A stunning new mural will honor Dick Allen, iconic Philadelphia Phillies star

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A new mural design honoring the Philadelphia Phillies' late great Dick Allen was revealed on Thursday, Dec. 7 in South Philadelphia, thanks to a partnership between Mural Arts Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, and the Phillies organization.

Located only a few city blocks from the former location of The Vet at 2221 S. Broad Street, the mural is expected to be completed in Spring of 2024.

A fitting tribute to a Phillies icon

The importance of Dick Allen to the City of Philadelphia and the Phillies organization can't be overstated. During a nine-year run with the Phillies, split up over two stints (1963-1969, 1975-1976), Allen is considered by many to be the first black superstar for the franchise. While dealing with racial prejudice during his 1960s run, he took home the Rookie of the Year Award in 1964 and was a three-time All-Star over three consecutive seasons in 1965,1966, and 1967.

The Phillies have honored Allen before. In 1994, the organization inducted him into the team's Wall of Fame. It's a fitting accolade for a player who hit .290 with 204 home runs and 655 RBI during his time wearing red pinstripes.

In 2020, the Phillies again honored Allen by retiring his number 15, a long overdue gesture that preserves Allen's legacy and status as a Philadelphia sports icon for generations to come. The timing of having his number retired couldn't have been better, as Allen passed away on Dec. 7, 2020. Three years to the day of his passing, the mural revealed on Thursday is the latest tribute.

But shouldn't there be one more?

Will Dick Allen be a Hall of Famer?

Dick Allen finished his 15-year Major League career with a more than respectable stat line. With a .292 career batting average, 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI and 58.7 WAR, Allen was clearly a slugger who was feared in his prime. A one-time MVP with the Chicago White Sox in 1972, Allen was also a seven-time All-Star during his stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago White Sox.

So why isn't Dick Allen in Cooperstown?

That's a question that frustrates Phillies fans. Not selected by baseball writers for enshrinement during his initial run, Dick Allen has appeared on the ballot again, first in 2014 with the Veterans Committee, and in 2021 on the Golden Eras panel. Twice, he came up one vote shy. With the Golden Era committee set to vote next in 2025, it's still possible Allen will receive the 12 votes necessary when that panel meets again. Will the voters get it right this time?

Baseball is one of those sports where certain career numbers carry a lot of weight with beat writers and other Hall of Fame voters. Dick Allen's Cooperstown case is similar to those of players like Jim Rice and Tony Perez. What Allen, Rice, and Perez all have in common is they had substantial offensive peaks but didn't have the career-length to become accumulators.

Harold Baines is a classic example of an accumulator. Baines was undoubtedly a great player, but 22 years in the league will boost career milestones in certain statistical categories. The recently retired Miguel Cabrera is the next shining example of numbers padding the stat sheet when he appears on the ballot in seven years.

The formally named Veterans Committee later got it right with Rice and Perez, but that's the kind of bias Allen receives from voters who still find themselves on the fence. If voters can look more at a sustained peak of offensive dominance and consider that not all great ball players are destined to have careers as long as some classic accumulators like Harold Baines, Allen will have a better chance in 2025.

Finger's crossed that we'll see Dick Allen's plaque on the wall in Cooperstown soon.

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