Daily Archives: July 10, 2009

Sending Out Another Package To Andre Dawson…

 I’ve got another care package going out to Andre Dawson today.

Included are a few more baseball cards along with a donation to his foundation.  I have asked for some special inscriptions to be added to the cards and will share the results with you when they return.

I have also added a ’20 Questions’ interview that I am hoping Andre will take the time to answer for me.  I made the questions pretty easy and 2-3 word answers should be able to knock out most of what I have asked.  This is my third request for an interview with ‘The Hawk’ but it is my first attempt in this manner.  We’ll see how that goes…

Lastly, I have included a birthday card for Andre.  Everyone likes to get cards in the mail on their ‘special day’ and I am guessing that Andre Dawson is no different. 

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That Magnificnet 1987 MVP Season!!!

The 1987 baseball season was easily the greatest single-season in Andre Dawson’s career.  In his first year with the Chicago Cubs, Dawson certainly proved his worth to the team and quickly became it’s best all-around player.

The acknowledgements that year kept pouring in – National League All-star, Gold Glove Award winner, Silver Slugger Bat, and the ultimate prize being the National League Most Valuable Player trophy!!!

And their was good reason for all of these acknowledgements.  Dawson’s numbers were incredible in ’87. 

Check ’em out : 178 hits, .278 batting average, 90 runs scored, 49 home runs(career high), 137 RBI(career high), 11 stolen bases, .568 slugging percentage, .986 fielding percentage, just 4 errors made in the field, and 12 outfield assists!!!

Awesome stuff.  Way to go ‘Hawk’!!!! 

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Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy Have Something To Do With Andre Dawson Not Being In The Hall Of Fame…

As a fan of everything 80’s when it comes to baseball, I have a true appreciation for the sport’s greatest stars from that era.  And while I have my favorites, as we all do, I have no problem acknowledging that at times there were better players in the sport than the guys I had tagged as my ‘favorites’.

But when it comes down to how these players have been treated since their departure from the game, I get a little testy.  Andre Dawson is a Hall of Fame worthy player and I will not listen to an argument that goes against my belief in this.

With that being said, I fully understand that if Dawson had done a few more things over the course of his 21 years in the majors his enshrinement into Cooperstown would have already had taken place.

2 of the easiest ways this could have been accomplshied came during the 1981 and 1983 baseball seasons.  In both of those campaigns Andre finished second in the MVP race to two very deserving players – Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy.  I am a big fan of both of those players, but I would easily trade their trophies in and give them to ‘The Hawk’ if it would help him earn his spot in Cooperstown.

Here is a breakdown of those 2 second place finishes for the MVP award:

1981 Hits Average Runs Steals Home Runs RBI Strikeouts Slugging  Notes
Andre Dawson 119 0.302 71 26 24 64 50 0.553 AS, GG, SS
Mike Schmidt 112 0.316 78 12 31 91 71 0.644 AS, GG, SS
                   
1983 Hits Average Runs Steals Home Runs RBI Strikeouts Slugging  Notes
Andre Dawson 189 0.299 104 25 32 113 81 0.539 AS, GG, SS
Dale Murphy 178 0.302 131 30 36 121 110 0.54 AS, GG, SS

 

I am not trying to say that Dawson was better than either of these 2 baseball superstars.  But comparisons can easily be made to their accomplishments during these years and it can be argued that Andre Dawson could have been a 3-time MVP Award winner!!!

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Dawson’s Jersey Deserves To Be Hanging Somewhere!!!

Prior to shutting down their operations and moving to Washington DC to be renamed the Washington Nationals, the Montreal Expos had retired Andre Dawson’s #10 jersey.  A special honor held for baseball’s elite players, this gesture by the team showed just how much Dawson meant to the team over the course of his 11 seasons North of the border.

While this was a very special acknowledgement, the lasting impact of it faded quickly.  When the Expos became the Nationals back in 2005 they put the three retired Expos numbers right back into the available list of numbers that a player could select. 

Overnight, the tributes to the three greatest Expos players of All-time vanished – no more tributes to Andre Dawson or Gary Carter or Tim Raines.  What a terrible way to erase the impact these three players had on that franchise.

While Dawson’s greatest single season came as a member of the Chicago Cubs, he had his greatest successes while playing in Montreal.  And although I would personally love to see it, I doubt that Andre’s 6 years in Chicago or 2 years in Boston or 2 years in Florida are enough to get his number retired by any of those teams.

This whole thing is a shame, and it’s terrible that what ‘The Hawk’ did for the Expos has basically been erased.

If my Home Owner’s Association was not so strict I would paint a huge white circle on the side of my house and add a ’10’ smack-dab in the middle!!!! 

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Andre Dawson Is The Definition Of A ‘5-Tool Player’

By now you should know that I enjoy the players that have an all-around game.  Sure I have my favorite power hitters and defensive specialists, but in my eyes nothing compares to the guys that havethe uncanny ability to excel at all aspects of the game.

And when it comes to Andre Dawson, this is certainly one of the factors that I enjoyed about watching him play during his career and is a big reason as to why he remains my favorite player more than 10 years after his retirement from playing professional baseball.

The tools are simple to understand, yet few players are able to put the complete package together.  Andre Dawson is one of the players that was able to and here are the stats to back up that fact.

The Tools

Hitter for average –  Dawson’s lifetime batting average is .279.  He has collected 2,774 career hits in 2,627 games played.

Hitter for power – Andre has smashed 438 career home runs.  With just one season with more than 40 home runs(he hit 49 in 1987), Dawson was the picture of consistent power for many of his years in the game.

Base Running skills – ‘The Hawk’ has stolen 314 bases in his career and is one of just 4 players to compile more than 400 homers and 300 steals in a career.

Defensive abilities – Dawson was all over the field while using his speed to track down balls that many other players would have let drop.  Dawson retired with a career fielding percentage of .983 and committed just 93 errors in 21 seasons(less than 5 per year).

Arm strength and control – ‘The Hawk’ had a cannon for an arm and often threw out guys trying to take third base on what should have just been a double.  Dawson has recorded 157 outfield assists due to his ability to throw the ball with power and precision. 

Is Andre Dawson a ‘5-Tool Player’???  You betcha!!!

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Two Words : That Stare

That stare. 

That supreme look of intense concentration prior to each pitch.  I have no doubt in my mind that this very intimidating look on Andre’s face made more than 1 pitcher get nervous while preparing to throw a baseball by ‘The Hawk’.

As I watched Andre’s focus, both live at Cubs games and on television, his concentration level came across in the same manner – Intense.  The power behind his swing.  The speed of the bat whipping through the strike zone.  The crack of the bat and ball colliding in mid-air. And that perfect follow through as he drove the ball…  All of that started at each at-bat with ‘that stare’.

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‘That stare’ has been brought to you by 1981 Donruss.

An Andre Dawson Photo That Still Makes Me Cringe…

Man this is still hard to look at…  You’ve been warned!!!

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Happy Birthday Andre Dawson!!!

Andre Dawson turns 55 years old today.

Any reader of this blog  should already know what’s coming next – A full day of posts celebrating the amazing baseball career of my favorite player – Andre Dawson!!

Happy Birthday Hawk!!! 

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