clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

One statistic that indicates Dick Allen was the greatest pure hitter in Phillies history

New, 2 comments

The numbers don’t lie.

Baseball Player Richard Allen During Spring Training

Virtually the entire baseball world agrees on something.

Dick Allen should be in the Hall of Fame.

That he wasn’t inducted when he was first eligible is a travesty, but not surprising. Allen was a misunderstood and controversial figure and, given the fact many of the sportswriters he sparred with were also the ones doing the voting and the lack of understanding of metrics outside of total hits and homers by most of those writers, Allen’s time on the ballot quickly came and went.

Since then, the case for his enshrinement has grown and, if the Golden Era Committee had seen fit to vote via Zoom rather than postpone their vote because they couldn’t meet face to face, Allen might have been alive to see himself get that final vote he didn’t receive six years ago, when the committee first reconsidered him.

Regardless, Allen’s No. 15 was retired by the Phillies earlier this year and fans have finally started to recognize him for what he was... one of the greatest players in franchise history.

On Episode 439 of Hittin’ Season, I spoke with Mitch Nathanson, author of “God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen,” about the life and times of Allen. The full interview can be heard below:

And as part of our Dick Allen tribute, The Dirty Inning also featured Allen on their podcast, talking about one of the greatest home runs the massive slugger ever slugged.

So where does Allen rank among the all-time among Phillies hitters? Speaking from a pure offensive standpoint, taking into consideration the era he played (the 1960s) and the ballparks he played in, Allen was the most effective hitter in team history.

Results
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Dick Allen 153 4511 1963 1976 3935 697 1143 204 64 204 655 517 .290 .371 .530 .902
2 Gavvy Cravath 153 4239 1912 1920 3618 525 1054 222 72 117 676 503 .291 .381 .489 .871
3 Mike Schmidt 147 10062 1972 1989 8352 1506 2234 408 59 548 1595 1507 .267 .380 .527 .908
4 Sherry Magee 143 6314 1904 1914 5505 898 1647 337 127 75 886 546 .299 .371 .447 .818
5 Bobby Abreu 139 5885 1998 2006 4857 891 1474 348 42 195 814 947 .303 .416 .513 .928
6 Chuck Klein 139 5773 1928 1944 5238 963 1705 336 64 243 983 471 .326 .382 .553 .935
7 John Kruk 138 3001 1989 1994 2559 403 790 145 29 62 390 408 .309 .400 .461 .861
8 Greg Luzinski 133 5321 1970 1980 4630 618 1299 253 21 223 811 572 .281 .363 .489 .852
9 Dolph Camilli 132 2322 1934 1937 1985 347 585 95 28 92 333 319 .295 .395 .510 .905
10 Cy Williams 131 5786 1918 1930 5077 825 1553 237 49 217 795 551 .306 .380 .500 .880
11 Jayson Werth 130 2114 2007 2010 1798 320 507 99 9 95 300 274 .282 .380 .506 .885
12 John Titus 127 5088 1903 1912 4346 649 1209 216 64 31 475 536 .278 .368 .379 .746
13 Scott Rolen 126 3643 1996 2002 3125 533 880 207 19 150 559 426 .282 .373 .504 .877
14 Ryan Howard 125 6531 2004 2016 5707 848 1475 277 21 382 1194 709 .258 .343 .515 .859
15 Roy Thomas 125 5089 1900 1911 4082 786 1186 68 38 6 217 831 .291 .416 .330 .747
16 Tony Gonzalez 123 4194 1960 1968 3758 514 1110 185 50 77 438 341 .295 .359 .433 .792
17 Chase Utley 122 6617 2003 2015 5748 949 1623 346 49 233 916 625 .282 .366 .481 .847
18 Lenny Dykstra 122 3374 1989 1996 2873 515 829 177 26 51 251 459 .289 .388 .422 .810
19 Johnny Callison 122 5930 1960 1969 5306 774 1438 265 84 185 666 513 .271 .338 .457 .795
20 Ron Northey 121 2286 1942 1957 2069 238 556 106 22 60 273 197 .269 .335 .428 .763
21 Del Ennis 120 6939 1946 1956 6327 891 1812 310 65 259 1124 539 .286 .344 .479 .823
22 Pat Burrell 119 5388 2000 2008 4535 655 1166 253 14 251 827 785 .257 .367 .485 .852
23 Don Hurst 119 3603 1928 1934 3124 497 946 185 28 112 598 383 .303 .382 .488 .869
24 Von Hayes 118 4988 1983 1991 4306 646 1173 232 30 124 568 619 .272 .363 .427 .789
25 Dave Hollins 117 2101 1990 2002 1778 315 457 87 13 67 273 264 .257 .361 .434 .795
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
26 Stan Lopata 117 2975 1948 1958 2545 375 655 116 25 116 393 389 .257 .355 .459 .814
27 Deron Johnson 115 2161 1969 1973 1897 213 477 82 8 88 304 235 .251 .333 .442 .775
28 Fred Luderus 115 5308 1910 1920 4760 557 1322 249 52 83 630 407 .278 .340 .404 .744
29 Darren Daulton 114 4188 1983 1997 3504 489 858 189 23 134 567 607 .245 .357 .427 .783
30 Hans Lobert 113 2164 1911 1914 1876 312 549 84 30 19 212 176 .293 .357 .400 .757
31 John Briggs 112 2274 1964 1971 1944 286 488 85 24 52 209 300 .251 .349 .400 .749
32 Richie Ashburn 111 8223 1948 1959 7122 1114 2217 287 97 22 499 946 .311 .394 .388 .782
33 Spud Davis 111 2713 1928 1939 2462 234 790 134 11 53 363 197 .321 .374 .449 .823
34 Dode Paskert 111 4021 1911 1917 3434 551 933 175 47 28 291 433 .272 .357 .374 .732
35 Andy Seminick 110 3449 1943 1957 2936 385 716 102 21 123 411 450 .244 .351 .419 .770
36 Bake McBride 109 2289 1977 1981 2109 299 616 106 32 44 258 131 .292 .335 .435 .770
37 Dick Sisler 108 2019 1948 1951 1809 227 519 89 18 39 241 176 .287 .352 .421 .772
38 Freddy Leach 106 2180 1923 1928 2040 283 636 116 27 44 301 77 .312 .341 .460 .801
39 Shane Victorino 105 3977 2005 2012 3571 582 998 181 63 88 390 309 .279 .345 .439 .784
40 Juan Samuel 105 3780 1983 1989 3503 523 921 176 71 100 413 208 .263 .310 .439 .749
41 Willie Montanez 105 2592 1970 1982 2334 274 620 123 15 63 327 209 .266 .326 .412 .738
42 Ricky Jordan 104 2190 1988 1994 2076 257 585 116 10 54 300 76 .282 .308 .425 .734
43 Odubel Herrera 102 2492 2015 2019 2280 294 630 122 16 60 233 171 .276 .333 .423 .756
44 Mike Lieberthal 102 4613 1994 2006 4141 528 1137 255 10 150 609 331 .275 .338 .450 .788
45 Willie Jones 102 6241 1947 1959 5419 735 1400 232 32 180 753 693 .258 .343 .413 .756
46 Russ Wrightstone 102 3256 1920 1928 2967 424 885 152 34 59 420 212 .298 .350 .432 .782
47 Pete Rose 101 3232 1979 1983 2841 390 826 139 18 8 255 325 .291 .365 .361 .726
48 Possum Whitted 101 2091 1915 1919 1902 222 522 79 25 13 216 96 .274 .311 .363 .673
49 Carlos Ruiz 100 3884 2006 2016 3378 388 898 213 7 68 401 386 .266 .352 .393 .745
50 Pinky Whitney 100 4768 1928 1939 4322 554 1329 237 48 69 734 324 .307 .357 .432 .789
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
51 Johnny Mokan 100 2060 1922 1927 1795 266 526 92 14 32 256 192 .293 .367 .413 .780
52 Garry Maddox 99 5039 1975 1986 4696 556 1333 249 42 85 566 250 .284 .320 .409 .729
53 Dave Cash 99 2238 1974 1976 2052 292 608 80 26 7 171 156 .296 .348 .371 .719
54 Pinky May 99 2547 1939 1943 2215 210 610 102 11 4 215 261 .275 .354 .337 .691
55 Kitty Bransfield 99 3196 1905 1911 2976 270 802 136 34 11 359 118 .269 .300 .349 .649
56 Johnny Wyrostek 98 2270 1946 1954 1988 256 538 96 20 21 208 242 .271 .353 .371 .724
57 Cesar Hernandez 97 3282 2013 2019 2915 407 807 113 27 46 253 325 .277 .352 .381 .733
58 Jimmy Rollins 97 9511 2000 2014 8628 1325 2306 479 111 216 887 753 .267 .327 .424 .751
59 Gregg Jefferies 97 2018 1995 1998 1843 261 529 95 11 37 203 153 .287 .340 .411 .751
60 Placido Polanco 96 2963 2002 2012 2685 365 776 127 6 51 281 187 .289 .341 .398 .739
61 Dave Bancroft 94 2903 1915 1920 2523 331 634 89 20 14 162 289 .251 .330 .319 .649
62 Maikel Franco 93 2539 2014 2019 2338 279 583 110 4 102 343 173 .249 .302 .431 .733
63 Rico Brogna 92 2022 1997 2000 1856 247 491 115 8 65 300 143 .265 .316 .440 .756
64 Dick Bartell 92 2703 1931 1934 2359 386 695 146 23 2 161 211 .295 .358 .379 .737
65 Glenn Wilson 91 2266 1984 1987 2102 226 557 111 14 49 271 132 .265 .307 .401 .708
66 Eddie Waitkus 91 2566 1949 1955 2313 293 649 118 18 9 197 235 .281 .348 .359 .707
67 Bob Boone 90 4152 1972 1981 3690 349 957 172 21 65 456 365 .259 .325 .370 .695
68 Manny Trillo 89 2022 1979 1982 1860 197 516 85 14 19 160 111 .277 .321 .369 .689
69 Fresco Thompson 89 2597 1927 1930 2332 369 700 141 32 12 219 186 .300 .353 .404 .756
70 Tony Taylor 88 6424 1960 1976 5799 737 1511 219 63 51 461 477 .261 .322 .346 .668
71 Don Money 88 2097 1968 1972 1885 202 455 87 16 42 200 160 .241 .302 .371 .674
72 Otto Knabe 88 4055 1907 1913 3436 468 856 124 43 5 280 377 .249 .328 .315 .643
73 Kid Gleason 87 2512 1903 1908 2228 279 558 79 21 2 181 148 .250 .300 .307 .608
74 Mickey Morandini 86 3829 1990 2000 3413 434 911 169 44 20 254 310 .267 .334 .360 .694
75 Kevin Stocker 85 2121 1993 1997 1840 223 482 82 19 14 172 211 .262 .347 .350 .697
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
76 Eddie Grant 85 2285 1907 1910 2076 240 536 50 20 2 155 119 .258 .301 .304 .605
77 Clay Dalrymple 84 3331 1960 1968 2881 225 674 95 22 50 312 351 .234 .319 .334 .653
78 Granny Hamner 84 6222 1944 1959 5772 707 1518 271 61 103 705 350 .263 .305 .385 .689
79 Cookie Rojas 82 3369 1963 1969 3104 379 812 113 13 29 253 171 .262 .300 .334 .635
80 Jimmie Wilson 81 2778 1923 1938 2545 305 732 119 11 22 315 172 .288 .334 .369 .703
81 Bernie Friberg 81 2885 1925 1932 2504 307 686 113 24 20 245 297 .274 .352 .362 .714
82 Doug Glanville 79 3425 1998 2004 3161 440 873 134 26 49 272 173 .276 .315 .382 .697
83 Freddy Galvis 77 2440 2012 2017 2265 236 555 92 20 52 233 128 .245 .287 .372 .659
84 Heinie Sand 77 3528 1923 1928 3033 457 781 145 32 18 251 382 .258 .343 .344 .688
85 Mickey Doolin 76 5017 1905 1913 4572 383 1077 194 63 11 445 272 .236 .282 .313 .595
86 Red Dooin 73 4092 1902 1914 3832 321 922 137 29 10 335 150 .241 .273 .299 .572
87 Larry Bowa 72 7358 1970 1981 6815 816 1798 206 81 13 421 359 .264 .301 .324 .624
88 Bill Killefer 62 2095 1911 1917 1958 149 471 56 13 4 156 57 .241 .268 .289 .557
89 Bobby Wine 59 2113 1960 1968 1943 159 420 65 12 23 176 122 .216 .262 .297 .559
Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 12/10/2020.

OPS+ takes a player’s on-base plus slugging percentage, normalizes the number across the entire league, and accounts for external factors like ballparks. It then adjusts on a scale of 100, which is considered league average. So, an OPS+ of 150 is 50 percent better than the league average.

In this case, based on Phillies players with at least 2,000 career plate appearances, Allen’s career OPS of .902 was 53% better than the players of that era. Only Gavvy Cravath was as good as Allen, also with an OPS+ of 153. Mike Schmidt, generally considered the greatest player in Phils history, was third at 147, but one must also consider that Schmidt accumulated 10,062 plate appearances over the course of his Phils career, while Allen tallied less than half that, 4,511. So yes, Schmidt was only a few points behind and did it for a much longer stretch. If one were to ask who the best hitter in team history was, Schmidt is still probably the correct answer.

But Allen’s OPS+ puts into context just how great he was during the time he played, specifically his first six years, 1964-69. That he played that well while dealing with being the team’s first true black superstar in a city that lashed out against him during a tumultuous time in the city’s history, is even more incredible.

Make sure to check out both podcasts for more on Allen’s legacy with the Phillies. While he may not indeed be the best hitter in Phillies history, he was, during his time, the most dominant.