When Dick Allen passed away late in 2020, the baseball world took another hard look at a man who once stood among the greatest players in the game.

Many younger fans might have been surprised to hear about some of his accomplishments — the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1964, that 1972 American League MVP he won with the Chicago White Sox, 351 home runs with 1100+ RBI and a .292 lifetime batting average.

And that robust 58.8 WAR total (Baseball-Reference version) looks pretty swell to modern eyes with a statistical bent.

It just may have been one of those “where have you been hiding” experiences.

Allen, of course, never hid from anyone — injuries and a series of trades later in his career led to smaller overall numbers than might have seemed his destiny, but the man was nothing short of a superstar.

Card collectors knew early on that Allen was something special, and those cardboard reminders have been there through the ages.

Many of us were introduced to his on-field conquests in the 1982 Kmart set from Topps, the one that showed miniature versions of past MVP winners’ cards.

Allen was there in his ChiSox uniform (well, *listed* with the Sox, anyway):

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And, of course, there is his 1965 Topps card, which reminds us for all time that he was a Topps 1964 All-Star Rookie, thanks to that golden trophy:

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But maybe the card that puts it all into perspective is one he shares with a couple other players.

Take a gander at the 1967 Topps card celebrating the home runs leaders from 1966 in the National League:

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There was young Richie Allen, slotted between a couple of all-timers — Willie Mays finished 1966 in second place on the all-time homer list with 542, while Hank Aaron stood at 10th, an even 100 dingers behind the Say Hey Kid.

They were baseball’s power royalty … past, present, and future all tied together in a tiny swatch of cardboard.

And, while Allen may have fallen short of the career accomplishments of his older colleagues, he may yet join them in the Hall of Fame.

If he does, this 1967 Topps card is going to look pretty darn prescient.

(In a melancholy twist, Allen and Aaron passed away within several weeks of each other — Allen in December 2020, and Aaron in January 2021.)

Hobby Wow!

If you’re a Dick Allen collector who wants to have everything, this eBay lot would get you a step closer:

Those are full progression of 1973 Topps Candy Lids proofs and a 1972 Candy Lids test issue of the slugger.

Check out the full listing on eBay right here (affiliate link).

1967 Topps Baseball Cards - Commons

End Date: Thursday 05/02/2024 10:30:37 EDT
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