When I was a kid, I got Dick Allen to autograph a baseball for me at the 1992 All-Star FanFest. I didn't own any of his cards or really know who he was, but I just knew he was a badass old ballplayer there to sign autographs, so why not.
I could count the number of in-person autographs I got as a kid on one hand, so I guess I'm a little sentimental about those interactions and when I returned to the hobby as an adult, Mr. Allen became one of my favorite before-my-time guys to collect.
I've built up a solid Dick Allen PC that's among the best logged at TCDB (ranked 2nd at last check), and have picked up a few old oddballs and unique items from the Topps Vault. I'd stop short at calling myself a supercollector because I'm not going to go nuts on big-money items. I'm sure there's plenty of obscure old stuff out there that I don't even bother looking for. And then there's modern cards with all the many parallels that a true supercollector would be compelled to rainbow.
So I like to think of myself as a semi-supercollector when it comes to Dick Allen. I don't try to get everything, but I'll round up a good sampling of what's out there. And this post will take a look at some recent pickups.
Dick Allen sadly passed away December 2020 at age 78. He remained a popular sports chat topic in 2021 as his Hall of Fame candidacy came up again. Unfortunately his posthumous run for the hall ended like his previous attempt, falling a single vote short of induction. Ouch. But oh well, I'll still keep on collecting him and have less competition than I would have had he gotten the "HOF" label applied to his legacy.
On the cardboard front, Topps basically ignored Dick Allen for over 15 years before finally giving him some love in 2021, showing up on a few checklists among the other stars of the past. While I'm chagrined Topps waited until Dick was no longer with us to start giving him modern cards again, at least there aren't a ton of certified autographs for me to track down and spend money on, to try to look on the bright side about it.
But yeah, I had been clamoring for years for Topps to put Dick in sets like Archives and Ginter, and it sucks that they wait till he dies to include him. Chances are he signed a new contract with Topps in 2020, possibly even got sent a box of cards to autograph and return for inclusion in 2021 products but his failing health scuttled those plans. Who knows?
But anyways, let's take a look at some new Dick Allen cards I've added in recent months.
I'm missing the following:
base variation: 70 Years of Baseball Emblem (instead of 50)
Red Hot Foil /50 variation: 70 Years of Baseball Emblem (instead of 50)
Blue Foil /25
Blank Back 1/1
FoilFractor 1/1 variation: 70 Years of Baseball Emblem (instead of 50)
I'd like to eventually pick up a Blue Foil parallel-- preferably the christmas card-- but other than that I don't plan to sweat the 1/1s and dumb 70 Years variations, so this rainbow isn't likely to ever reach its pot of gold. But I'd say that's a fine looking run of cards above that I'm happy to have in the PC.
While drafting this post, I learned Dick's in 2022 Topps Pristine, too. Gotta say I hadn't expected Topps to continue putting him in their new products, not after the epic HOF diss, so that's cool.
I just scored this encased refractor for $1.50 plus shipping. Kind of disappointing Topps picked such a similar shot to the Archives photo, but at least now Dick's in the road uni. I might try picking up a parallel or two, but don't plan to hit the rainbow hard this time out.
And I had never gotten around to making my own custom from Allen's time in Oakland (despite longing for such a card), so I was very pleased to see that '78 that-should've-been enter the physical realm in a recent WTHB release. Authentically off-center, lol.
That wraps up the update to my Dick Allen semi-supercollection. My interest in today's cards continues to dwindle, but as long as he keeps getting new cards, I'll at least try to sprinkle some examples in the ol' PC. Thanks for stopping by.