Player award in his first year with the White Sox. He also had two other top ten MVP voting finishes (1964 and 1966).
Allen compiled a .292/.378/.534/.912 career slash line. The seven-time All-Star collected 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI, 1,099 runs scored, and 133 stolen bases. Allen was a league leader in slugging percentage three times (66′, 72′, 74′) and on-base percentage twice (67′ & 72′). After his playing days, it was determined that Allen had been a league leader in OPS four times and OPS+ three times. He ranks 19th all-time in OPS+. Allen was traded four times in his career. Curt Flood, Tim McCarver, and Tommy John were some players for which he was swapped.
An Incomplete Legacy
Dick Allen joins an all-too-long list of baseball greats to pass away in 2020. Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Joe Morgan, and Tom Seaver are just a few greats that passed away prior to Allen this year. The long time effort to have Allen himself named to the Hall of Fame is sure to continue even after his passing.
Main Image Embed from Getty Images