Phillies to retire No. 15 in honor of Dick Allen
The Phillies will bestow the highest honor a club can confer upon a former player by retiring Dick Allen’s No. 15, Managing Partner John Middleton announced today. The ceremony will take place on September 3, 2020, the 57th anniversary of Allen’s major league debut with the Phillies. The organization will also honor Allen next season when fans will be in attendance and can properly salute his storied career.
“Dick Allen burst onto the 1964 Phillies and immediately established himself as a superstar. His legendary performance on the field gave millions of fans lasting memories, and he helped cement my love for baseball and the Phillies as a young boy,” said Middleton. “The Phillies organization is thrilled to give Dick and his family this honor that recognizes his Hall of Fame-worthy career and his legacy as one of the greatest Phillies of all time.”
Allen, 78, spent nine of his 15 major league seasons (1963-77) with the Phillies and won National League Rookie of the Year in 1964. During his time with the club, Allen batted .290 with 204 doubles, 204 home runs, 655 RBI, a .371 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage (.902 OPS) in 1,070 games. His slugging percentage is second-best in Phillies history, behind only Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (.553), and he ranks 10th in home runs. Allen led his league in OPS four times in his career, including twice with the Phillies in 1966 (1.027) and 1967 (.970).
One of the premier sluggers of his era, Allen had the fifth-most home runs (319) among all major league players over an 11-year span (1964-74) behind four Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron (391), Harmon Killebrew (336), Willie Stargell (335) and Willie McCovey (327). Also during that time, his combined .940 OPS was second best, narrowly trailing Aaron (.941). Finally, over those 11 years, his cumulative WAR of 58.3 was tied for the sixth-highest among all players, including 35 position players in the Hall of Fame to play in that time span. Allen twice led the American League in home runs, including the 1972 season when he was named MVP after hitting .308 with 37 home runs, 113 RBI, 99 walks, a .420 on-base percentage and a 1.023 OPS. His only postseason appearance came in 1976, when he made three starts for the Phillies in the National League Championship Series.
A seven-time All-Star (1965-67; 1970; 1972-74), Allen played nearly every position on the field during his career but is widely known as a first and third baseman. In addition to his time with the Phillies (1963-69; 1975-76), he donned a major league uniform for the St. Louis Cardinals (1970), Los Angeles Dodgers (1971), Chicago White Sox (1972-74) and Oakland A’s (1977).
Allen became one of the all-time greats in Phillies history after being signed by the team in 1960 to his first professional contract. He joined the Phillies front office in 1994 as a fan representative and, later, a club ambassador.
Allen joins Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn (1), Jim Bunning (14), Mike Schmidt (20), Steve Carlton (32), Roy Halladay (34) and Robin Roberts (36) as the only Phillies in team history to have their numbers retired. Allen was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1994.
REFLECTIONS ON DICK ALLEN’S CAREER
(Courtesy of Tollin Productions)
“[Dick] was a fine ball player. He did some great things and hit the ball much further than I did. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”
-Hank Aaron, HOF
“I had the pleasure and the privilege of being Dick Allen’s teammate my rookie season. Knowing what he did, and what he accomplished in his career, the greatest player I ever saw play was Dick Allen. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”
-Goose Gossage, HOF
“[Dick] could hit the ball farther than anybody that I’ve seen. He was, and still is, a Hall of Famer as far as I’m concerned.”
-Willie Mays, HOF
“Everyone who ever played with or against Dick would say that he was one of the most talented, intimidating and smart five-tool players in baseball history. You can compare him as a hitter to Hank Aaron. In his prime, Dick might have been more feared, more dynamic and stronger than Hank. On a personal level, Dick and I became good friends, and he helped me become a better player, as he did many of my teammates."
-Mike Schmidt, HOF
“There is nobody who played the game better than Dick Allen. He could run the bases, hit for power, knock in the winning run. He did everything that you could ask from the guy. He was the leader of our team on the field and in the clubhouse. He helped the young guys and improved the old guys, and he was so intelligent. Dick Allen belongs in the Hall of Fame.”
-Chuck Tanner, Manager White Sox
“[Dick] had special talent. He was a student of the game. He knew his abilities were special. There is no question that he was an impact player, and when you were on the other side of the field, he frightened you. He was a game breaker and certainly could elevate a team to another level.”
-Joe Torre, HOF
“The only person in the entire history of the game who may have had an edge on Dick Allen for pure power is Babe Ruth.”
-Bill Jenkinson, Baseball Hall of Fame Historian
“If you look at his numbers, [Dick] was probably one of the most feared hitters when he played. He dominated when he went out there. You ask any pitcher from that era, they didn’t want to face him. He was in an elite class.”
-Larry Bowa, Phillies Teammate
“Dick made it very clear when he first stepped in that locker room in 1975 that he was there to help our ball club win. He wanted to help us get to the World Series.”
-Greg Luzinski, Phillies Teammate
“Dick played the game like it is supposed to be played. He played the game right. He played the game hard. I used to say to him, ‘God gave you that gift that you have. What you do is a gift from God.’”
-Tony Taylor, Phillies Teammate