This card is an all-time favorite of mine – the colorful 1975 design shows Allen with an All-Star badge (in the ’74 Midsummer Classic he batted cleanup and started at first base, the third straight year he was voted a starter) and gives us an action shot of Allen ready for action, wearing the Chicago powder blue road uniform, plus his signature glasses and batting helmet.
Dick had been the 1972 AL MVP, when he led the league in homers, RBI, walks, OB%, and Slugging. He played just 72 games in an injury-plagued ’73, but still managed 16 HR and a .316 average. Allen rebounded by leading the league again in 1974 with 32 HR and a .563 SLG%, but the year ended on a terrible note when with 16 games remaining Allen left the club – he blamed it on an injury, then later on a feud with Ron Santo. He was traded that winter to the Braves, but Allen refused to play there, and was eventually dealt to the Phillies.
Though this 1975 issue still lists Allen as a White Sox, he never played for the team again, and while he still had some good moments for the Phillies and A’s, never approached his ’74 numbers again before retiring after the 1977 campaign. This card serves as a reminder of Dick’s final All-Star season, and an excellent career that could have been so much more.