Contributor | Don Hunt
The Phillies opened its regular season with a 10-inning 3-2 win against the powerful Atlanta Braves on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. While this season could be an exciting one with standouts Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen, it will certainly have special significance.
The Phillies will recognize former star Dick Allen, who passed away on Dec. 7, 2020, by wearing a patch with his number on their jerseys.
“In September 2020, prior to Dick Allen’s death, the Phillies paid tribute to his storied career by retiring No. 15, making it only the seventh number to be retired by the Phillies. In addition, the club will honor the late beloved slugger by wearing a No. 15 on its jerseys for the 2021 regular season. As one of the most influential players in our team’s history, Dick is truly deserving of these honors,” in a statement from the Phillies.
Allen’s slugging percentage is second-best in Phillies history, behind only Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (.553), and he ranks 10th in home runs. Allen led the league in OPS four times in his career, including twice with the Phillies in 1966 (1.027) and 1967 (.970).
Allen was a trailblazer. He was one of the early African Americans to play for the Phillies during the Civil Rights Movement.
Allen was one of the greatest sluggers of his era. He had the fifth-most home runs (319) among all major league players over an 11-year span (1964-74) behind Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron (391), Harmon Killebrew (336), Willie Stargell (335) and Willie McCovey (327).