On December 7th, 2020 Dick Allen passed away at the age of 78. He played major league baseball for 15 years (1963-1977), 9 of which were for the Phillies. He also had 3 great years for the White Sox. Upon his passing, there's been a lot of chatter about his MLB hall of fame worthiness, and that's a question I'd like to look at today.
Allen was on the BBWAA ballot from 1983 to 1997. He started off with 3.7% in 1983, and then ended with 16.7% in 1997. His highest vote total was just 18.9% in 1996. While those vote totals would typically indicate that Allen is clearly a good player, he's still a tier or two short of being a hall of famer.
Dick Allen is one of those guys that I knew a little about, but really not much. His career ended long before I was born. I never really thought of him as being that great of a player based off raw stats, but to be honest, I never really looked closely at his career.
Looking at just career numbers, Allen's a bit short for the HOF. He has just 1848 hits, and ranks 95th in home runs, 204th in RBIs, 42nd in SLG, and 186th in OBP. He doesn't really have any milestone stats to speak of that might make him an intriguing case. If I was basing the entire argument off traditional statistics, he'd get a few bonus points for being a top 50 slugger, but I wouldn't vote him. Even in WAR, he finished at 58.8 for 202nd best of all time. Pretty good, but not a surefire hall of famer.
As baseball has embraced advanced metrics, there are more stats than just raw totals, and that really tells a better picture of just how good Allen was.
Adjusted OPS+: 156 (19th best of all time)
Offensive win%: .741 (31st best)
Led his league in OPS 4 times (Alex Rodriguez did that twice, and Mike Trout has done it four times for a little perspective)
54th overall in OPS
Baseball reference has a hand HOF tracker tool, and it paints a very rosy picture for Allen.
By most of those rankings, baseball reference has him as a clear hall of famer. In terms of raw hitting, he's on par with the average hall of famer. for the HOF standards section, his 39 is a bit low compared to the average of 50. Looking at the overall ranking list, he's in good company at 39, as players like Pee Wee Reese, Kirby Puckett, and Hack Willson all had the same.
Would I call Allen a slam dunk hall of fame player? No. His counting stats are a bit low. But his OPS totals would get my vote. 4 times leading the league, 10 times in the top 10 overall, and 7 times in the top 5. Those are phenomenal rankings when compared to his peers of the era. Or when compared to other baseball legends.
I've got two charts to further cement his status in cooperstown.
Allen would be tied for 11th on the above list. Here's how he compares to some other players, including a few non- first ballot hall of famers.
Dick Allen belongs in the major league baseball hall of fame.