Andre Dawson

I stumbled across this video from July 23, 1991 where the Cubs beat the Reds 8-5. Not only do you get some classic WGN with Dan Roan  - who I believe is still there - but also appearances by Doug Dascenzo, Rob Dibble, Jim Essian and Lou Piniella in his Reds days.

As you'll see, it's also the game where Dibble throws at Dascenzo's legs out of frustration(1:48 mark); a moment Dibble admitted was on purpose since(at least I heard him say it on XM radio). I'm sure MLB will be forcing it off youtube at any moment, so be sure to check it out quickly. There's a variety of ways of downloading youtube videos to your computer if you want it for your archives, something I wish I did with the Soriano incident at WWE last year.

"Andre Dawson, the Hawk...no player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He's the best I've ever seen. The Hawk, I watched him win an MVP for a last place team in 1987. It was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way. I hope he will stand up here one day."

                          --Ryne Sandberg, in his Hall of Fame Induction Speech


No matter what hat his hall of fame plaque has, Andre Dawson will represent the Cubs honorably into Baseball's Shrine. This is a man who overcame his own obstacles, or more specifically his own knees. We all know that Dawson came to the Cubs in 1987 to flee the hard artificial turf of Montreal Olympic Stadium which was playing havoc with his knees.

Dawson might have never made it to Chicago, where he said he rejuvenated his career, were it not for the encouragement of his wife, Vanessa. Dawson was in so much pain in his fourth big league season because of a “fractured knee” that he told her he didn’t know if he could play any longer. Pain medication was barely getting him through games.

“The third (Darvocet) took the pain away but it came back at night. That’s why I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Dawson said. “And she looked at me and said, `You know you’re hurting now, but just see what the problem is because a year, two years from now you are going to regret walking away.”’

The last 10 years of his career (including 6 with the Cubs) were based in home parks where right field had mother natures own soft grass turf. This prolonged his career well beyond what most of his early teammates could have projected.

In 1985, then-Expos teammate Tim Wallach said of Dawson's perpetual struggles with his knees, "It hurts me as much as it hurts him. Sometimes I wish I could give him my knees. He never moans. He never complains. He has no excuses. Everyone here respects him."

Most watched in awe at the agony he put up with but few knew why Dawson had to methodically prepare for games and baseball seasons. He made it onto the field for 2627 games over 21 seasons.

In quite a shocker, the only player elected to the Hall of Fame today was Andre Dawson with 77.9%. Bert Blyleven just missed at 74.2% as did Roberto Alomar at 73.7%. Other former Cubs were Lee Smith (47.3%), Fred McGriff(21.5%), Eric Karros (0.4%), Todd Zeile(0) and bench coach Alan Trammell (22.4%).

These past few days I've been thinking. I've had the thought that maybe certain things are true and we need to accept them. For example:

  • Maybe Andre Dawson and Ron Santo really aren't hall of fame players. For the past few years they've done all sorts of changing of the way that the veterens committee elects members and all still come back with the same news for Ron. These are his peers that aren't seeing it. Perhaps we're simply blinded by the fact that we so badly want to see something go well for the guy. As for the hawk, maybe those days in Montreal on the turf cost him his spot.
  • Maybe trading Mark DeRosa, as unpopular as it was from a fan standpoint, was a good idea. You always hear the saying that it's better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. We've seen the latter in the last few years with guys like Marquis and we'll probably see it again with someone like Felix Pie. Perhaps Jim Hendry made the right call.
  • Maybe Kosuke Fukudome just needed a year to get used to the big leagues and he really won't suck in 2009. It would be a great help to us and would allow us to keep Milton Bradley as healthy as possible. Perhaps we just need to hold out hope.
  • Maybe Ronny Cedeno will finally learn to not be a retard with the mental errors. After all, we did agree to a contract with him today.
  • Maybe....just maybe...The Cubs will win a World Series in 2009.

Then again, maybe I'm retarded.

Rob invited us to pitch in with our Hall of Fame predictions on Sunday night, but I didn't have a chance to reply until now. Here goes:

I predict Ricky Henderson will receive somewhere around 511 votes, Jim Rice will finally get in the Hall with, oh, I'll say 76.4% of the vote, and two clowns will even cast ballots for Jay Bell.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter