The Hall of Fame added six new members on Sunday. Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, Bud Fowler, and Buck O’Neil were all voted to immortality, a fitting tribute to their careers and contributions to the game. However, one deserving player, Dick Allen, was again left on the outside.
Allen missed out by just a single vote, being named on 11 of the 16 ballots. This is the second time this has happened, as he had missed by just one vote during his previous time on the ballot.
Dick Allen wronged by Hall of Fame once more
It is hard to argue Allen’s credentials. A seven time All Star, he was the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year and the 1972 AL MVP. While known as a member of the Phillies, he played for five different teams in his 15 year career, ending his time with the Oakland A’s. In that time, he produced a .292/.378/.534 batting line, hitting 351 homers and 320 doubles.
But Allen was more than his statistics. He was a controversial player during his career, never afraid to speak his mind at a time when teams wanted their black players to remain quiet. He frequently lobbied for his black teammates, leading front offices to consider him cantankerous and someone that would fracture the roster along racial lines.
Allen had left the Phillies the first time as part of the infamous Curt Flood Trade, with Flood refusing to head to Philadelphia due to the racism that Allen had endured. Allen walked out on the White Sox in 1974, and spent a great deal of time at the horse track instead of practicing or working out. He refused to report to the Braves after being traded to Atlanta, eventually going back to the Phillies when they were the only team that would take him on.
But through it all, there is no question that Allen was a talented player. He was one of the best players of the 1960s, his numbers held down by the second Dead Ball Era. His peak, from 1964 through 1974, was incredible. His induction will come in time.
Once again, Dick Allen was snubbed by the Hall of Fame. He should have been inducted years ago as his resume stands the test of time.