Jul 10, 2012

Andre's still got it! The Hawk appears in State Farm ad during the 7/10/12 Homerun Derby.

Jul 26, 2010

The Hawk Soars into Cooperstown with Cubs' Fans Beneath his Wings.


Yesterday Andre Dawson took center stage of the baseball world and the world got to see what it was about the man and the player that his supporters and fans have known all along...he is the epitome of what a Hall of Famer should be.

Since it was announced in January that Andre would be joining baseball’s best in the Hall of Fame, I wasn’t sure what to expect when he would make his induction speech. The Hawk was always known as a player who let his speaking be done on the field through his play not through the media. Knowing what I do about Andre Dawson I knew that he would make his speech personal and gracious.

I knew he would thank his family, especially his Grandmother and Mother who played such a large role in shaping his approach to life. I knew he would thank his closest teammates, Tim Raines, Warren Cromartie and Shawon Dunston. I knew he would thank his fans and the organizations he played for.

I think what surprised me was how the speech was less about baseball and more about the journey he experienced. Sure he addressed the performance enhancing era of baseball and paid forward the courtesy of rooting for a fellow teammate to be elected to the Hall as Ryne Sandberg did for him a couple of years ago.

But to me, his speech was about his journey that began with family and continues to be about family. Whether he was speaking about his Uncles who introduced him to the game to the fans of Chicago who picked him up from the lowest point in his career to the inside glimpse he gave us of what his wife and children mean to him, it was family through and through.

The Hawk didn't disappoint. It was a great speech from a humble and grateful Hall of Famer. His speech made me even more proud to have rooted for him all of these years and to have started this blog.

You were the one thanking people yesterday Hawk, but I think your fans would agree with me, we should be thanking you. Thank you for giving us your best for 21 seasons and loving the game the way you did. As you said, if you love the game, it will love you back; the same can be said of your fans!


Missed Andre's induction speech? Watch it here!

 

Jul 25, 2010

10 Best Moments from The Hawk’s Career


To honor Andre’s official induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame today, let’s revisit some of the best moments from his storied career.

10. October 25, 2003 – Wins first World Series championship. Yes, Andre was retired, but he played an important part in the Florida Marlins second appearance in the fall classic. After his retirement from baseball, Andre joined the organization’s front office and instantly became a mentor to many of the team’s young and upcoming talent. While all Hawk fans, especially Cubs fans, would have loved his WS ring to come as a player, I am happy that he got to experience that champion feel in some capacity.

9. July 13, 1987 – In the midst of his MVP season, Andre won the Home Run Derby at the Oakland Coliseum. Who did he beat? George Bell, Ozzie Virgil and Mark McGwire.

8. September 11 and 13, 1976 – At the age of 21, The Hawk begins his career making his MLB debut. How did he do? 0-2, 1 strikeout. Fortunately that wasn’t a sign of things to come. Two days later he got his first hit, off of who else, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. The pitcher who Andre would have great success against in the future.

7. April 29, 1987 – The Hawk did one of the more difficult things to do in the big leagues and that is hit for the cycle. It came against the Giants at Wrigley Field with Andre going 5-5 in an 8-4 win for the Cubs. Home run in the first, double in the third, single in the fourth, triple in the sixth and topped it off with a second single in the 8th.

6. October 2, 1988 – Andre broke Bobby Bonds’ record of 11 consecutive seasons of at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Just a pre-cursor of what was to come for Andre in terms of recognition for his rare blend of power and speed.

5. September 24th, 1985 – Before he became a Cub, Andre punished his future team having the best game of his career. In 6 at bats, he had 4 hits, 3 of which were home runs, with 8 RBIs and three runs scored. What can be better than that? How about becoming only the 2nd player in Major League history to hit 2 home runs in the same inning, a pair of 3-run shots in the 5th inning. Expos won by the way 17-15.

4. July 9, 1991 – The Hawk made his last All-Star appearance (8 total) and went out with a bang. Andre hit a home run in a losing effort for the NL, 2-4,off of Roger Clemens in the Toronoto Skydome.

3. April 15, 1993 - Andre hit his 400th career home run with the Red Sox on April 15 at Fenway Park in the second inning. The Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 that day. Sadly, the steroid era has diminished how special it is to reach such a plateau now, but I remember when it happened for The Hawk, how amazed I was.

2. September 22, 1990 – Andre joined two exclusive clubs by stealing his 300th base: the 300 home runs/300 stolen bases club and 300 home runs/300 stolen bases and 2,000 hits club (becoming just the second player to achieve this, Willie Mays first). It happened at Shea Stadium in a 5-11 Cubs' loss to the Mets. Other 300/300 members: Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Mays, Steve Finley, and Reggie Sanders. Other 300/300/2000 members: Barry Bonds, Mays and Finely.

1. July 25, 2010 – I know its cliché, but I saved the best for last…2010 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction. Today is your day Mr. Dawson. Today is the day you don’t have to be the humble superstar athlete that we all came to love. Today you become one of baseball’s immortals and unforgettable heroes. Enjoy your day, you’ve waited a long time for this, you’ve reached the pinnacle of an athelete’s career, a career that will always be special to this Hawk fan!

Please share your favorite Hawk moment below.

Sources: www.baseball-reference.com and www.wikipedia.org

Feb 7, 2010

Seeing the Andre Dawson Glass Half Full

It's been a few weeks now since the Hall of Fame announced Andre would be wearing an Expos cap on his plaque.

From my assessment whether you agree with this decision or not depends on where you hail from. Of course I'm referring to The Hawk's fans in Canada that support the decision and majority of his fans across the US whose fondest memories of Andre were as a Cub not supporting it.

For those who don't support the decision I offer an insight that might help see the glass half full rather than half empty.

It is quite possible that Andre could be the last Montreal Expo to be inducted and that in itself would be pretty cool.

The Expos always had the reputation of developing great young talent only to trade it away or lose them to free agency. Here's a list of former Expos who has or had Hall potential.

Tim Raines - To me he is a Hall of Famer. However, several Hall voters and baseball writers don't see it that way. Raines has been on the ballot three times, netting 24% in votes in 2008, 22.6 in 2009 and 30.4 in 2010. Andre's voting % in his first three years is as follows, 45.3 in 2002, 50 in 2003 and 2004, fairly significant difference in their first three years.*

Vladimer Guerrero - If Vlad can come back from injury and get hot in the sweltering heat of Texas playing for the Rangers he has a real shot of being a Hall of Famer. But will he go in as an Expo or an Angel? My guess would be an Angel. Eight years in Montreal, six as an Angel. His numbers are relatively close in those two spans; however he won the MVP award in 2004 with the Angels.

Larry Walker - Walker played his first six years as an Expo, but the move to Colorado did wonders for his career, not to mention winning MVP in 1997 with the Rockies. Whether he accumulated high enough career numbers for voters is up for debate, which will begin next year his first year on the ballot.

Pedro Martinez - Pitched four years in Montreal and won a Cy Young in 1997. But, only 55 of his 219 career wins came there, plus won one more Cy Young with the Red Sox (1999 and 2000). Is 219 where his win total stops, we'll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, he won't wear an Expo hat on his plaque.*

Randy Johnson - Hall of Famer yes, being inducted as an Expo, no. The Big Unit had a very brief stint in Canada, 11 games to be exact between 1988 and 1989.

Andres Galarraga – He spent eight years wearing an Expos cap, but failed to reach the necessary 5% in 2010 to stay on the ballot next year.

I'm choosing to see the glass half full and that Andre might be remembered as the last Expo to be honored by the Hall of Fame. How do you see the glass?

*www.baseball-reference.com

Jan 27, 2010

It's Official, Andre is Entering the Hall as an Expo.

Okay, I could be a disappointed Cub fan today, but it's hard for me to sit here and feel that way. Andre's in the Hall and that's enough for me; wearing a Cubs jersey was just going to be icing on the cake.

Andre became one of the best players in the game during his time in Montreal and that shouldn't be overlooked. True he reached career highs and led the National League in home runs (49) and RBIs (137) in 1987 as a Cub. But as an Expo he reached a career high in hits and also led the NL with 189 in 1983 and had his only 100 run seasons (107 - 1982 and 104 - 1983).

I don't think it should be questioned whether his years as an Expo were more deserving to be honored than his time spent as a Cub. I think what should be questioned is why the Hall of Fame has the ultimate decision. Why isn't it the player's choice? Andre wanted to wear a Cubs' cap on induction day.

Andre was the one who endured through some awful seasons in which the Expos and Cubs were not competitive - not the Hall. Andre was the one who helped carry the team in the seasons they were play-off contenders. Andre was the one who would get up out of bed the day after a night game with achy knees and head back to the ball park to do it all over again. How he wants to be remembered should be his decision, so I repeat - not the Hall!

So as I sit here writing this post, I just want to remind Dawson fans, Cub fans, Expo fans, baseball fans...it doesn't matter what cap will be on Andre's plaque, what matters is that he's there among baseball's greatest.