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Dick Allen is historically underrated, but this baseball card will not be.

“I must say this is my all time favorite card,” McCutchen replied.

A fun exchange between two great players, and we’ll take any opportunity to revisit Allen’s career, which probably should have led him to the Hall of Fame.

Allen, now 78, had an awesome 10-year peak – .299/.386/.554, full-season averages of 35 homers and 107 RBI. He won NL Rookie of the Year in 1964 with the Phillies and AL MVP with the White Sox in 1972.

The Phillies famously collapsed down the stretch in 1964 but that was no fault of Allen’s. He hit .419 with 10 extra-base hits and 12 RBI in their final 15 games.

Allen led the league in home runs twice (’72 and ’74), had four seasons with double-digit triples and three with 100+ RBI. He led the league in on-base percentage twice, slugging percentage three times and OPS four times.

In 2014, Allen fell one vote shy of the 12 needed for Hall of Fame election by the Golden Era committee, which meets again for a vote in 2021. It is expected that Allen will finally be enshrined this time around.

As for McCutchen, he will be ready for Opening Day a month from now, unlike he would have been on March 28. The picture on that baseball card was taken last July during Phillies retro night, six weeks after his ACL tear. He still brought positive vibes to his teammates through that rough period and is now ready to go.

McCutchen is one of the Phillies’ most important players, as illustrated last season when their collective on-base percentage from the leadoff spot plummeted to .295 after his season-ending injury. McCutchen had a .378 OBP and 10 home runs when he went down in San Diego. He had been one of baseball’s most productive leadoff men to that point.

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