PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Baseball Hall of Fame adds five new members on Sunday, a legendary Phillies slugger remains on the outside looking in.
There is most certainly a case to be made for why Dick Allen is worthy. So why is this superstar not in the Hall of Fame?
In his new biography titled Dick Allen: The Life and Times of a Baseball Immortal, historian and author Bill Kashatus goes beyond the standard statistics of home runs, RBI’s and batting average and delves into the more meaty and revealing realm of sabremetrics. He says Dick Allen’s measure up to the immortals.
“Dick had a 68.3 Wins Above Replacement for his career,” Kashatus said. “And what that means was his bat was solely responsible for winning 68.3 games for the teams he played for.”
But statistics always seemed to take a back seat to the Allen’s controversial personality. He rebelled in an era when black athletes did not. Allen became Hall of Fame eligible again three years ago and fell one vote short.
“That one vote was Bob Watson’s. He could not show up. So they had a proxy stand in for Watson,” Kashatus explained. “What’s a proxy supposed to do? Isn’t that person supposed to vote the way the actual voter intends? Well, that proxy was Dave Dombrowski, and he presumably was the one who prevented Allen from getting that deciding vote.”
Another vote is scheduled for later this year but Kashatus says Allen won’t be on the ballot.
“He’s gonna be moved to the Golden Days era,” he said, “which isn’t gonna be considered until 2020.”
When Dick Allen is 76.
Allen was the Phillies first black superstar. He won Rookie of the Year in 1964, nearly leading the Phillies to National League pennant. Allen was voted MVP as a member of the Chicago White Sox. He led the league with 37 home runs and 113 RBI’s. He has a lifetime Batting Average of .292, an On Base Percentage of .378, slugging percentage of .534 and his On Base Plus Slugging was .912.
Allen finished his career with 351 home runs and 1,119 RBI’s.