Allen’s bat stood out in a pitching-dominant era
Former slugger a Veterans Committee finalist for Hall of Fame
And though his final numbers were clearly affected by the time in which he played, Allen’s body of work has won him a spot on the Veterans Committee ballot this fall at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Allen, born on March 8, 1942, was known as one of the sport’s top right-handed power-hitters of the 1960s and early ’70s. Allen played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1963-69, 1975-76), St. Louis Cardinals (1970), Los Angeles Dodgers (1971), Chicago White Sox (1972-74) and Oakland Athletics (1977).
In 15 big league seasons, Allen clubbed 320 doubles, 79 triples and 351 home runs in 1,749 games. A third baseman and then a first baseman, Allen drove in 1,119 runs and scored 1,099.
In 1964, Allen was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year after hitting .318 with 29 home runs, 91 RBIs and 201 hits.
Allen earned 1972 Most Valuable Player honors after leading the American League in home runs (37), RBIs (113), slugging (.603) and walks (99). His .534 career slugging percentage was among the highest in an era marked by depressed offensive numbers.
A seven time All-Star, Allen was a three-time league leader in slugging percentage and extra-base hits and twice led his circuit in on-base percentage. He finished in the top five in slugging seven times and extra-base hits six times.
Allen was also a fierce baserunner and finished in the top 10 in steals twice.
Allen will be considered for the Class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee as part of the post-1942 ballot (players who began their big league careers in 1943 or later). The other members of the post-1942 Veterans Committee final ballot are Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills. Any player receiving at least 75 percent of the vote from the Veterans Committee, which consists of the 64 living Hall of Famers, will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2009.
Results from the Veterans Committee vote will be announced Dec. 8 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. (H/T National Baseball Hall of Fame.org)
Although Allen has good numbers, since he’s going up against such former players as Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre, Maury Willis and Al Oliver, many of whom he played against, I honestly don’t see him getting the nod in December. I guess we’ll all know one way or the other in December.