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Will Richie 'Dick' Allen finally get his due (Hall Of Fame Status) this December?

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  • Will Richie 'Dick' Allen finally get his due (Hall Of Fame Status) this December?

    3/8/2020: Today is Phillies star 3B/1B Richie 'Dick' Allen's 78th birthday. Will this be his final birthday as a non-Hall Of Famer?
    His Veterans Committee Era ('Glory Days: 1950-1969') comes up for a vote in December at the Winter Meetings. At his era's last election Allen and Tony Oliva missed election to the HOF by one vote apiece. Both received 11 votes from the 16 man committee, falling one vote shy of the 12 of 16 votes needed (75%). Maury Wills, Minnie Minoso and Jim Kaat also received more than 50% of the vote to miss being elected by only 2 or 3 votes apiece. (I believe that Wills and Kaat each got 10 votes (two votes shy of election) and Minnie Minoso got 9 out of the 16 votes, leaving him three votes shy of election. Minoso died less than 3 months after that election.
    Last edited by 1954 Phils; 03-09-2020, 02:56 PM.

  • #2
    I agree Allen should be in Cooperstown. Nice to see the Phillies will be retiring his number, tho.
    Put it in the books.

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    • #3
      I hope he does, but sadly he will not be around to enjoy it.

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      • #4
        Allen's a shoo-in, now that he's a goner.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AlexS View Post
          Allen's a shoo-in, now that he's a goner.
          Hopefully. Sadly, it's Ron Santo 2.0. On the other hand, these committees have a propensity to disappoint.

          I would dearly love for the 2022 induction ceremony to be a Phillies theme of Allen, Schilling and Rolen, but I doubt the writers will elect Schilling at all and Rolen's unlikely to jump enough from last year to cross the finish line so soon.

          As for the committees, with luck it will be Allen and Tony Oliva from the Golden Days group and Doc Adams and Bill Dahlen from the other group.
          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
            Hopefully. Sadly, it's Ron Santo 2.0. On the other hand, these committees have a propensity to disappoint.

            I would dearly love for the 2022 induction ceremony to be a Phillies theme of Allen, Schilling and Rolen, but I doubt the writers will elect Schilling at all and Rolen's unlikely to jump enough from last year to cross the finish line so soon.

            As for the committees, with luck it will be Allen and Tony Oliva from the Golden Days group and Doc Adams and Bill Dahlen from the other group.
            I don't know why they're dragging their feet on Dahlen so much.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AlexS View Post
              I don't know why they're dragging their feet on Dahlen so much.
              Since the old Veterans Committee was disbanded (following the 2001 election), here is how often pre-WW2 players have been covered:

              2003 - all veterans covered (Dahlen was on list of 200 nominees; failed to make the ballot)
              2005 - same as above
              2007 - same as above
              2009 - in ballot for just the pre-WWII players, Dahlen draws less than 25%, one of the smallest vote totals in the election
              2013 - in ballot for just the pre-WWII players, Dahlen is the leading vote getter who isn't elected (62.5%)
              2016 - in ballot for just the pre-WWII players, Dahlen is tied with Harry Stovey as the player with the most votes (50%)

              Pre-WW2 players have only been eligible for review by the Hall of Fame six times in the past 20 years and half of those times they were lumped with players of all eras.

              As for Dahlen, he has gradually gained notice in the era committee system. I think this is primarily due to two factors. Steve Hirdt of the Elias Bureau has been on these committees (and is a member of the screening committee that compiles the ballot) and, more significantly, 19th century historian Peter Morris was a voting member of this committee in the past. (No word on whether Morris will be on this December's version.)

              It occurs to me that Dahlen was an entry in Bill James' The Politics of Glory which means I would have looked him up in Total Baseball and/or the MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia back in the early 1990's when I first read about him. At that time however, George Davis (a superior contemporary at the position) wasn't yet inducted (though that would be corrected soon). And Pete Palmer's Total Player Rating never caught on. Dahlen was probably also looked at kindly by Baseball Prospectus around the turn of the century once WARP3 was available on their website.

              What I do know assuredly is that the publication of James' Win Shares and his subsequent New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract would have directed further attention to Dahlen, whose achievements are better noticed in all-encompassing uber-metrics than in component traditional statistics. This would be the primary reason that Dahlen was overlooked for so many years by the original Veterans Committee. (That and his former teammates didn't live long enough to serve on the VC.)

              The development of WAR/WAA towards the end of the 2000s coincides with Dahlen's appearance on the pre-WWII ballot and while I'm certain most of the committee members have either little knowledge of these metrics or, if they do, likely a dim view of them, it nevertheless increases Dahlen's visibility to a growing number of fans and observers. As time has passed and these sorts of metrics have become more ubiquitous, Dahlen has become a more prominent candidate to the point that he is almost certainly, today, the best-supported player candidate from the 19th century.


              "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
              "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
              "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
              "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

              Comment


              • #8
                Discussing his Hall of Fame Value Standard in December 2018, Bill James had the following to say about Dahlen, who topped the Value Standard rankings:

                "Better than everybody else who isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

                Dahlen is not a creature of the statistics. He had a tremendous defensive reputation while he was active, and he was a recognized great in his time. He was a very good hitter, not a great hitter, but he was like the Mark Belanger or Andrelton Simmons of his time, except that he was also a good hitter.

                At the start of his career (1891) he played on the last of the good Cap Anson teams in Chicago, a team that almost won the National League pennant but not quite. After struggling through the declining years of Anson—they were still usually in contention, but never won—he helped Brooklyn to the National League pennant in 1899 and again in 1900, and then, in his mid-thirties, after the age at which shortstops are usually gone, was the shortstop on John McGraw’s pennant-winning Giants teams in 1904-1905. 38 years old, he went to Boston in 1908 and was the Most Valuable Player on the Boston National League team, with 5.2 WAR.

                Another point about Dahlen, as a Hall of Fame outlier, is that he is singular on this list. This list has groups of players. Darrell Evans and Graig Nettles and Dwight Evans and Bobby Grich are a group; it is sort of the same story with each of them, so what we can say is that our method simply likes a player of that type. Will Clark and Keith Hernandez and John Olerud are kind of a group.

                But there isn’t anybody else here who was kind of like Bill Dahlen. He stands out as a player who the Hall of Fame just whiffed on, rather than one member of a type that our systems like. He came up the same year as Ee-yah Jennings, replaced Jennings as the shortstop on the Brooklyn team when Jennings got hurt, and then lasted another ten years as a top-level player after Jennings was finished. He was simply a better player than Joe Tinker, his competitor late in his career. He was probably a greater player than Bobby Wallace, another contemporary shortstop who the Hall of Fame elected in 1953. It is unfortunate that the Hall of Fame elected three of his contemporary shortstops—Jennings, Tinker and Wallace—but missed the best player of the group. Cooperstown never called for him, and he died in 1950.

                It is a fair question whether it accomplishes anything to try to rectify this oversight now. No one alive has any memory of Bill Dahlen, at least as a player. I can see honoring a player’s memory, but there isn’t one. I don’t really believe in honoring numbers, and I worry that that is what we would be doing, honoring his numbers. I’m not a big fan of honoring 19th century players, since 19th baseball does not meet reasonable standards for what we mean by “major league.” The data says that he was a better player than 103 Hall of Famers not including pitchers, and maybe that’s not right; maybe it was only 80, who knows. But I do not doubt that Bill Dahlen was an extremely good player for a very long time."
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                Comment

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