Former Phillies great Dick Allen, who won the 1964 National League Rookie of the Year Award and hit 351 home runs over his 15-year major-league career, came up one vote short of induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday.
Allen needed at least 12 votes from the 16 members of the Hall's Golden Era Committee to enter Cooperstown. He and Tony Oliva received 11 votes each, the most of any of the 10 candidates on this year's ballot. By the rules of the Hall's voting procedures, Allen will not come up for a vote again until 2017. The Golden Era voting committee included eight Hall of Fame inductees, including Phillies president Pat Gillick and former Phillies players Jim Bunning, Joe Morgan, and Ferguson Jenkins.
The most controversial player in Phillies history, Allen averaged 30 home runs a season and posted a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage from 1964 through 1969, his first six seasons in the majors and with the Phillies. But as the franchise's first prominent black player, he arrived at a time of racial tumult both in Philadelphia and the nation as a whole, and his relationships with the media and fans deteriorated over time. He admitted to drinking alcohol before some games, and in 1969, in an effort to persuade the team to trade him, he traced the word "boo" in the infield dirt at Connie Mack Stadium.
Allen later was named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1972, hitting .308 with 37 home runs for the Chicago White Sox. For a 10-year period, from 1964 through 1974, Allen had an adjusted OPS of 165, which was higher than any of the 17 Hall of Famers who played over the same stretch.
Now 72, Allen lives near Tampa, Fla. A group of friend, media, and Phillies fans had waged a campaign--led by Mark "Frog" Carfagno, a former Phillies groundskeeper--in recent years to get him into the Hall. They came close, but not close enough.