Later today, the Veterans Committee announces its results on the Golden Era ballot. Throughout the day, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for Dick Allen in the hopes that he gets his long overdue induction this year, thus allowing the Phillies to retire #15 in his honor. I won’t attempt to make the case as to why he should be in there as there are many others who have already made the argument (my personal favorite has to be the extensive two-part, 24-page writeup by the Chicago Baseball Museum.) Yes, I am biased because of my life-long Phillies fandom, but there really is no good reason why Allen shouldn’t already have a plaque in Cooperstown — Bill James’s infamous verdict on Allen be damned.
From a baseball card collector standpoint, it really is amazing just how much Allen has been neglected by the card manufacturers in their offerings over the past 15 years. As a result, by my count Allen appears as a Phillie on approximately 180 cards over his entire career. The number of unique Allen cards is actually much smaller when you eliminate parallels, reprints, buybacks, and printing plates (for those who are interested, I have posted an extract of all the Dick Allen cards in the Phillies Database.) Furthermore, while Topps and Panini continue to occasionally issue cards for players like John Kruk and Darren Daulton continue to occasionally appear, Allen’s last appearance in a mainstream set happened back in 2009 — his last Topps issue came in 2004. A Hall induction may very well change that, though I’m certain that thanks to his time with the White Sox, any new cards won’t necessarily all be depicting him with the Phillies.
Total cards: 46
“Unique” cards: 45
Solo cards: 35
Solo autograph-only cards: 6
Solo relic-only cards: 1
Multiplayer cards, Phillies only: 5
Multiplayer cards, with other teams: 0 Multiplayer autograph-only cards: 1
Professionally graded cards: 3
Want Listed: 2
Because of my aversion to multi-team cards, I don’t have any of the many league leader cards featuring Allen during the 1960s. However, I recently want-listed the 1975 Topps Home Run Leaders-1974 card he shares with Mike Schmidt. The only other item I desperately want to add to my collection is Allen’s 2004 Topps Bazooka One-Liners Relics card. If anyone out there has one available for trade, please let me know and we’ll see what kind of trade we can work out.