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Andre Dawson

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601px-ADawson

Andre Nolan Dawson (born July 10, 1954, Miami, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. In 1975, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos and made his major-league debut on September 11, 1976. In 1977, Dawson hit .282, with 19 homers and 65 RBI, and was named NL Rookie of the Year, edging out Steve Henderson of the New York Mets by one vote.

Dawson, whose nickname was "The Hawk," played 1443 games with the Expos, 4th highest in franchise history. As an Expo, Dawson set single-season club records for home runs (32, now 7th), RBI (113, now 4th), extra base hits (78, now 7th), and sacrifice flies (18, still 1st). He still holds the Expos' career record for sacrifice flies (71), and is the only player to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases with Montreal. Dawson was elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday,January 6, 2010 by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with more than 77% of the ballots in his 9th year on the ballot. Bert Blyleven, in his 13th year on the ballot was 5 votes short, and Roberto Alomar in his first year on the ballot was 8 votes short.

CareerEdit

Montreal yearsEdit

Dawson was drafted in 1975, and played in 24 major league games in 1976. His stardom rose in 1977 when he became an everyday outfielder for the Expos, and batted .282 with 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He was awarded the 1977 Rookie of the Year in the National League, narrowly beating out Steve Henderson of the New York Mets. Dawson had a blend of power and speed, hitting at least 20 home runs in his seven seasons with the Expos, and stealing at least 20 bases in seven seasons. Dawson, playing primarily center field for the Expos, also became an excellent defensive player, gaining his first of eight Gold Glove awards in 1980. Based on his all-around excellence, Dawson was second in the National League MVP voting in 1981 (winner was Mike Schmidt) and second again in 1983 (winner was Dale Murphy).

File:Andre dawson.jpg

Chicago yearsEdit

He played for the Expos until after the 1986 season, when he took a pay cut to sign with the Chicago Cubs. Dawson's knee injuries were aggravated by playing on artificial turf in Montreal, and he hoped playing home games on grass at Wrigley Field would prolong his career. Dawson had campaigned for the Cubs to sign him during the offseason, but general manager Dallas Green resisted, insisting that the Cubs would start Brian Dayett in right field (Dawson had moved from center field to right field in his final two seasons as an Expo, due to the condition of his knees), and that one player could not make a 71-91 team a 91-71 team. When the Cubs opened camp in Mesa, Arizona that spring, Dawson and his agent Dick Moss arrived in an attempt to secure a contract with the Cubs. Dawson and Moss' stunt was derided as a "dog and pony show" by Green, who still wouldn't make an offer to Dawson. Two weeks into spring training, Dawson turned the tables on Green and the Cubs, presenting Green with a blank contract. Green filled in the contract with lean figures: a $500,000 base salary with $250,000 in incentives if Dawson made the All-Star team, started the All-Star Game, or won the National League MVP award.

He did all three, enjoying one of his finest seasons in 1987 in terms of raw statistics.[1] He became the Cubs' starting right-fielder, and hit 49 home runs and was named NL MVP. With Chicago, Dawson had finally won the MVP award, after the two runner-up years, 1981 and 1983, in Montreal. Sadly, Dawson wasn't able to turn around the Cubs' fortunes: although the Cubs contended for the first half of the season and were even in first place in early May, they finished the 1987 season at 76-85, last in the National League East.

Dawson played five more seasons with the Cubs, and was one of the franchise's most popular players during that time. Unfortunately, his worst individual season came in 1989, when the Cubs won the National League East title. Then, during the National League Championship Series, Dawson slumped terribly, hitting .105 as the San Francisco Giants beat the Cubs 4 games to 1.

Overall, Dawson's .507 career slugging percentage with the Cubs is 4th highest in Cubs history.

Post-Chicago careerEdit

Dawson also played for the Boston Red Sox, and the Florida Marlins before retiring at the end of the 1996 season, after 21 years of major league service. He received his first World Series ring in 2003 as a member of the Florida Marlins front office. Dawson is currently a special assistant to Marlins president David P. Samson.

AccomplishmentsEdit

Dawson finished his career with 2774 hits, 438 home runs, 314 stolen bases, and 1591 RBI. He is 29th on the all-time home run list, and 28th on the all-time RBI list. He is one of only six players in major league history to record over 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases in his career (300-300 club). The other players to accomplish this are Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley. Dawson is also one of only 3 members of the 400 HR-300 SB club, joining Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

The Hawk was an eight time Gold Glove winner and an eight time All-Star. Along with his NL Rookie of the Year award in 1977, he won the NL MVP in 1987 and was runner-up for MVP twice.

Hall of Fame candidacyEdit

In the 2008 BBWAA Hall of Fame balloting, Dawson received 65.9% of the vote, falling short of the required 75%. [2] In the 2007 vote, Dawson's name appeared on 56.7% of the ballots[3]. In 2006, Dawson received 61% of the votes,[4] and in 2005, 52.3%.[5]

The major impediments to Dawson's election to the Hall of Fame are his career .323 OBP, merely average for MLB players, and the fact that his raw statistics are less impressive after accounting for his playing time in Wrigley Field, a favorable hitter's environment.

Former teammate Ryne Sandberg campaigned for Dawson's induction during his speech at his own Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson," Sandberg said of the rifle-armed outfielder known as "The Hawk." Sandberg continued, "He's the best I've ever seen. I watched him win an MVP for a last-place team in 1987 [with the Cubs], and it was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball." Sandberg concluded, "He did it the right way, the natural way, and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday."

Career statisticsEdit

YearAgeTeamLgGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS+TBSHSFIBBHBPGDPVORP
1976 21MontrealNL 2485920410712513.235.278.306632620100-3.5
1977 22MontrealNL 1395256414826919652173493.282.326.4741152491442627.2
1978 23MontrealNL 157609841542482572281130128.253.299.44210626945312721.6
1979 24MontrealNL 1556399017624122592351027115.275.309.46811129984561027.4
1980 25MontrealNL 1515779617841717873494469.308.358.49213628411076950.9
1981 26MontrealNL 1033947111921324642643550.302.365.55315721805147647.8
1982 27MontrealNL 148608107183377238339103496.301.343.4981323034648848.2
1983 28MontrealNL 15963310418936103211325113881.299.338.5391413410181291455.4
1984 29MontrealNL 1385337313223617861354180.248.301.4091022181622121.5
1985 30MontrealNL 1395296513527223911342992.255.295.44410923517841212.9
1986 31MontrealNL 13049665141322207818123779.284.338.478123237161161321.8
1987 32ChicagoNL 153621901782424913711332103.287.328.56813035302771539.3
1988 33ChicagoNL 1575917817931824791243773.303.344.504137298171241337.1
1989 34ChicagoNL 118416621051862177853562.252.307.476114198071311614.1
1990 35ChicagoNL 14752972164285271001624265.310.358.535135283082121248.3
1991 36ChicagoNL 1495636915321431104452280.272.302.48811627506351018.2
1992 37ChicagoNL 143542601502722290623070.277.316.45611524706841324.2
1993 38BostonAL 121461441262911367211749.273.313.4259219607413188.3
1994 39BostonAL 752923470180164822953.240.271.46682136013415-4.9
1995 40FloridaNL 79226305810383700945.257.305.434929803187-1.3
1996 41FloridaNL 42586162021400213.276.311.4149224000110.9
Totals: 26279927137327745039843815913141095891509.279.323.482119478724118143111217495.4
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See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Bill, James (1988). The Bill James Baseball Abstract. Ballantine Books / Random House.
  • Bill, James (2001). The new Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. The Free Press / Simon & Shuster.
  1. Note that Bill James considers Dawson's best years to be from 1979-1983, with his higher Chicago numbers being due to Wrigley Field's advantageous environment for hitters (James 2001).
  2. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Hall of Fame Vote Totals
  3. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2007). Hall of Fame Vote Totals: 2007 Election (HTML). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  4. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2007). Hall of Fame Vote Totals: 2006 Election (HTML). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  5. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2007). Hall of Fame Vote Totals: 2005 Election (HTML). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by:
Butch Metzger
Pat Zachry
National League Rookie of the Year
1977
Succeeded by:
Bob Horner
Preceded by:
Darrell Evans
Bo Diaz
Bobby Bonilla
National League Player of the Month
June 1983
August 1987
May 1990
Succeeded by:
Dusty Baker
Darryl Strawberry
Ryne Sandberg
Preceded by:
Mike Schmidt
National League Home Run Champion
1987
Succeeded by:
Darryl Strawberry
Preceded by:
Mike Schmidt
National League RBI Champion
1987
Succeeded by:
Will Clark
Preceded by:
Mike Schmidt
National League Most Valuable Player
1987
Succeeded by:
Kirk Gibson
Preceded by:
Wally Joyner
Darryl Strawberry
Home Run Derby Champion
1987
Succeeded by:
Eric Davis

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