Dick Allen belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Let's get that out of the way with right off the bat. I'm one of them, the growing list of supporters for this man to be enshrined there as a player.
He is a finalist on the 'Golden Era' ballot, which selects an old-timer once every three years. The results for that slot will be announced in a little over a week from now.
Allen was born on March 8th, 1942 in the middle of World War II out in Wampum, Pennsylvania, a tiny borough less than an hour from Pittsburgh, not far from the west-central state line.
Raised in a rural part of the state, Allen developed a love of horses early in life from his father. It would be a love that he would carry into and through adulthood, right up to the present day.
One of five boys raised in a mostly white town, he doesn't remember much personal experience with prejudice, despite the 1950's still being a time of segregation in much of the country.