Bill Madden: Breaking down the candidates on the Hall of Fame’s Golden Era ballot


Dick Allen was another player who endured his share of racial intolerance, particularly early in his career with the Phillies (1963-69), and that has been a major tenet of the organized Hall of Fame campaign for him out of Philadelphia in recent years. The Allen campaign has also cited numerous former teammates and foes who maintain that, even in the absence of exit velo in those days, nobody hit the ball harder than he did. And maybe he did. But in terms of being a dominant player for a substantial period of time, Allen falls short. He did have three fairly dominant seasons with the Phillies — in 1964 when he hit .318 and led the National League in runs, triples and total bases and was Rookie of the Year, and ‘66 and ‘67 when he hit over .300 and led the NL in OPS — and two more for the White Sox, in 1972 when he led the AL in homers, RBI, walks, slugging, OBP, and OPS and won the MVP award, and 1974 when he led the AL in homers, slugging and OPS in only 128 games. But overall, Allen had only seven seasons in which he played over 140 games, had only 1,848 hits, and was traded five times.

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