The Philadelphia Phillies announced Thursday that they plan to retire Dick Allen’s No. 15 on Sept. 3, the 57th anniversary of Allen’s first major league game.
“Dick Allen burst onto the 1964 Phillies and immediately established himself as a superstar,” said managing partner John Middleton. “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. 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 initially played for the Phillies from 1963-1969, and then returned to the franchise for two more seasons in 1976 and 1977. He won the 1964 National League Rookie of the Year Award while playing for the Phillies, slashing .318/.382/.557 with 29 home runs, 91 RBIs and a staggering 8.2 fWAR. Allen made three All-Star teams as a member of the Phillies, and later won the 1972 American League MVP while playing for the Chicago White Sox.
The Phillies have six other numbers retired; No. 20 for Mike Schmidt, No. 1 for Richie Ashburn, No. 14 for Jim Bunning, No. 32 for Steve Carlton, No. 36 for Robin Roberts and No. 34 for Roy Halladay. Both Grover Cleveland Alexander and Chuck Klein didn’t wear one consistent number throughout their careers, but the Phillies have essentially retired their numbers without retiring a specific number.
Allen, unlike those nine, is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. With a .292/.378/.534 career slash line with 351 home runs, a .912 OPS and a 61.3 fWAR, there’s long been a belief from some that he should be in. Still, many of the names above had their numbers retired years before they were elected to the Hall of Fame. And there’s a pretty legitimate case that even if they never reach the Hall of Fame, players like Allen, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were greater Phillies than Halladay and Bunning.
Without fans able to attend games in 2020 because of COVID-19, the Phillies say that “the organization will also honor Allen next season when fans will be in attendance and can properly salute his storied career.”
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