Dick Allen #15 of the Chicago White Sox looks on from the dugout during a Major League Baseball game circa 1972. Allen played for the White Sox from 1972-74. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1972: Dick Allen #15 of the Chicago White Sox looks on from the dugout during an Major League Baseball game circa 1972. Allen played for the White Sox from 1972-74. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Dick Allen died a year ago today, which means a lot of the practical benefits that come with a Hall of Fame induction went with him. He's not here to enjoy it. Fans, friends and family can't watch him enjoy it. Someone else would make his Hall of Fame speech come induction time. His election would be a missed opportunity no matter what.

But all of that is moot because Allen missed the cut. Again. Voters on two distinct committees elected six new Hall of Famers on Sunday but the Golden Days Era group whiffed on Allen. Even though Allen was the best hitter in MLB from 1964-1974, he can't seem to get meaningful respect for such a distinction. The best. That's right; Allen was better in total as a hitter than Hank Aaron, better than Willie Mays, better than Frank Robinson, better than you-name-him, over the first 11 seasons of his career with the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers and White Sox. Of all the statistics that support Allen's election to the Hall of Fame, this one must be the most persuasive. You look at many of Allen's counting statistics — most notably his 351 career home runs — and they don't scream "Hall of Fame." If they did, he would have gotten in long ago. There’s a layer of nuance to Allen belonging in Cooperstown. Only a narrow view of his stats, along a the baloney narrative about him being a poor teammate — that reporter Graham Womack debunked six years ago in The Sporting News — have kept him out.

Why did the Baseball Writers Association of America never see it with Allen? He never got more than 18.9 percent of the vote in the 14 years he was on their ballot until he fell off after 1997. That lack of respect, along with race-related character assassinations in the media during and after his career that painted him as a bad teammate, and being traded five times in 6 1/2 years by ownership that couldn't handle an outspoken Black star player, which unfairly diminished Allen's standing in MLB. Racism, bureaucracy and statistical illiteracy conspired to make Allen a kind of outlaw.

Just because it takes one or five decades too many, it doesn’t mean a person doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Sunday otherwise was a day to celebrate, with Afro-Latino pioneer Minnie Miñoso, along with Negro Leagues champion Buck O'Neil finally, deservedly getting their recognition from Hall voters. But electors missing again with Allen makes those victories feel less fulfilling.

What can be done about this injustice? For the next five years, not much. The Golden Days era committee doesn't meet again until 2026. Provided that Allen's name is on the ballot again, all we can do while we wait is complain. And make suggestions.

One: voters should be allowed to pick more than four names per ballot. If these committees only meet every five years, voters should be allowed to vote for whomever they want. The Hall of Fame doesn't want too many new members in a given year, so they put limits on how many candidates you can vote for. With 10 or 15 new electees, it makes a hypothetical induction potentially unworkable. Still, either you're all Hall of Famer or you're not. If there happen to be 10 or 20 in a given year, then it can be made to work.

Or, if they limit the number of votes per ballot, the committees should meet every other year instead of every five. Going back to Allen no longer being alive, the Hall should want new members to be living for their inductions if possible. For forgotten players of the 19th century, this might not be possible. For players like Allen who played into the late 1970s or early '80s, every year counts. Every five years counts too much. 

For those who aren't on a committee and watch from the sidelines, all we can do is wait. And periodically complain or offer suggestions to improve the process. It’s a long time to twiddle your thumbs. There's an old saying by Rogers Hornsby revered by many that can be modified to fit Allen's situation.

"People ask me what I do in winter when Dick Allen misses the Hall of Fame by one vote. I'll tell you what I do: I stare out the window and wait for the next Golden Days Era committee to conduct its election again."

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