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100 Greatest Phillies: 7 – Dick Allen

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sat, March 21, 2009 09:21 AM | Comments: 36
100 Greatest Phillies, Posts

Dick Allen
Third Baseman
1963-1969, 1975-1976

Career w/Phillies: .290 AVG / 204 HR / 655 RBI / 86 SB

Despite the controversy, and despite the casualties, Dick Allen was indisputably one of the best athletes to have ever competed in the sport.

The Phillies signed Allen as an amateur free agent in 1960, and he went through the minors, but with some bumps. In Little Rock, parades were held in protest of Allen playing there. He still dominated. In 1963 he had a cup of coffee with the Phillies, and while fans knew Allen could hit, nobody was prepared for his rookie 1964.

That 1964 season was special for multiple reasons, but Allen might have been the greatest saving grace. Check out these numbers: .318 AVG / 38 2B / 13 3B / 29 HR / 91 RBI / 125 R. Allen paced the ’64 Phils to that second-place finish, and set himself up for a great long career in Phlly.

But it wouldn’t be that long. Sadly, a fight with Frank Thomas in 1965 turned in Allen’s face despite allegations that he wasn’t the initiator. Meanwhile, fans threw garbage onto the field and yelled racial epithets at him. He didn’t make things any easier, being a somewhat guarded and misunderstood individual. The recipe for disaster was set pretty early.

Still, Allen could hit. His swing was massive and yielded some of the longest home runs ever seen in baseball. He hit 20 homers in 1965, then a career-high 40 in 1966. That season he also drove in 110 while hitting .317. He then hit 23, 33 and 32 homers, respectively, between 1967 and ’69. He stole a career-high 20 bases in ’67, too. He was regularly among league leaders in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs scored.

Allen finally demanded to be traded from Philadelphia, and in 1970 the Phils sent him to Saint Louis for Curt Flood. But Flood — a black player with much the same reservations as Allen — didn’t want to come to Philly. Of course, that set free agency into motion.

After some solid years in Saint Louis, Los Angeles and Chicago (winning an MVP for the White Sox in 1972), Allen returned to the Phillies in 1975 and ’76, hitting another 27 home runs while contributing to a division-winning team. He retired in 1977; since retiring, his teammates and coaches have revealed that Allen was in no way the negative player many considered him to be. On the contrary: Most players looked at Allen as a leader and mentor.

Allen is a borderline Hall of Famer who hasn’t found enshrinement. The debate rages today.

Comment: Whether Allen is a Hall of Famer makes no difference; as a Phillie, Allen was fantastic. He was an incredible hitter with outrageous power and athleticism. His rookie season alone could put him on this list. And seeing as Allen hit during the pitchers’ era, there’s no doubt he was an all-time great. A top 10 player for sure.

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 GreysFan

    Dick Allen is one of the central players in my life long love for baseball. I was 12 years old when he played a season for my hometown Williamsport Greys in the Eastern League in 1962. I went to nearly every game and was absolutely head over heels for Allen. He was an extraordinary physical presence—we used to say he had arms the size of legs, and an equally off the scale hitter. I haven’t gone back and looked up the records for that year (why risk good memories with facts), but I think the team won the league championship and he hit about .700 or so with maybe 300-400 home runs. At least it seemed that way. I think Art Mahaffey and Bobby Wine also played on that team and I had no doubt they would soon lead a Phillies resurgence.

    I never believed the stories about Allen as a negative force. I used to sit in the front row nearly on the field at those games and he was one of the players that would come over and talk to us. He was always friendly, always a gentleman. There is no doubt that some of the issues with him were racial, but I think his role may have been that he never really loved baseball in the Pete Rose style. I even recall that he commented during his second stint with the Phillies that the games with the Reds were so exciting that even he, someone who didn’t like baseball, enjoyed them.

    No matter. He was a wonderful talent and gave me some great memories. I don’t really think he has HOF credentials (an argument I never really understand anyway), but he was certainly a greater player than some who are there (Jim Rice for example). It would certainly say something positive for baseball if he did make the trip to Cooperstown.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    That was an interesting read.

    I knew nothing about him until I read that piece, so thanks Tim.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    Wow, got dumped for my comment… Let me clean it up a bit…
    ….Dick Allen was gaurded and misunderstood…
    Of course he was and you would be too if hundereds of people screamed racial remarks at you. This is the reason why until the mid 70′s the Phillies were a classless organization. It is well documented that the Phillies were the last organization to draft black or Latino players. Yet still, we are bewildered at the fact that it took them 97 years to win their first title. Dick Allen could have been the greatest Phillie of all time, but, I’m sure being called the N-word everytime you step into the batters box tends to get a little distracting. Good pick Tim, and Dick Allen… Sorry for the past.

     
  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Does anyone remember when Richie wrote “Mom” in the dirt at first base with his foot? He was a funny guy, I always liked him.

    Kinda funny story, one of my mom’s friends was a HUGE Richie Allen fan, and she and Mom were driving home from the mall or something, and Mom said that Richie was a little odd or something to that effect, and her friend started screaming at her and stopped the car and made my mom get out right then and there! Luckily, they were pretty close to home, but I’ll never forget that!

     
  • Posts: 0 Phil

    There is no reason this guy shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. He was a beast. Didn’t he play 1B not OF?

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I was 6 in 1964. It was my first year of following the Phillies. And what a year. If 6 seems too young to understand the collapse, keep in mind I had my dad and two older brothers who were also engulfed in Phillies fever, so baseballwise, I was much older than 6. It was also my first visit to Connie Mack Stadium that year. Anyway, Richie Allen was my first favorite player. I can tell you that he was everything you’ve heard, plus. Allen had the talent to be number 1 on this list. But, and this adds to the legend, he was playing in the 1960s. Between the racial situations and the overall social consciousness going on, some ballplayers were disillusioned. Allen was one of them. Had he played 20 years later, his numbers would probably be next to Schmidt’s. He was that talented. I feel fortunate to have witnessed baseball in the 60′s. It may have been some of the best ever. It may have been a pitcher’s era, but there were some great offensive feats and Hall of Famers playing then. Allen was among the best of them. A great player in a magical era.

     
  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Actually he was a third baseman most of his Phillie career. For some reason I just wrote outfielder (force of habit lately).

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Actually, it was fairly equally divded between third, leftfield and first base. In fact, the one downside of his career is that he totally butchered thirdbase. Sorta like Howard and firstbase. Allen was a good firstbaseman, though. The Phils had nobody to play third in 1964. Gene Mauch knew he had a shot to contend with that team and made the decision to put Allen there. I think he had 40 errors that year, which is ridiculous, but his offense was so awesome and they had nobody else.

     
  • Posts: 0 Harper

    Jeff’s right. Allen’s Phillies splits were 3B-454, 1B-315, and LF-193. Not to be pedantic or anything.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    Here is a little tip from the only phillies phan in TN:

    When you preface any statement with the word “actually”, your veracity cannot be doubted. It works much like “obviously”

    Examples:

    - Obviously, Braves fans are sister kissers.
    - Actually, the Mets smell like dirty feet but their fans are used to pollution, so its not a big deal.

    I was -5 in 1964

     
  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Let me reword that again: He was a third baseman the majority of the time.

    Next time i’ll just use caveman speak to get my point across: Allen. Third base. More. Than. Other. Positions.

     
  • Posts: 0 Tyler

    tim, i completely disagree with what phan in TN said. The way you used it was in a polite sort of way, obviously (or at least how I understood it) not intending any disrespect whatsoever. i think that it depends on what follows the word that determines its connotation.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    I was joking. I do apologize to everyone I offended.

    two days in a row with jokes going awry.

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    This was a truly great talent. He had arms like a blacksmith and used the heaviest bat in baseball. And when he connected, the ball simply flew out. He hit the roof of the Astrodome, I saw him take Don Drysdale over the left-center roof in old Connie Mack. ALso, when he played for the White Sox in his MVP year with them, on The Game of The Week, I saw him smask a low and outside pitch into the upper deck of right field at old Comisky Park. He loved the horses more than baseball and was an outstanding basketball player but was only 5’10″. When he came back to the Phils after playing for St. Louis, the Dodgers and the White Sox, I went to his return game at the Vet. It was sold out and when he got a single up the middle, the fans, including myself, went absolutely nuts for him. SOme of my greatest baseball memories include Dick (Richie) Allen. He was always enormously exciting.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Tim, I’d like to pause at this time to commend you for tackling the undertaking that is this list. Obviously, you have poured a lot of yourself into it and have been fair in your rankings. That said, it is the kind of thing that promotes debate and I hope you understand and appreciate that. I wouldn’t take anything personally if I were you.

    Actually and obviously, Phan in Tn’s post was clearly in jest and his slam of the Mets showed that.

     
  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Whew, tough crowd today. At least when we pull a Dane Cook and snicker at our own jokes, there’s no paying audience to see it.

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    The most exciting non-Hall-of-Famer I have ever seen. He brought the same kind of excitement as Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, to the game. A thrill to watch and an enormous talent. He certainly deserves to be at #7 on this list. You had to watch him to appreciate him.

     
  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    i could never get used to dick allen, he will always be richie allen to me 64 was the year i first started following the phils and i lived and died with them, if they won the pennant callison probably would have won the mvp, but i think richie should have, he got 18 of 20 votes for rookie of the year. he was without a doubt the most clutch hitter i ever saw. goose gossage was his teammate with the white sox, and he said he was the best hitter he ever saw. he said in the early innings a pitcher would make him look bad, but richie was setting him up for the later innings when the game was on the line and nail the pitch he looked bad on, i witnessed a number of balls he hit out of connie mack. as hard and as long as he hit them he never stood there looking at them. he was the most feared hitter i ever saw on the phils, by saam and whitey used to say if he ever hit one back through the box he might really hurt a pitcher, that was how hard he hit the ball. imagine richie allen on roids, that is scary. i believe he is deserving of being the highest non hall of famer on the list.

     
  • Posts: 0 whizkidfanatic

    Dick Allen was an intelligent and very talented ballplayer. He no doubt was a victim of the racial temperature existing during the volatile ’60′s. He also paid a price for being the first black Phillie with superstar talent. Like Del Ennis a decade earlier, he was an easy target for the boobirds after the Phils decline from 1965 on. Unlike Ennis, he had the added burden of the racial baggage from the 1950′s. Had the Phillies like the rest of the National League, signed some major black talent in the 50′s, Allens career in Philadelphia may have gone much more smoothly.

    It must also be said that Allen brought some of his difficulties on himself. He had an admitted propensity for horses, booze and night life. These characteristics were found in many other ballplayers but the spotlight was on him and he couldn’t avoid it.

    All in all, he was a good person, good teammate and nice guy who was thrust into a situation of prominence not of his own choosing. He made mistakes yes, but overall he will be remembered as a great talent, good guy and a terrific Phillie.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    To BurrGundy~ It’s nice to know that someone here beside myself have seen him played and had that opportunity to appreciate such greatness displayed. It’s a point I often maked about statistics not giving the complete picture of players of past generations. Apparently you’re the only one here who noted that Allen used a very heavy bat for his era.

    Babe Ruth liked a heavy bat. He did use a 48-ounce bat early in his career, then switched to bats in the low 40s during his 60-homer season in 1927. Many players in those days used bats that weighed at least 40 ounces, such as Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio and Rogers Hornsby. But not everyone. Ted Williams preferred 31- to 34-ounce bats.
    Bat weights dived down after Babe Ruth, with the exception of Dick (Don’t Call Me Richie) Allen. During his period of baseball, pitchers dominated. Allen used a 42-ounce bat — some say 44 — to help him hit some of the longest homers ever. He hit a ball over the centerfield roof at Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium that landed in the parking lot and traveled 650 feet before it stopped rolling. I’ll use a quote that I read a while back…”When he (Allen) hits a homer, there’s no souvenir,” Pirates Hall of Famer Willie Stargell said. :-)

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    Dick “Don’t call me Richie” Allen swung his 42 ounce bat with authoritative speed. It was quite a thrill to see him hit, and when he came to the plate in his prime not only the fans in the park gave him his undivided attention but the entire tri-state area. He hit for average and power almost always posting Ops+ values near or above 150 with a Phillies high of 181 in 1966. He hit homers of biblical distances at Connie Mack that went over the left field roof, the right center field score board, and to the right of the flag pole beyond that forbidden zone wall in dead center field. Allen is a Philadelphia baseball deity. Even baseball fans in New York I speak with reference Allen with awe and reverence.

    The 41 errors in 1964 were the result of his playing in the wrong position, but to his credit his fielding greatly improved over the rest of his career. I saw Allen play first hand during both of his Phillie tenures, and I think he played between the lines seriously with a superlative set of baseball instincts for all aspects of the game.

    There is no way as a player like Dick Allen places behind a Whitey Ashburn in this list. As Phillies, they were both regular MVP candidates, and Allen won the ROY honor in 1964. However, the answer that the former Phillies GM John Quinn gave Ashburn when he questioned Quinn why he was being offered a pay cut after winning the 1958 batting crown “But you only hit singles” sets the tone for an Allen over Ashburn argument.

    I won’t challenge the placement of the pitchers who will be announced soon in relation to Allen because of the conventional wisdom that good pitching beats good hitting.

    Check out the Dick Allen photo gallery in this link.
    http://www.expressfan.com/dickallenhof/photos/Phils1/

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    Dick “Don’t call me Richie” Allen swung his 42 ounce bat with authoritative speed. It was quite a thrill to see him hit, and when he came to the plate in his prime not only the fans in the park gave him his undivided attention but the entire tri-state area. He hit for average and power almost always posting OPS+ values near or above 150 with a Phillies high of 181 in 1966. He hit homers of biblical distances at Connie Mack that went over the left field roof, the right center field score board, and to the right of the flag pole beyond that forbidden zone wall in dead center field. Allen is a Philadelphia baseball deity. Even baseball fans in New York I speak with reference Allen with awe and reverence.

    The 41 errors in 1964 were the result of his playing in the wrong position, but to his credit his fielding greatly improved over the rest of his career. I saw Allen play first hand during both of his Phillie tenures, and I think he played between the lines seriously with a superlative set of baseball instincts for all aspects of the game.

    A player like Dick Allen should place ahead of Whitey Ashburn in this list. As Phillies, they were both regular MVP candidates, and Allen won the ROY honor in 1964. However, the answer that the former Phillies GM John Quinn gave Ashburn when he questioned Quinn why he was being offered a pay cut after winning the 1958 batting crown “But you only hit singles” sets the tone for an Allen over Ashburn argument.

    Check out the Dick Allen photo gallery in this link.
    http://www.expressfan.com/dickallenhof/photos/Phils1/

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    Crash Allen swung his 42 ounce bat with authoritative speed. It was quite a thrill to see him hit, and when he came to the plate in his prime not only the fans in the park gave him his undivided attention but so did the entire tri-state area. He hit for average and power almost always posting OPS+ values near or above 150 with a Phillies high of 181 in 1966. He hit homers of biblical distances at Connie Mack that went over the left field roof, the right center field score board, and to the right of the flag pole beyond that forbidden zone wall in dead center field. Allen is a Philadelphia baseball deity. Even baseball fans in New York I speak with reference Allen with awe and reverence.

    The 41 errors in 1964 were the result of his playing in the wrong position, but to his credit his fielding greatly improved over the rest of his career. I saw Allen play first hand during both of his Phillie tenures, and I think he played between the lines seriously with a superlative set of baseball instincts for all aspects of the game.

    Dick Allen should be placed ahead of Whitey Ashburn in this list. As Phillies, they were both regular MVP candidates, and Allen won the ROY honor in 1964. However, the answer that the former Phillies GM John Quinn gave Ashburn when he questioned Quinn why he was being offered a pay cut after winning the 1958 batting crown “But you only hit singles” sets the tone for an Allen over Ashburn argument.

     
  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    He will always be Richie Allen to me too…One of the best players I ever saw…But a head case for sure.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I loved Richie Allen. And he could have been one of the greatest. But he wasn’t. He played for the Phils for six or seven years; some great and some merely good. His teams stunk. He had real good years in other cities for bad teams (I still have my Richie Allen 3-B baseball card…as a Cardinal!) He was enigmatic and mercurial and controversial and Tim, I think you got caught up in the “what could have, should have been” trap. In my humble view, just because players flash greatness while invoking strong public emotion, and in Richie’s case those emotions being rapture and hatred, doesn’t make them better players. Just more memorable. Bobby Abreu was a better “player”. Greg Luzinski, a better Phillie “player”. Certainly Chuck Klein, also. And Curt Schilling. In the final analysis Richie, like Pete Maravich, Gale Sayers, Tony Conigliaro, etc., are romanticized more for they’re unfulfilled potential than for their actual accomplishments. And thats why we remember them so vividly. That said, I sure wish he hadn’t got in that fight with Frank Thomas and played his whole career as a Phil. They would have named the city after him.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    Crash Allen swung his 42 ounce bat with authoritative speed. It was quite a thrill to see him hit, and when he came to the plate in his prime not only the fans in the park gave him his undivided attention but so did the entire tri-state area. He hit for average and power almost always posting OPS+ values near or above 150 with a Phillies high of 181 in 1966. He hit homers of biblical distances at Connie Mack that went over the left field roof, the right center field score board, and to the right of the flag pole beyond that wall in dead center field. Allen is a Philadelphia baseball deity. Even baseball fans in New York I speak with reference Allen with awe and reverence.

    The 41 errors in 1964 were the result of his playing in the wrong position, but to his credit his fielding greatly improved over the rest of his career. I saw Allen play first hand during both of his Phillie tenures, and I think he played between the lines seriously with a superlative set of baseball instincts for all aspects of the game.

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    Tim, I am sorry for the duplicate posts, but the first ones did not appear immediately after I entered them so I assumed they were either lost by the software or were deliberately censored for whatever reason. If you look, you will see that there are slight variations in subsequent posts. These were edit attempts to make the thing post worthy by removing bits I thought might be objectionable.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I mentioned before that my early years were spent in Baltimore. Baltimore in the early 60′s was the Orioles, the Colts and crabs. Nothing else (lacross was not my thing) but, seeing the American League play had its advantages and disadvantages too. Black baseball players were not generally accepted in the AL – and did we miss out. Frank Robinson came to the O’s in a much ballyhooed trade in 1966 and let crabtown know just what they were missing. Not only did Frank tear up the AL, he changed the core of Oriole baseball for the next 25 years, long after he left his legacy remained. What an impact! He had a reputation for some stupid gun wielding charge while in Cincy, so there was controversy but he changed it all and the entire town became fans of Brooks and Frank Robinson – but I digress, we missed out on the likes of Gibson, Marichal, Mays, McCovey and a ton of others including Richard Allen. The best of the AL always included virtually the entire Yankee staff and then a scattering of others – Kaline, Charmin Harman Killebrew – the color came from Tony Oliva, Tony Conigliaro, Yaz and more. Nothing quite as diverse or fun as the NL talent base. I don’t think there was a single white player who could boast 5 tools. Just did not happen. Power and speed just were not part of the same combination back in the AL.
    I believe Allen’s last year in Philly was 69 and I remember my friends talking about HOF talent but his head got in the way. I do remember that huge piece of lumber he swung and vaguely his stance that in itself was scary.
    In the 60′s, I don’t think Philly had much to boast about (OK, Robin Roberts only pitched here until 1961). Allen was the best of the 60′s for the Phils for sure. Sorry I missed him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Barry Fullerton

    I played with Richie in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1961. He was a good friend and a good teammate. He was a 2nd baseman that year and he did use a very heavy bat. I tried to use his model but it didn’t work that well for me. He was held in awe by his teammates. He hit some of the longest home runs I have ever seen. When Richie came to bat we all stopped and watched him and he seldom disappointed.

    I saw Richie many years later and in my opinion he remained one of the warmest and nicest guys I’ve known and played with.

    He’s a Hall of Famer in my opinion.

     
  • Posts: 0 Barry George

    Richie Allen was far and away the most exciting athlete I’ve ever seen play. As a kid, I would sit absolutely transfixed in front of the television when he came to bat. And he almost always hit something explosive – a home run or “frozen rope” line drive – or struck out. He generated unbelievable tension and drama every time. He was also fast on the base paths; he frequently made what looked like routine ground balls into close plays at first. And those towering home runs, hit literally out of the park! Unfortunately, Philadelphia in the mid to late 60s was still a racially troubled city, especially where baseball was concerned, and Allen had little support from the Phillies organization – and no understanding from the sportswriters – in dealing with the pressures and controversy he faced. It’s a shame and an injustice that he’s not in the Hall of Fame, but his legend lives on.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mews

    great post, thanks for providing so much. Keep up the good posts.! http://www.hoover-f5914900.com

     
  • Posts: 0 Philly Phred

    Richard “Richie/Dick” Allen was a pretty classy guy off the field. Yes, being shouted at with racial slurs by the people who were supposed to be fans certainly played a large part in his attitude in and around Connie Mack Stadium.

    I had the pleasure to meet and get to know him out of baseball and I can honestly say he is a great guy. He belongs in Cooperstown.

     
  • Posts: 0 Terry

    Richie is my all time favorite player. My greatest memory of a Philies in person game was in 1966 when Richie hit one over the Coke sign in left field at Connie Mack against the Pirates in an 8-7 win. His power was awesome. I can still see tha ball fy out like a rocket over the sign on the dark night at old Connie Mack- what a shot to see in person. I was 8 years old and still remember it like yesterday. He always wore that long red undershirt under his jersey- outside of Howard now I do not think there was any Phillie, , even Schmidt, that people would make sure they were in front of the TV or in their seats at the game, when he came to bat.

    I was also at the game in 1975 against Doug Rau and the Dodgers when he hit his first home run (he hit 2 in that game) on his return in 1975. If he played in Citizens Bank park in this era of pitching he would hit 50 home runs easy. At old Connie Mack when he started it was 447 to dead center and that monster high scoreboard in right center and the high wall in right made that park a much tougher park than this small park. Plus he played in a picthers era.

    Speed, power, average, and a very smart base runner, and Mauch had him play third as a new position in 1964. Mauch screwed him up by not telling everyone what happened on the Frank Thomas fight situation- plus the hit from Thomas bat- yes his bat- on Allens shoulder really hurt his performance greatly the second half of 1965.

    He was a treat to watch and if he played during the ESPN cable era his shots would be legendardy instantly.. I’d love to see old footage of some of his monster shots, but there is most likely not much film of his Phillies 1964=1969 career.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mike

    Watching Dick Allen swing a baseball bat was downright scary. I never saw any other hitter who could generate as much bat speed as he did. His swing was ferocious, almost beyond belief. He was one of the greatest power hitters ever.

     
  • Posts: 0 Philly the Kid

    #15 Crash Allen — my favorite player of all times, and probably the best player not in the HOF, better than Santo or Blylevan imho. He has “hof talent”, a prodigous slugger who if he played in the 90′s or 00′s would have been no more controversial than Gary Sheffield at most, and likely not controversial at all. He would have had 500hrs easy. The guy was fierce. Injuries and needless controversy marred what could have been an even greater career. If the Phils won the pennant in 64 let alone the WS, the entire story goes down differently. He got the treatment later given to people like RC, Donovan Mcnabb and some others for not single-handedly carrying the championship on his back. Keep in mind the Phils and all Phila. sport teams have had historically some of the worst owners and front offices.

    I’m sorry I missed his interview with Bob Costas in the last year, saw a small clip of it… fond memories of him in a Phil uniform. Put on the 1929 team and he’s putting up numbers like or surpassing Klein. Put his 1966 game on the 1980 team and he’s putting up Schmidt numbers put him on the 2006 team and he’s toe-for-tow with Ryan Howard. The man at his best was as good as any hitter the Phils have ever had. He’s their first African American star. I know he’ll never see the HOF due to perception and politics, but he’ll always be HOF to me. Just sorry ’64 didn’t turn out like it should have for the phightins…

    Allen – Schmidt – Howard – Utley — Klein, gotta be the 5 best hitters with all due respect to 19th century players and some solid years by some of the others on the list. The pitchers are easy no brainers with Lefty, Pete, Robin, Bunning, Short and Schilling … in my mind this all-time Phils team goes up against any other all-time team including the Yankees and holds their own!

     
  • Posts: 0 Terry

    Well said Philly The Kid. Kids who grew up as Phillies fans watching him loved him. I would have loved to see his numbers playing his whole career in CBP or even the Vet. Connie Mack Stadium was not a hitters park from dead center to right you either had deep dimensions (447 to dead center) or monster high scoreboards and walls from right center to center. Great base runner- the whole package- it is interesting to see what his contemporaries say about him – all of them say he had great talent and most say he should be in the HOF. If he played in the ESPBN era his legendary tape measure HR’s would be nightly highlights.

     
 
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