12/23 The Hawk waits for HOF call
Andre Dawson’s wife Vanessa was determined to get their son, Darius, a pair of the latest Nike Air Jordan shoes for Christmas, which meant they had to be at the store by 5 a.m. Wednesday. Andre went with her.
“I told her, ‘Michael [Jordan] is sleeping, dreaming, and counting his millions and we’re out buying sneakers,’” Dawson said Wednesday from his Florida home.
They came away empty handed because the store didn’t have their son’s size. Dawson is hoping he gets better news on Jan. 6 when the Hall of Fame announces the induction class for 2010.
This will be Dawson’s ninth year on the ballot and it’s his best chance to get into Cooperstown. The former Cubs outfielder, who won the NL MVP in 1987, has heard from plenty of other players and Hall of Famers surprised the Hawk isn’t already enshrined.
“They say, ‘You should have been in already,’” Dawson said. “I hear that a lot. A lot of them say, ‘It’s going to happen.’ … A lot of people ask, ‘Why are they waiting?’ I obviously don’t have an answer for that. With no one ahead of me to hurdle, there’s a reason to be a little more optimistic.”
He’ll spend the day the same way as any other day, going to the gym in the morning. He’ll be home in time for the announcement.
“You want to be there when it is announced, just to get some of the feedback from the analysts on who got in and the reasons why the other players didn’t,” Dawson said. “That’s what I’ve had interest in the last few years is if the vote percentage is going up and how much.”
All the Baseball Writers Association of America voting members need to do is check with Dawson’s teammates, like Shawon Dunston. He worships the Hawk.
“When he was hurt, he just played and played and I was very impressed,” Dunston told me in September. “People always talk about intangibles. He had bad knees and never complained, not once. He never asked to come out of a game, if we were winning 10-0 or down 10-0. … He’s a true gentleman and a true professional.”
Dunston bonded with Dawson immediately. The shortstop was stationed between Ryne Sandberg and Dawson in the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field.
“They were two of the quietest people in the world,” Dunston said. “They didn’t say more than 10 words a day. … I learned from Andre and Ryno how to go about your business and never complain.”
– Carrie Muskat