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. Â Before steroids, when ball girls could wear shorts, when cigars could be smoked in the stands, Â when 47 home runs in a season was a remarkable achievement, Â 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. Â Critics might quibble over Â 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. Â To call Dawson’s arm a cannon is simply an insult to Newtonian physics. Â 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. Â Think of how many beers where spilled in his honor by first-timers attempting this honorable tradition.
- 9-3 ground out: Â A runner took his time getting to first on a hit to right field, Â Dawson threw him out easily.
- Dawson’s stoic character made his occasional outbursts moreÂ meaningful. Â 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. Â A pitcher attempted to send Andre a message with aÂ viscousÂ pitch aimed for those sweet Jeri-curls. Â After hitting the ground andÂ convincingÂ his catcher and the umpire that he was fine, he started off for first base. Â After 4 or 5 nonchalant steps he sprinted directly towards the terrified pitcher. If memory serves, Â 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. Â 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. Â The ferocity that he played with day in and day out is a special trait that eludes all but the most elite baseball players. Â Â His longevity, milestone achievements, Â and dedication are enough testamentÂ to his quiet grit and fortitude.
Thanks for spending part of your career with us at Wrigley, Â the Tortured Fan Base salutes you!
Heartfelt, accurate, and well-said. The cannon, the geri-curls, the unexpected thievery of bases on bum knees, the monster shots, the heart of a gamer — Andre was a stud who should have entered the hall 8 years ago.
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