On Sunday night, four MLB greats learned that they'd officially be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Golden Days Era Committee, and all four are deserving choices.
Gil Hodges, a fearsome slugger at first base with eight All-Star nods and a great glove to boot. Jim Kaat, a near 300-game winner but perhaps known even more for his fielding prowess from the mound. Minnie Minoso, a consistent and versatile star whose career spanned not two, not three, but five decades. Tony Oliva, a hitting machine with reliable offensive production throughout his career in Minnesota.
And perhaps more deserving than any of them, at least according to certain metrics — including career WAR — is longtime Phillies star Dick Allen. But instead of joining his peers from the Golden Days Era, he's on the outside looking in once more.
Allen earned 11 votes from the 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate, made up of prominent names including Joe Torre, Ozzie Smith and several others. 12 were needed for induction, and that's exactly the number that Hodges, Kaat and Oliva received. Minoso, meanwhile, earned 14 out of the 16 votes. No other player on the ballot, some of which were Roger Maris, Ken Boyer and Maury Wills, received even three votes.
But it's all the same: Allen's time has not yet come, and fans aren't happy about it.
Allen finished his career with 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI and a .292/.378/.534 slash line. His career OPS of .912 is higher than names like Mike Schmidt, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell and several other Hall of Fame greats. In 1972, he took home the MVP Award with the Chicago White Sox and registered a 199 adjusted OPS+, a stat in which he ranks at No. 23 all-time (via Stathead).