Dick Allen may not be in the Hall of Fame, but here are six reasons why he's in the Cut4 o' Fame
The Golden Era Committee convened on Monday and, for Dick Allen fans, sadly no smoke rose from their pulpit. The group elected zero Hall of Famers, though Allen and Tony Oliva came closest. Each received 11 votes from the 16-person panel, one shy of the 12 needed for election.
While Allen may not be in Cooperstown's Hall of Fame, he is a first-ballot selection in the Cut4 o' Fame. And sure, our Hall may not have a physical address, but it's also always open -- because it exists inside the heart of baseball fans everywhere.
Why is Allen in? That's easy. While his on-field record is impressive -- the first base/third base/outfielder was the Rookie of the Year in 1964, MVP in '72, hit 30 or more home runs six times and lead the league in OPS on four occasions. Allen's best years were also during a period of deflated offense. As pointed out by Brian Kenny, his MVP campaign would have looked like this in 2000:
.357, 48 HR, 165 RBIs
Yeah, that's pretty special. But that's not what gets him into the Cut4 O' Fame. Nope. This is:
1. His mellifluous singing voice
That's right, Dick Allen, or as he was known when behind the mic, Rich Allen, was quite the singer. In 1968, Allen was backed by The Ebonistics and released "Echoes of November." Allen's voice is surprisingly good -- and high-pitched -- in this doo-wop number.
Even better, the album was released on Groovey Grooves, perhaps the best name for a record label this side of genre b.goode.
2. Allen made the red White Sox jerseys look good
3. I take that back. He could make anything look good
Just check out those glasses! Those 'chops! This is what James Bond should look like in the next 007 film.
4. He could inspire players to hit four home runs in a single game
Before a game in 1976, Allen told future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt:
What did Schmidt go and do? Hit four home runs.
5. Forget protein bars. Dick Allen was powered by chili.
Finally, a player with my eating habits.
In the second game of a doubleheader on June 4, 1972, Allen's White Sox were trailing the Yankees 4-2. White Sox manager Chuck Tanner called for Allen to pinch-hit. Only problem? Allen was in the clubhouse. Said the slugger:
"I was eating a chili dog when I heard Chuck wanted me to hit. I had chili all over my shirt so I put on a new one and a pair of pants with no underclothes."
Once dressed, it wasn't a problem.
"Sparky Lyle threw me a slider and it wound up in the seats."