Positions: First Baseman, Third Baseman and Leftfielder
Bats: Right • Throws: Right
Height: 5′-11″ Weight: 187
Born: Sunday, March 08, 1942 in Wampum, PA USA
Died: in ,
High School: Wampum HS (Wampum, PA)
Debut: September 3, 1963 vs. MLN 3 AB, 1 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Last Game: June 19, 1977 vs. CHW 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Full Name: Richard Anthony Allen
Nicknames: Wampum Walloper, Richie or Crash
View Player Bio from the SABR BioProject
Relatives: Brother of Hank Allen, Ron Allen
PODCAST ON DICK ALLEN’S CAREER
YOU CAN DEDICATE THIS PAGE!
3 Custom Packages Available
Personal Dedication on the page of your choice for one year
Commemorative bat with your dedication inscribed
Share your story on the Daily Rewind podcast
“Allen was scary at the plate. When he came up there, he had your attention. I want to forget a couple of line drives he hit off me, but I can’t because they almost killed me.” — Mickey Lolich on Dick Allen
“Never in my life have I been associated with a better person. I want this fellow to play for me the rest of his career.” — Chuck Tanner on Dick Allen
An enigmatic superstar who baffled teammates, fans, and the front office with his bizarre behavior, Dick Allen was Dennis Rodman before it was cool. Allen’s off the field flare and penchant for controversy overshadowed his great baseball skills. He was one of the most feared sluggers of the 1960s and early 1970s, and many of his teammates identified him as a significant influence on their career.
Richie Allen broke in with a bang, winning the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year award with the Philadelphia Phillies. He made 41 errors at third base (which he had not played in the minors) for the Phillies, but his 29 home runs, 91 RBI, 201 hits, and .318 BA earned him Rookie of the Year honors. That team blew a six-game lead in the final week of the season, one of the worst collapses in baseball history. It was about as close as Allen would get to a World Series.
A deep cut on his right hand, which he reported having suffered while pushing a stalled car, affected his throwing and the Phillies made him a first baseman/outfielder in 1967. He hit 40 home runs in 1966 and 177 through 1969, but off-the-field behavior brought him a 28-day suspension, a $500-a-day fine, and a trade to the Cardinals at the end of ’69. The swap proved doubly controversial when Curt Flood refused to report to the Phillies and challenged the reserve clause in court, forcing St. Louis to substitute Willie Montanez. Although an All Star in St, Louis they traded him in the offseason to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
By now known as “Dick”, he disliked the name “Richie”, Allen was traded again in the offseason to the Chicago White Sox. Each trade added to Allen’s reputation as an unmanageable loner. In 1972, with easygoing Chuck Tanner as his White Sox manager, he led the AL in homers (37), RBI (113), walks (99), and slugging percentage (.603) and was named MVP. He was having a similar season in 1973 until he tore his hamstring on June 28. In 1974, he was on his way to a similar year when he “retired” with a month left to play, giving no reason. Despite his vacation, he led the AL with 32 home runs.
From 1964 to 1972 Allen slugged at least twenty home runs each season, driving in 100 or more three times.
The Sox traded him to Atlanta for cash and a player to be named later in December 1974, but before he could play for the Braves they sent him to the Phillies in May 1975 for Barry Bonnell, Jim Essian, and cash. When Essian was turned over to Chicago as Atlanta’s player to be named later, he’d been swapped for Allen twice in less than half a year. Back in Philadelphia where he polarized the clubhouse, tainting such young players as Mike Schmidt and Garry Maddox. In the 1976 playoffs against Cincinnati, he sulked and complained while the team lost. His final season saw him shipped to Oakland.
Allen’s attitude problems, misconstrued or not, have left him outside of the Hall of Fame, despite his worthy credentials. Despite the fact that his league-adjusted offensive numbers are some of the best for any player not in the Hall of Fame (and better than many who are in).
The wide range of skills he possessed are evident in the fact that Allen led the league in such diverse categories as on-base percentage, homers, triples, runs scored, RBI, total bases, slugging, extra-base hits, and walks. Allen was also a very good baserunner and he stole enough bases to finish in the top ten in his league twice.
On the defensive side, Allen was used anywhere his teams could hide his shaky glove. He played more than 800 games at first base, 650 at third, and 250 in the outfield. It was with his bat that Allen made his living. After his playing career, he retreated to his ranch, where he maintained a breeding farm. A horse lover, Allen once said of Astroturf, “If horses can’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it.”
Subscribe to This Day In Baseball