Saturday, December 18, 2010

#400 - Dick Allen


Card fact: This is the first time that an all-star card has landed on a century number, meaning I need to update the all-star list AND update the state of the set on the same post.

Normally, I do both under the heading of "other blog stuff." But this time I will feature the all-star update in the "card fact" portion. Here it is:

AL

1B - Dick Allen
2B -
3B - Brooks Robinson
SS - Bert Campaneris
OF - Bobby Murcer
OF -
OF -
C - Carlton Fisk
P -

NL

1B - Steve Garvey
2B - Joe Morgan
3B - Ron Cey
SS -
OF - Hank Aaron
OF - Pete Rose
OF -
C - Johnny Bench
P -

What I thought about this card then: I didn't have it. But I vaguely recall someone else having it. I remember some cool kid I knew owned it, and I thought it was unattainable. Not that I wasn't a cool kid or anything.

What I think about this card now: Just a great card. But I've had a difficult time getting it well-centered. This one is better than what I had.

Other stuff: Lordy, where do you start? Allen was one of the most controversial figures in baseball history. He started out as a powerful star for the Phillies, winning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors in 1964, but was relentlessly booed by Philadelphia fans during his time there. Because of perceptions that he was difficult, he was traded to St. Louis for Curt Flood, a deal in which Flood famously refused to go to Philadelphia.

Allen was then traded to the Dodgers, who after a year, sent him to the White Sox in the Tommy John deal. Allen enjoyed a resurgence in Chicago, capturing the A.L. MVP award in 1972 and recording three strong seasons, despite a '73 season abbreviated by a broken leg. But Allen left the White Sox in mid-September after a feud with teammate Ron Santo. The White Sox shipped him to the Braves in the offseason. Allen later returned to Philadelphia for 1975 and 1976 and finished his career with Oakland in 1977.

Throughout the latter stages of his career, Allen is pictured wearing a helmet, even while in the field (such as on this card). Allen began wearing a helmet in the field in Philadelphia when fans started hurling objects at him.

Topps used three different first names for Allen during his career. It started out with "Richie," which is what he was called while with the Phillies. Then with the 1970 set, Topps shortened Allen's name to "Rich." It stayed that way until 1973 when it became "Dick." Allen said that he was always called "Dick" growing up and thought "Richie" was a little boy's name.

Allen is considered by many as a Hall of Famer and possibly the most obvious example of a player being undeservedly left out of the Hall. Detractors say Allen's career was a little too short and his fielding was not good.


Back facts: There is the sad fact, White Sox fans. Traded to the Braves, right on the back of his White Sox card!

Other blog stuff: Inventory time! After 100 more cards, let's see what we have:

1. COLOR COMBINATIONS

Orange-brown has poured on the coal and padded its lead after holding only a one-card edge after 300 cards. Some of the earlier leaders/favorites, like green-light green, purple-pink and green-purple have fallen way behind. Last-place yellow-green didn't have one card in the past 100:

1. Orange-brown: 40
2. Pink-yellow: 34
3. Green-light green: 27
4. Yellow-red: 27
5. Purple-pink: 26
6. Green-purple: 25
7. Blue-orange: 20
8. Brown-tan: 20
9. Orange-yellow: 19
10. Red-orange: 19
11. Tan-light blue: 19
12. Yellow-light blue: 19
13. Red-blue: 18
14. Green-yellow: 17
15. Red-yellow: 17
16. Light blue-green: 16
17. Brown-orange: 15
18. Yellow-green: 12

2. POWDER BLUE UNIFORMS

Eleven more cards, including this one, to total 49 so far.

3. LOOKING UP

Just two more players looking to the skies for a grand total of 11. That's got to increase later in the set.

4. DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY

One guy who seemed like a gal to me back then. So the grand total is 9.

5. DECEASED

Eleven more departed players to add -- including a couple of recent ones in Ed Kirkpatrick and Ron Santo who weren't even in the last 100 cards. The total is at 39.

6. CHAW

Jackie Brown is the third player to display a chaw on cardboard thus far.

7. MLB SONS

Four more players who had sons who played in the majors. That's 19 total.

8. ROOKIE CUP/ALL-STARS

7/11

9. MOST POPULAR FIRST NAME

Jim has passed Dave/David and is now the overall leader with 17 players with that name.

10. MINIS

We had a mini surge. A total of 55 cards in the set thus far I have in mini form. That is 13.8 percent, up slightly from 100 cards ago.

All right, time to hit the next 100! Up next, one of the worst airbrush jobs in the entire set. Just awful.

6 comments:

Eggrocket said...

Even Allen haters have to admit that he is pretty high on the list of great-players-not-in-the-HOF. Baseball-Reference.com reports some pretty high marks in the "Hall of Fame Statistics" Section. Allen would be pretty high on the list with, ironically, his 1974 all-star counterpart Steve Garvey as well as Ron Santo, whom you mentioned in this post. (I didn't know that about Santo.) Santo is getting a lot of guilt-driven support right now but he and Allen had pretty similar numbers.

PS-Word Verification="fienr" as in who's fienr, aleln or sntoa?

Play at the Plate said...

Not a bad color combo with that uni.

I know who Dick Allen is, but not too much about him. How was his second swing through Philly? Did the fans accept him that time?

night owl said...

Yes, it was a lot more uneventful. But he still wore the helmet.

Roy said...

This is one of my favorite cards in the 75 set. The first All-Star I pulled from a packet, and the first "league leader" as well, as Allen led the AL in homers the previous season.

Later in the 1975 off-season, Allen ended up being traded from the Braves to the Phillies before he ever even played a game with ATL, giving the Phillies both league HR leaders from the previous season. I believe that was the first (and possibly only time) that ever happened in MLB history. Which, coincidentally, is what made me choose the Phillies as my favorite baseball team, which they remain to this day.

Erik said...

Ah, this card brings back wonderful memories for me.

I love this set, it was the first I collected as a eight year old boy.

I remember trading Hank Aaron straight up for Dick Allen right after opening a pack. Still no regrets on that trade.

This is probably my favorite card from the set as well.

Charlie said...

Batting helmet at first base reminds me of John Olerud which reminds me of the Rickey Henderson - Olerud story, which, sadly, never happened.