Andre Dawson is going to Cooperstown
A big congratulations to the Hawk on his long deserved election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1987 must really have been a more innocent time. Before steroids, when ball girls could wear shorts, when cigars could be smoked in the stands, when 47 home runs in a season was a remarkable achievement, before upwardly spiraling salaries created a gulf of money separating the fans from the stars they adored.
Before there was an internet, there was a man named Andre.
Anyone who watched the Hawk knew he was destined for the Hall. Critics might quibble over imaginary numbers but the man is worthy on the basis of his fearsome arm alone.
I still have never seen another player throw a baseball the way #8 could.
At the park I sat transfixed – on TV they would be showing commercials but what you could see in between innings was well worth the price of admission. To call Dawson’s arm a cannon is simply an insult to Newtonian physics. He repeatedly and effortlessly tossed balls with absolutely no arc.
As a tribute to the man, we will reflect back on the moments in Cub history that made Andre into the Hawk.
- The courting of the Cubs with the infamous blank contract offer
- The ‘salaam’ that fans would use to salute him. Think of how many beers where spilled in his honor by first-timers attempting this honorable tradition.
- 9-3 ground out: A runner took his time getting to first on a hit to right field, Dawson threw him out easily.
- Dawson’s stoic character made his occasional outbursts more meaningful. When Dawson cleared the dugout of bats you knew it was because he wanted to play ball and not as a cheap ploy for attention.
- Being the scariest player on your team means some purpose pitches are headed your way. A pitcher attempted to send Andre a message with a viscous pitch aimed for those sweet Jeri-curls. After hitting the ground and convincing his catcher and the umpire that he was fine, he started off for first base. After 4 or 5 nonchalant steps he sprinted directly towards the terrified pitcher. If memory serves, he then banished the hurler to the fiery pits of Hades.
- When Andre hit one over the fence at Wrigley he hit one over a Tru-Link fence. Thanks to Andre I now have a fence installer/manufacturer preference for life.
When Dawson played at Wrigley he was unquestionably the best player on the field and the undisputed leader. The ferocity that he played with day in and day out is a special trait that eludes all but the most elite baseball players. His longevity, milestone achievements, and dedication are enough testament to his quiet grit and fortitude.
Thanks for spending part of your career with us at Wrigley, the Tortured Fan Base salutes you!