1/6/10 Congrats to the Hawk
Go ahead, Cubs fans, and bow for Andre Dawson just as you did when he patrolled right at Wrigley Field. He’s finally in the Hall of Fame.
Dawson made it on his ninth try, receiving 77.9 percent of the vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Last year, he missed the cut with 67 percent. The slender outfielder with the rifle arm known as “The Hawk” will be inducted July 25 in Cooperstown along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey.
Dawson was the only player selected by the BBWAA.
Mel Didier, who was the Expos scouting director and originally drafted Dawson, was giddy.
“This is one of the greatest moments of my life because he’s one of the best persons to ever walk,” Didier said Wednesday. “And the work he put in to be great — oh man!”
Dawson won eight Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger Awards in a career spanning 21 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins. He won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, finished second in the MVP race two other times, was a seven-time All-Star starter, won eight Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. He finished with 438 home runs and 314 steals. Barry Bonds and Willie Mays are the only other players in the 400-300 club.
He totaled more hits than Ted Williams, more RBIs than Willie Stargell and Willie McCovey.
Of the 18 players eligible for the Hall of Fame who have 1,500 RBIs and 400 homers, all are in Cooperstown except Dawson.
A .279 career hitter with 438 home runs, 1,591 runs batted in and 314 stolen bases, Dawson was the Rookie of the Year with the Expos in 1977 and the MVP in 1987 with the Cubs. The eight-time All-Star underwent 12 knee surgeries during his career but ended up with more than 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, a feat achieved by only two other players in history, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds.
What cap will Dawson wear? When I talked to him before Christmas, and asked Dawson that question, he laughed, and said, “You know which one.” I’d bet it’s a Cubs cap.
– Carrie Muskat