Rookie Card of Should be Great, Richie “Dick” Allen

A recently new category on All-Time Greats is “Should Be Greats.” In this category, we will feature players that at one time or another were eligible for Hall of Fame Induction but were not voted in and their eligibility expired. My inspiration for this came by way of

You Tuber “Baseball Collector” (Mike Moynihan) who did a video entitled, “If Harold Baines is a HOFer then…” By no means did he disrespect Harold Baines and wanted to assure all his viewers of that fact. Instead, he used a mathematical equation that compared apples to apple statistics based on a 162 game monitor. In it, Mike made a solid case for Dick Allen along with 9 other players. Check out his channel as he is one of my favorite Baseball Card You Tubers.

After I watched this video I went to the website, Baseball-Reference.com as I often do. After doing a little homework on Richie Allen I was astonished at this man’s career statistics. What baffles me, even more, is that he’s not in the Hall of Fame!

Dick Allen played for 15 years, Hall of Fame requires at least 10 years, this is important as we look at his numbers. Richie lead the league in home runs twice, 1972 & 1974. Rookie of the Year honors in 1964 as he batted .318 with 29 home runs and 201 base hits. He is also a 7x All-Star and the 1972 MVP in which he flirted with a Triple Crown that year.

It’s been said of Dick Allen that he captivated the crowd because when he came up to bat nobody moved from their seats. He was a power hitter and used an amazingly heavy 42oz. bat. He had a knack for creating lots of bat speed. Speaking of speed he was extremely fast, he was a leader among the younger players on the team and often was asked to teach the team how to run bases. On July 31, 1972, in a game against the Oakland A’s Dick Allen hit two inside the park home runs – did I mention he was fast?

Baseball legend Willie Mays has said, “Richie Allen was and still is a Hall of Famer as far as I’m concerned. If Dick is not in the Hall of Fame then the Hall of Fame has no legitimacy.”  

He played for the Phillies between 1963-1969 and towards the end of that he really didn’t get along with management. He was accused of getting teammate Frank Thomas traded from the team because the two could not get along. He got a really bad rap for that and the fans didn’t care for it either. He asked to be traded and vocalized his unhappiness in Philidelphia.

In the last year or so the folks over at MLB Network have been bringing the Dick Allen Hall of Fame Induction back into the limelight because using the new Sabermetrics and WAR (Wins Above Replacement) they claim it puts him right between Willie Mays and Hank Aaron statistically. We’ll see what the future brings for this should be great.

ROOKIE CARD OF SHOULD BE GREAT

RICHIE “DICK” ALLEN


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1964 Topps, Card No. 243   shop ebay

Compared to the 1963 design this one is clean, simple and attractive. Not many subsets in this one either. It seems that Topps took on the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) concept. The result. A stunning set that is a collector favorite. Key rookies in the 1964 set feature Lou Piniella, Tommy John, and Phil Niekro. But there could be another key rookie card brewing in the pot, Richie Allen.

Like the majority of rookie cards in the 1964 Topps set most of them are arranged to represent a team and have two-players per card which I prefer much more than the rookie cards that feature three or four players.

White borders with big bold letters give the card front lots of eye-appeal. The card backs are different as well, oddly enough the whole backside of card is printed in orange ink or is that fuchsia? Not much room on the card back that’s why it lacks player bio and the famous cartoon trivia like the rest of the cards in the set has.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $4.00-$8.00; graded Near Mint copies (7’s) sell between $50.00-$75.00 and Mint copies (9’s) sell in the $480.00-$590.00 range.

Happy Collecting, Collectors

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:
Dick Allen Stats | Baseball-Reference.com https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/allendi01.shtml (accessed August 3, 2019).

 

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