A 1994 inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame, Dick Allen died Monday, Dec. 7 at the age of 78. Earlier this year, on Sept. 3, the Phillies retired his No. 15.
Allen first put on a Phillies uniform in 1963, when he entered the majors as a 21-year-old. He played nine years in Philadelphia over two separate stints. In 1994, he joined the club’s front office as a fan representative. Allen later became a club ambassador in November 2017.
Born Richard Anthony Allen on March 8, 1942, in Wampum, Pa., he was a graduate of Wampum High School. The Phillies signed Allen out of high school in 1960.
“I am bereft to learn of Dick’s passing today,” said Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton. “Our community’s powerful connection to, and pride in, Dick leaves all of us in a state of mourning. He will be remembered not only for his extraordinary baseball skills and accomplishments, but equally for his strength of character. His humility, gratitude and compassion were so evident when we retired Dick’s number just three months ago. I am grateful he was able to participate in the ceremony and experience the outpouring of affection and respect we have for him. Our hearts go out to Willa and the entire Allen family. We have lost a very good man, and he will be deeply missed.”
In 15 seasons in the majors, Allen played for the Phillies (1963-69; 1975-76), St. Louis Cardinals (1970), Los Angeles Dodgers (1971), Chicago White Sox (1972-74) and Oakland Athletics (1977). The 1964 National League Rookie of the Year made seven All-Star teams, including three with the Phillies, and was named Most Valuable Player of the American League in 1972. In 1964, he set career highs in games (162), batting average (.318), runs (125), hits (201), doubles (38) and total bases (352). For his career, Allen posted a slash line of .292/.378/.534 with 320 doubles, 79 triples, 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI, 1,099 runs scored and 133 stolen bases in 1,749 games. He primarily played first and third base throughout his career.
One of the top sluggers of his generation, Allen posted six seasons with more than 30 home runs, setting a career high with 40 in 1966. He batted .300 or better in six qualifying seasons while recording two qualifying seasons with an OPS above 1.000. Allen led the AL in home runs twice (1972 and 1974) and led his respective league in OPS four times (1966-67, 1972 and 1974). From 1964-74, Allen’s .940 OPS was only surpassed by Hank Aaron (.941). During that same span, he had the third-most extra-base hits (670) in the majors, trailing only Billy Williams (702) and Aaron (689).
In 1,070 games with the Phillies, Allen batted .290 with 204 doubles, 64 triples, 204 home runs, 655 RBI, 517 walks and a .902 OPS. He ranks second all-time in Phillies history with a .530 slugging percentage and 10th in home runs.
Allen became a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2014, he fell one vote shy of getting inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee (needed 12 votes out of 16). He was supposed to be on the Golden Era ballot again this year, but the vote was pushed to next year.
Allen is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Willa; two sons, Richard and Eron; and two brothers, Hank and Ron, who also played in the majors. He is predeceased by his daughter, Terri.
Funeral arrangements are pending.