1987 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Signs 1-Year ‘Blank Contract’ With The Chicago Cubs
And as they say, the rest was history…
After 11 years as an Expos player, Andre and the Expos were at an impasse while negotiating a contract for future employment. The Expos wanted to low-ball the superstar, and Dawson wanted to be paid comparably to his peers. Fed up with their shenanigans, Dawson walked out.
Enter the Chicago Cubs. Dawson wanted to play for a team that had its home games on real grass as he felt that the artificial turf would end his playing days prematurely. Wrigley Field obliged him. Dawson visited the team during Spring practice causing a minor media frenzy as this kind of bold move was not commonplace in that era. He finally met with the team’s management and offered up a ‘blank contract’ In a ‘Pay me what you think I’m worth’ move, Dawson was offered a 1-year $650,000 contract, and while still relatively low at the time for an established star, he signed.
Then he went out on a mission to prove to the Expos that they made a huge mistake and to the Cubs that they got a bargain!!
The result: .287 batting average, 49 home runs, 137 RBI, 178 hits, 90 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, a trip to the All-star game, A Gold Glove award, and the grand prize of being named the National League’s MVP!!!
I’d say that the Cubs got a steal with that one, huh…