By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter is adding his voice to those trying to get former Phillies slugger Dick Allen elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The mayor says Allen was an idol to kids growing up in West Philly.
“When we played halfball or stickball, everyone at the plate wanted to imitate Dick Allen or, at the time, Richie Allen.”
At a City Hall ceremony today, Nutter signed a letter to the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Historical Overview Committee, urging that Allen be included on the Golden Era ballot.
Allen’s longtime friend, former groundskeeper Mark “Froggy” Carfagno, is spearheading the effort, saying the stats prove that Allen was among the best power hitters of all time.
“Through a 20-year period, the most productive offensive player in the 20 years of baseball was Dick Allen,” he says.
City councilman Jim Kenney says Allen rankled some in what was a racially turbulent time.
“Dick Allen, in many ways, was a man ahead of his time. Because of — simply all he did to cause all of the furor directed at him was to basically stand up for his manhood and for his rights,” Kenney said today.
Allen himself has avoided the campaign.