Dick Allen, former MLB slugger, and Roger Moret, former MLB pitcher, each passed away today, it has been announced. Allen was 78. Moret was 71.
Allen was one of the best hitters in baseball during his time in the majors, winning the Rookie of the Year Award as a 22 year old for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964, a season where he also finished 7th in the MVP balloting, slashing .318/.382/.557. Allen was an early Three True Outcomes player, and over a 10 year stretch was one of the best players in baseball, putting up a 54.5 bWAR from 1964-73 while slashing .299/.387/.553, good for a 165 OPS+, and including an A.L. MVP Award with the Chicago White Sox in 1972.
Allen put up a 3.8 bWAR with the ChiSox in 1974, but after that was largely done, being limited to role player status for the final three years of his career due to injuries, a problem that bedeviled him even during his prime (he had four years in that dominant 10 year stretch where he played in 122 or fewer games). Allen was also a lightning rod for controversy, being labeled by some as a malcontent at a time when simply being outspoken and African American was enough to garner that label.
Allen’s Hall of Fame case has been hampered by his relatively short career (his 58.8 career bWAR was accumulated almost entirely from 1964-74, with a cup of coffee in 1963 and roughly replacement level performance in a part-time role from 1975-77) and the fact that he played third base, first base and left field, making it harder to pigeonhole him in a particular position where he could be compared to his peers. His raw numbers were also dampened by virtue of his having played in perhaps the most pitcher-friendly period in the live ball era — his 156 OPS+ has him tied with Frank Thomas and Willie Mays for 19th all time.
Moret spent nine years in the majors, from 1970-78, with the final two years of his career coming with the Texas Rangers. Moret began his career with the Boston Red Sox, was traded to the Atlanta Braves in December, 1975, for future Texas Rangers pitching coach Tom House, and then was sent to Texas along with four other players and $250,000 for Jeff Burroughs in December, 1976.
Moret had a career 3.66 ERA in 723 major league innings, with a 7.4 career bWAR. He is perhaps best known for an incident in his final season, when he was found standing in the locker room holding a shower shoe in a catatonic state. He was taken to a psychiatric facility and placed on the disabled list, and he only pitched six more games after that.