Dec 31, 2009

Baseball’s Triple Double Club…Another Exclusive Club Andre Belongs To

What is a Triple Double in baseball? A Triple Double is when a player hits at least 10 home runs and steals at least 10 stolen bases in a season for 10 consecutive seasons.

In 1988, Andre broke Bobby Bond’s record of achieving at least 10 HRs and 10 SBs for 11 consecutive years. This moment was celebrated in the 1989 Topps Record Breaker subset.

At the time it was such a rare achievement that only he and Bond’s had accomplished. Since then, the club has grown to seven others.

Baseball’s Triple Double Club includes:*

Barry Bonds – 16 years (1986 - 2001)
Derek Jeter – 14 years (1996 – present)
Reggie Sanders – 14 years (1992 – 2005)
Andre Dawson – 12 years (1977 – 1988)
Bobby Abreau – 12 years (1998 – present)
Bobby Bonds – 11 years (1969 – 1979)
Devon White – 10 years (1987 – 1996)
Larry Walker – 10 years (1990 – 1999)
Mike Cameron – 10 years (1997 – 2008)

While this club isn’t as prestigious as the 400 HRs / 300 SBs or 400 HRs / 2,700 Hits Clubs mention in previous posts, I think this club exemplifies how rare it is to have a player with this type of balance of power and speed. Not only that, but also to be that consistent in both skills for an extended period of time.

I don’t believe I missed anyone that qualified for the Triple Double club, but if I did let me know.


Thanks to my friend Brian at 30-Year Old Cardboard for sending me the Topps Record Breaker card seen above among other great Dawson cards!

Dec 30, 2009

A Week Away Until Andre's Fate for the Hall is Unveiled

As you know next Wednesday, January 6th, we'll all find out if Andre is a Hall of Famer in 2010. From an early report I read, Andre has appeared on 87% of the 46 ballots turned in as of Monday, December 28th.*

Things are looking good for The Hawk and I'm confident we'll be pleased with the outcome a week from now. To celebrate the upcoming occasion I'll be posting every day starting tomorrow up until the voting results are announced. A few of these posts will be outside of my normal Andre Dawson posts, so I hope you enjoy and check back everyday for something different.

....Oh yeah....I'm going to announce a CONTEST WITH PRIZES on Friday morning!!!!!!

Good Luck Hawk!


Dec 24, 2009

Andre's Ranks at the Time of His Retirement

Since I started this blog, I’ve posted where Andre ranks all-time in several statistics as evidence of why he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I’ve had a couple of readers suggest that I post what Andre’s ranks were at the time of his retirement.

I love feedback from readers, especially suggestions for blog ideas. I listened, I did the research, here are The Hawk’s ranks as of his retirement after the 1996 season.

Home Runs: 438
Currently - 36th
1996 - 22nd
Difference - +14

Interestingly enough, of the 14 players who have passed Andre since his retirement, 8 either used steroids or was suspected to have used, including: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, and Jose Canseco. The remaining 6 players are: Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Fred McGriff, Carlos Delgado and Jeff Bagwell.

Twenty-second place in 1996 was very impressive. Do you realize that after 100 years of Major League Baseball, only 21 players at the time hit more home runs than Andre?

RBIs: 1591
Currently – 34th
1996 – 24th
Difference - +10

The players that passed Andre after his retirement include: Bonds, Palmeiro, Griffey, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Thomas, Cal Ripken Jr., Sheffield, Sosa and Harold Baines.

Ripken (1695 RBIs) played almost every game of every season during his career so the RBI opportunities were greater of course. He played 374 more games than Andre (3,001 to 2,627) netting 104 more RBIs, which is an RBI only every 3.6 games. Therefore, if Ripken hadn’t been an iron-man, he wouldn’t have passed Andre on this list.

Baines (1628 RBIs) collected 37 more RBIs by playing one more season than Andre. If Andre’s knees could have held up for one more season, Baines wouldn’t have passed him.

If you look at the all-time RBI list pre-1997, you realize that most of the players higher than Andre were part of the dominating line-ups of their times, which the Expos and Cubs teams that he played on were never known for. Were talking about Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Ott, Williams, Mays, etc.

Hits: 2,774
Currently – 45th
1996 – 38th
Difference - +7

I find it interesting that twice as many players have passed Andre in home runs than in hits. Shows you how many big hitters in the past decade have been one-dimensional. The seven include: Ripken, Gwynn, Biggio, Henderson, Palmeiro, Bonds and Baines.

Runs: 1,373
Currently – 93rd
1996 – 72nd
Difference - +21

Pretty obvious that when home run totals increase so will the runs scored. Several players that have passed Andre had some pretty big bats behind them including: Johnny Damon (Manny, A-Rod), Derek Jeter (A-Rod), Kenny Lofton (Thome, Manny) and Biggio (Bagwell, Berkman).

During his days as a Cub, Andre did his job of knocking in the guys in front of him, but he never had that big bat to knock him in as he did at the beginning of his career (Gary Carter, Al Oliver). Keeping that in mind, I think Andre at 72nd in 1996 or 93rd in 2009 is impressive.

Stolen Bases: 314
Currently – 146th
1996 – 125th
Difference - +21

I think this difference shows you either A) players have become more athletic or B) throwing out base runners is less important from the catcher position than his spot in the batting line-up now, hitting over rules defense.

None of the names that has surpassed Andre’s total will surprise you: Roberto Alomar, Eric Young, Delino DeShields, Juan Pierre, Biggio, Chuck Knoblauch, Omar Vizquel, Barry Larkin, Damon, Carl Crawford, Ichiro, Jimmy Rollins, Tom Goodwin, Luis Polonia, etc. (okay those last two might have surprised you).

You know what is striking from that list? None were consider power hitters. Sure Larkin and Rollins could pop-off 20 home runs or so, but few players since Andre have shown the balance of power and speed that he had.

Total Bases: 4,784
Currently – 25th
1996 – 21st
Difference - +4

I saved the best for last! How is it possible that only four players have passed Andre in this category in the past 13 years? That’s how good he was. If he didn’t homer, he would come through with a double (48th all-time). I think you could conclude from this statistic compared to his run total that Andre was indeed left on base a lot during his Chicago years.

The four who have tallied more total bases since are: Bonds, Palmeiro, Griffey and Ripken Jr.

Either way you look at it, Andre was a Hall of Famer at the time of his retirement in 1996 and he is today in 2009.

Dec 18, 2009

Andre Dawson by the Numbers

Baseball is relatively an easy game to understand. Two opposing teams get three outs per inning to try to make something happen in order to manufacture runs. After nine innings the team with the most runs wins.

Baseball statistics and how those statistics were evaluated in order to determine if a player should be in the Hall of Fame used to be that simple.

It's crazy all of these new sabermetric statistic-formulas that people have came up with that are now being used to evaluate eligible players for the Hall with. I’ve been reading articles where writers, some of whom are HOF voters, that have been using these type of statistics on why they won’t vote for Andre, “Andre’s win shares are too low,” or “his OPS+ isn’t as high as I would like.”

Win shares? OPS+? Whatever happened to just saying, “This player has X home runs, X runs batted in, X hits, X Gold Gloves, etc.”? “Man, those are great numbers, of course player X is a Hall of Famer!”

Numbers, not formulas.

I understand that win shares and OPS+ and other complicated formula statistics like that have their place in modern baseball, but let’s look at statistics and numbers that everyone can understand when determining how to vote for Hall of Fame candidates.

Here are some numbers on Andre that I believe BBWAA voters should consider:

1 – NL MVP (1987) and NL ROY (1977)
2 – NL MVP Runner-Up (1981 and 1983)
3 – Only three players have at least 400 HRs and 300 SBs, Andre being one of them.
4 – Silver Slugger Awards (1980, 1981, 1983 and 1987)
8 – Gold Gloves and All-Star Selections
118 – Sacrifice Flies (10th all-time)
143 – Intentional Base on Balls (50th all-time)
314 – Stolen Bases
438 – Home Runs (36th all-time)
503 – Doubles (48th all-time)
1,039 – Extra Base Hits (24th all-time)
1,591 – Runs Batted In (34th all-time)
2,774 – Hits (45th all-time)
4787 – Total Bases (25th all-time)

I could keep throwing more numbers at you, but let’s keep this simple.

Leave the formulas to the BCS system in determining the National College Football Championship and vote for one of the best all-around players ever to play the game into the Hall in 2010!

Source -

Dec 11, 2009

2700-400 is Andre's Ticket to the Hall of Fame

With the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting upon us, the player whose name will once again get a lot of buzz is Andre Dawson. Last year Dawson received 67% of the vote, falling a tad-short of the required 75%. Over the past few years we’ve heard many good reasons why Dawson, aka “The Hawk”, deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Personally, I believe his career numbers and his philanthropy off the field are reasons enough for his induction, but if the BBWAA aren’t yet convinced then maybe putting one statistic in perspective may be the last hurdle they need to clear.

We’ve all heard of these “milestone clubs” that automatically put players in the Hall of Fame. Two of the most famous are the 3000-hit club and the 300-win club. However, there are some clubs that don’t get much attention but if we study them closely—they too can mean automatic enshrinement. And what I like about these clubs is that they manifest themselves directly from the voting patterns of the voters. In other words, every player who has accomplished the feat has been elected to the Hall of Fame.

One of these exclusive clubs is the 2700-400 Club (2700 hits, 400 home runs). Every single eligible player in major league history that has accomplished these two milestones is in the Hall of Fame, except, you guessed it, Andre Dawson.

The chart below demonstrates my above point:Notes: Ken Griffey, Jr. is the only active player who has achieved the milestone and it is safe to say he’s a future Hall of Famer. Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. In their cases it’s safe to say that if the dark cloud of the steroids scandal wasn’t hanging over their heads, they too would be sure-fire Hall of Famers.

So as we can see from the iconic names on this exclusive list, 2700-400 is not any easy milestone to achieve.

To further prove my point—let’s look into the future to see which active players are approaching 2700 hits and 400 home runs. The chart below shows all the active players with at least 1700 hits and 250 home runs. I highlighted in yellow the players I believe have a realistic chance or even an outside chance at 2700-400. But of course, everyone can make their own determinations.

Notes: As we can see, I only highlighted the 8 players that I believe have a realistic or outside chance of achieving the milestone. And what do they all have in common? They are all potential future Hall of Famers.

So the point is, 2700-400 are sure-proof numbers for Hall of Fame induction. 12 of the 15 retired players that have achieved the milestone are in the Hall of Fame. But remember, Palmeiro and Bonds are not yet eligible. So Dawson is the only eligible player not yet in. As for active players-- it’s safe to say, the ones who will reach the milestone are all going to be Hall of Fame worthy.

So my message to the BBWAA:

Study the 2700-400 Club. Once you see the names on the list, you’ll realize how special it is. Once you look at the active players, you’ll realize only the future Hall of Famers will enter the club because it’s a club only reachable by Hall of Famers.

Andre Dawson is a member of this club.

Stats and charts courtesy of

Dec 6, 2009

The Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame Official Ballot Assessment

I’ve read probably 100 articles/blog posts in the past two weeks dissecting this year’s Hall of Fame ballot candidates. Funny thing is I can’t get enough of reading everyone’s different point of views. Below is my perspective on the key candidates.

But, first a few thoughts I want to get across on Andre’s candidacy.

1. Andre’s low career on-base% (OBP) shouldn’t keep him out of the Hall. OBP can be a misleading stat, if it is low than people assume you weren’t on base enough to give your team a chance of winning. But, I think people tend to forget that things like sacrifice flies don’t count in the OBP formula, but they can affect an outcome of game as much or even more than taking a walk. For example, a man on third base, one out, Andre is up at the plate. He could go deep in the count and walk, keep the inning alive and raise his OBP. The next batter could ground into a double-play ending the inning without the run crossing. Or Andre could sacrifice fly, knock in a run and lower his OBP. Which outcome is better for his team? Andre is 10th all-time in sacrifice flies with 118.

2. How many players have had at least 400 HRs, 300 SBs and 2,500 hits? Three and Andre is one of them. It is an accomplishment that Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams never achieved.

I just can’t see how you can keep Andre out!

Onto the rest of the ballot:

Bert Blyleven – 287 wins, impressive, 250 losses, not so much. You got to feel bad for a guy who pitched for only 3 play-off teams in a 22-year career. His career win total, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts could pose a threat in tempting voters, but I think that close won/lost % hurts him in and is unlikely to jump Andre in the vote totals. Wouldn’t you like to see these two long-time balloters get in together though?

Harold Baines – I love Harold Baines, so don’t get me wrong here. His career RBI total was slightly higher than Andre by playing one more season (1628 to 1591). He could hit, but couldn’t steal a base or field a position well and that won’t allow voters to put him in over Andre who could do both of those things really well.

Lee Smith – What can you say about the guy who sat the saves bar for Trevor Hoffman and Marino Rivera to reach (478 saves)? Unfortunately the importance of the closer was coming in while Smith was going out. If he started his career five years later who knows? Biggest knock, more losses than wins (71-92). It would be great to see two former Cubs get in together in 2010, but only room for one I’m afraid this year and that’s The Hawk.

Mark McGwire – Yeah, I’m not going to waste space on this one, aw crap, I just did!

Jack Morris – Before I took a close look at his stats, I assumed because of Blyleven’s win total and reputation he was more qualified for the Hall than Morris. I was wrong, Blyleven’s does have 33 more wins (287 to 254), but Morris pitched 4 fewer seasons. However, Morris’ career ERA of 3.90 is higher than I like for a Hall of Fame pitcher and I think voters would feel the same; he won’t receive more votes than Andre.

Tim Raines – If there was never a Rickey Henderson, Raines would be in the Hall of Fame by now, .294 avg., 808 SBs and 1571 runs. Raines was the 2nd best lead-off man in the 80s and didn’t self-promote how great he was (Rickey’s “I’m the Greatest!” speech). I truly hope that one day Raines and Dawson, who are best friends, are reunited in the Hall, but it won’t be this year.

Alan Trammel – His 1987 season is the only season that really jumps out at me, (.343 avg., 28 HRs, 108 RBIs, 205 Hits, 109 Runs) well above his career averages. I just don’t know if I could put someone in the Hall for one outstanding season, a couple of really good seasons and the rest just good to average.

Dave Parker – 339 HRs, 1493 RBIs, 2712 Hits, 1272 Runs, and 154 SBs, all lower than Andre’s totals. Sorry Cobra, but The Hawk is higher on the food chain and all-time totals, no threat here.

Don Mattingly – If not for a shortened career by injuries, we wouldn’t even be discussing this, he would be in. Unfortunately, the Hall of Fame is based on career totals and not potential of what could have been. Donny Baseball won’t receive a call this year or any other year I’m afraid.

Dale Murphy – See Parker’s comment, ditto.

The first-timers:

Roberto Alomar – If Alomar was an outfielder no. If he was a 1B, no. But he was a 2B, so yes he will get in. Does he get in before Andre, no. I think because of the type of hitter Alomar was, voters expected him to have gotten to that 3,000 hit plateau like a Rod Carew or Tony Gwynn. I think voters in 2010 are going to award two long time balloters which leaves Alomar waiting until 2011.

Fred McGriff – The Crime Dog has similar numbers as Andre except for hits and stolen bases. If you put him in the hall on the first ballot, than questions are going to arise on why they didn’t Andre. Mr. Consistency will have to wait.

Edgar Martinez – The best thing Edgar has going for him is his career average of .312, but I’m sorry he was primarily a DH and if you look at his numbers when he played 3B the only category that stands out was batting average. If fielding a position hampered him from hitting homeruns and knocking in runs, than in my opinion, he shouldn’t be considered one of the elite.

Barry Larkin – During the 80s and 90s, Larkin played second fiddle to Cal Ripken offensively and Ozzie Smith defensively. Is he a first-year ballot Hall of Famer? I don’t think so, but possibly in the next couple of years.

Andres Galarraga – The Big Cat was Montreal’s replacement in the line-up after Andre left for free agency. He was good at that time, but not HOF caliber until he moved to Colorado. You could make the argument playing in Colorado is like playing on steroids but he followed up with a great season in Atlanta before battling cancer. One of the arguments against Andre Dawson has been his strikeout to walks ratio, but Andres struck out almost 500 more times while walking almost the identical amount (2003/583 to Andre’s 1509/589).

Ellis Burks – Burks had one memorable season (1996) and wasn’t considered one of the game’s best during his career, so why would he be considered one of the all-time best players?

Robin Ventura – When I think of Ventura, I think of a guy who got his butt handed to him by a pitcher (Nolan Ryan) almost twice his age when he charged the mound one time. Shouldn’t I remember more? Hall of Shame, yes, Hall of Fame, no.

The other first timers won’t probably reach the 5% necessary to stay on the ballot for next year and this post is already long enough so I won’t continue. If you have read this whole thing, thanks!

My assessment, it will be Andre and a pitcher, most likely Blyleven with Morris or Smith being the longshots that will be the 2010 HOF inductions.

Agree, disagree, let me know…..


Nov 30, 2009

Hear this BBWA Voters, Look at the Man Behind the Numbers!

Last week was a special week, besides being Thanksgiving, the Hall of Fame ballots were released to Baseball Writers of America (BBWA) voters. Voting results will be announced on January 6th.

Of course this is Andre's eighth, and hopefully final, time on the ballot.

I believe Andre's career statistics are reason enough for him to be inducted into the hall, its hard to tell if enough of the voters this year feel that way too, but if not, then they should look at the man behind the numbers if they need that final push to vote for him.

Anyone who has followed The Hawk's career knows how much effort he put into each and every game he played and his passion for being a role model to kids.

Last Tuesday, Andre gained the support of 500 more people I imagine when he represented the Florida Marlins along with pitcher Anibal Sanchez in handing out almost 500 turkeys to families in need in the Miami area at the Orange Bowl.*

That's the great thing about Andre; his caring nature didn't stop when he stepped off of the playing field for the last time. He has continued to speak to children in youth baseball programs, raise money for charitable causes and be a valuable member of the Miami community.

If negative traits such as gambling and steroid use can keep a player out, then why can't positive ones be a deciding factor of letting a player in?

BBWA voters - if you're going to punish the bad, then reward the good!

I wonder if anyone asked Andre to autograph their turkey.


Nov 20, 2009

Andre's Biggest Games - 11 Games of 5 RBIs or More

Hall of Fame players have big games; they can carry an offense and intimidate a pitching staff on any given day, which was often the case in Andre's career. He had 11 games during his career of at least 5 RBIs or more.*

1977, July 4th - vs. Chicago Cubs, Won 19-3
Game Stats: In 6 ABs - 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 Hits, and 2 Runs

1985, April 27th - vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Won 8-3
Game Stats: In 5 ABs - 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 Hits and 2 Runs

1985, Sept. 24th - vs. Cubs, Won 17-15
Game Stats: In 6 ABs - 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, 4 Hits and 3 Runs
(Became 2nd player in history to hit 2 home runs in same inning, pair of 3-run shots in the 5th inning.)

1987, June 1st - vs. Houston Astros, Lost 5-6
Game Stats: In 5 ABs - 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 2 Hits and 2 Runs

1987, June 2nd - vs. Houston Astros, Won 13-2
Game Stats: In 5 ABs - 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 2 Hits and 2 Runs

1987, Aug. 1st - vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Won 5-3
Game Stats: In 4 ABs - 3 HRs, 5 RBIs, 3 Hits and 3 Runs

1988, May 3rd - vs. San Diego Padres, Won 13-5
Game Stats: In 4 ABs - 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 3 Hits and 2 Runs

1990, Aug. 4th - vs. Montreal Expos, Won 10-2
Game Stats: In 4 ABs - 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 Hits and 1 Run

1991, April 21 - vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, Lost 12-13
Game Stats: In 6 ABs - 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 Hits and 1 Run

1992, May 2nd - vs. Cincinnati Reds, Won 10-3
Game Stats: In 5 ABs - 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 Hits and 2 Runs

1995, Aug. 16 - vs. Atlanta Braves, Won 8-5
Game Stats: In 4 ABs - 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 3 Hits and 2 Runs

Ask any pitcher that faced The Hawk in those 11 games and I bet they would tell you that he should be in the Hall of Fame without a doubt!


Nov 12, 2009

A Closer Look at Andre's 1983 Season

In 1983 unemployment in the US rose to 12 million, highest total since 1941 (sound familiar?), the final episode of M*A*S*H aired setting a record of 125 million watchers, and The Hawk was setting records of his own for the Montreal Expos.*

I've mentioned it before in a previous post that in my opinion, Andre's 1983 season was probably his best all-around offensive season. So good that I think we should revisit that season with a closer look.

Here's the numbers The Hawk put up that year in 159 games:
32 - HRs, 113 - RBIs, 189 Hits, 104 Runs, .299 Avg., 25 SBs, 36 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 341 TBs

What stands out about these numbers and that 1983 season?

1. Was the first Expos to have at least 30 HRs, 30 2Bs, 100 RBIs, and 100 Runs in a season. Only two other players in Expos/Nationals franchise history have achieved this, Vladimir Guerrero and Ryan Zimmerman.

2. Led the league that year in hits, total bases, sacrifice flies (18), extra base hits (78) and hit by pitch (9). Finished 10th in batting average, 2nd in slugging %, 3rd in runs, 5th in doubles, 3rd in triples, 3rd in homeruns, 7th in times on bases and 6th in at-bats per homerun (19.781).**

3. Set single-season club records at that time for home runs (32, now seventh), RBI (113, now fourth), extra base hits (78, now seventh), and sacrifice flies (18, still first)***

4. Had to expand his trophy case in the off-season after winning his fourth consecutive Gold Glove and third Silver Slugger awards. Almost added an MVP trophy as well, coming in 2nd in voting.

1983 was just one of several seasons that made Andre a Hall of Fame caliber player. But, no other season I think was a better indication of the 5-tool player he was and how dominate he was in the early 80s.


Nov 5, 2009

Looking Forward to 2010

Now that the World Series is over -- I can't believe people were making a big deal out of the Yankees not winning one for the last nine years, one every nine years sounds good to a Cubs fan -- anyway I digress, the baseball world will now turn it's attention to free agent signings, the new Cubs owner and the Hall of Fame voting in January, the latter being what I am anticipating the most.

But first, I just want to mention that I don't know a whole lot about the Cubs new owner Tom Ricketts, but I do know that Andre Dawson was his favorite Cub. Mr. Ricketts on Andre in recent interviews, "When he was here, he set such a high standard for future players. He was just awesome, a great gentleman who played on some really average teams."* Not sure how he will be as an owner, but any fan of Andre's is alright by me.

So Hall of Fame voting is around three months away, it's time to buckle down and really start campaigning on Andre's behalf. I know I'm not the only one that feels that way. When I came across the online petition "Get Andre Dawson in the hall," and posted the link on my blog, it had 65 signatures. That petition has now grown into 105 signatures in just a few months!

What better way to demonstrate why Andre deserves to be in the Hall than to share some of the comments from those signatures.

"I grew up in Montreal and had the opportunity to watch him play many times. He was the best I ever saw..."

"No one gave up their body to baseball the way he did."

"He was a 5 tool player, how many players are in the 300/300 club? Only 5, and Dawson is one."

"Best right fielder of the eighties."

If you want to show your support and haven't signed the petition yet, it's under my Recommended Websites.

* and

Oct 29, 2009

A Closer Look at a True Legend of the Game

This week I received a Google Alert about a website that posted a video on Andre finishing his career with the Marlins and life after retirement titled "Andre Dawson: A Florida Legend."

I thought I would share this video with my fellow Hawk fans. If you follow the Marlins, you've probably seen this before, but for those who haven't it's an interesting little video that shows a different side of Andre. Enjoy!

Click here to watch video!

Oct 19, 2009

Andre Vs. the Hall of Fame Pitchers

A good way to evaluate whether a hitter is Hall of Fame worthy is to see how he did against the very best. Any Major League hitter could hit against a pitcher such as Anthony Young (record holder for most consecutive losses with 17), but what about against a crafty left-hander like Steve Carlton or against a Nolan Ryan fastball?

Andre faced eleven current Hall of Fame pitchers during his career: Carlton, Ryan, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley, Don Sutton, Fergie Jenkins, Rich Gossage, Gaylord Perry, and Rollie Fingers. How did he fare?

In 473 at-bats, Andre had 126 hits, 15 home runs, 70 RBIs, 9 triples, 29 doubles, and a .266 average. Keep in mind that his .266 average is against the very best of his time. Pretty impressive, but the stat that I like the best is that 42% of his hits against the HOFs were for extra bases. Andre got it done when stepping up against the elite.*

His numbers are better or equal to other HOF hitters of his time who faced several of the same HOF pitchers.

Jim Rice (429 AB) - .247 avg., 24 HRs, 70 RBIs, 106 Hits
Dave Winfield (493 AB) - .284 avg., 19 HRs, 65 RBIs, 140 Hits
Reggie Jackson (514 AB) - .235 avg., 23 HRs, 62 RBIs, 121 Hits
Mike Schmidt (475 AB) - .234 avg., 28 HRs, 72 RBIs, 111 Hits
Eddie Murray (258 AB) - . 291 avg., 10 HRs, 40 RBIs, 75 Hits

By the way, did you know that only two players hit more home runs off of Ryan, the most feared pitcher of all-time, than Andre? The Hawk hit four homeruns off the Express in his career, Schmidt hit five and Will Clark had six.*

Hopefully in 2010, Andre will once again face those eleven HOF pitchers, not on the playing field, but as a fellow Hall of Famer!


Oct 9, 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding, Where Andre Ranks in the Top 100

If I told you a that baseball player ranked in the top 100 all-time in home runs, RBIs, runs, and hits, you would agree that player should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, yes?

Well, then by that definition, Andre is a Hall of Famer.

Let's take a look at where Andre falls in the top 100 of several offensive categories.*

Home Runs - 36th (438)
RBIs - 34th (1,591)
Runs - 93rd (1,373)
Runs Created - 76th (1518)
Hits - 45th (2,774)
Singles - 100th (1,735)
Doubles - 48th (503)
Extra Base Hits - 24th (1,039)
Total Bases - 25th (4,784)
Times on Base - 96th (3,474)
Sacrifice Flies - 10th (118)
Intentional Base on Balls - 50th (143)
Hit By Pitch - 48th (111)

Wow, that's a lot of categories to rank in the top 100 in!

Minus pitchers, there are 161 players in the Baseball Hall of Fame.** If Andre ranks in the top 100 in all of these categories, how can you argue that 61 of those players were better than him? I don't think you can.


Sep 30, 2009

How's Andre doing in the All-Time 9 Voting?

The Wrigley faithful as of 9/25 have Andre second in voting for the Cubs All-Time 9 outfield.

Billy Williams - 30.7%
Hack Wilson - 17.4%
Sammy Sosa - 6.1%
Kiki Cuyler - 4.5%

Other notable Cubs leading in their respectable position in votes are: Ryne Sandberg (2B), Derrek Lee (1B), Ernie Banks (SS), Ron Santo (3B), Gabby Harnett (C) and Fergie Jenkins (P).

Andre is tied with Adam Dunn for the third spot in the All-Time 9 Expos/Nationals outfield.

Vlad Guerrero - 17.7%
Alfonso Soriano - 17%
Adam Dunn - 13.6%
Tim Raines - 7.7%

Really, Soriano and Dunn? Really? That's a crime. The rest of the leading vote getters for each position include: Gary Carter (C), Nick Johnson (1B), Jose Vidro (2B), Cristan Guzman (SS), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), and Livan Hernandez (P).

MLB still hasn't closed voting; The Hawk still needs your votes!

To vote again or to view voting results for all teams as of 9/25, click here.

Sep 24, 2009

And the 2009 Hawk Award goes to....

The baseball award season is almost upon us. And to celebrate that, I've decided to do it in a truly Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame manner.

There will be no MVP or Cy Youngs handed out here. No, these are truly unique and distinguished awards. The first annual Hawk Awards are awarded to players whose 2009 performances were reminiscence to some of The Hawk's seasons.

And the first annual Hawk Awards go to...

Zack Greinke, P, Kansas City Royals - For dominating nearly every pitching statistic in the AL this year, while playing for a bottom dweller, similar to what Andre did batting wise with the last-place Cubs in 1987

Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays - For following up his Rookie of the Year honors in 2008 with an outstanding season, just as Andre did (ROY in 1977). No sophomore slump here

Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia Phillies - For setting a career high in home runs after leaving Seattle, just as Andre did after leaving the Expos for the Cubs in 1987

Bobby Abreau, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - For playing 2009 well under what he is worth ($5 Mil) to be with a team he is passionate about as Andre did in 1987 ($700,000)

Sam Fuld, OF, Chicago Cubs - For his outstanding catches running into outfield walls this summer, reminiscence of when Andre rammed his head into the Ivy brick wall of Wrigley to make a catch

Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago Cubs - For proving he still got something in the tank when people were beginning to count him out, similar to Andre's difficulty getting signed in 1987 when GMs thought his best years were behind due to his knees

Pablo Sandoval, 1B, San Francisco Giants - For...having the best nickname in baseball, Kung Fu Panda, okay so that doesn't really constitute an award, but I like the guy and the nickname just as I do with Andre

And the life-time Hawk achievement award goes's a tie!

Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees and Randy Johnson, P, San Francisco Giants - For reaching career milestones and well on their way to becoming Hall of Famers like the Hawk will.

And that's the 2009 Hawk Awards. Sorry Milton Bradley, better luck next year!

Sep 20, 2009

Andre is Extra Good...24th All-Time in Extra Base Hits

An important stat in a player's career is extra base hits. It's an important stat because it means the player is either knocking runs in or getting into scoring position to be knocked in. Andre not only excelled in this stat because of his unique blend of speed and power, but is 24th all-time in this category.*

The Hawk dominated this stat in the early 1980s, leading the NL in 1982 and 1983 and finishing second in 1980 and 1981. He also finished in the top 10 in 1979 (8th), 1987 (3rd), 1988 (4th) and 1990 (10th).*

His 1039 total extra base hits is better than several Hall of Fame players, including: Mike Schmidt (1015), Rogers Hornsby (1011), Mr. Cub Ernie Banks (1009), Honus Wagner (993), Robin Yount (960), Paul Molitor and Willie Stargell (953), Mickey Mantle (952), and Billy Williams (948). And that is just the Hall of Famers in the top 50 all-time that Andre's total number exceeds.*

Maybe even more impressive, almost 40% of Andre's hits in his career were for extra bases (37%). A better percentage than these notable Hall of Famers: Dave Winfield (35%), Eddie Murray (34%), Carl Yastrzemski (34%) and Ty Cobb (27%).*

Just one more reason Andre is due his recognition as one of the all-time greats by being enshrined into the Hall!

* -

Sep 10, 2009

Ask Not What Andre Can Do for You; Ask What You Can Do for Andre.

What can you do for Andre you ask? Show your appreciation for The Hawk by voting for him to be apart of the All-Time line-up for the Cubs and Expos/Nationals. is giving fans a chance to vote on The All-Time 9 for each Major League franchise. It's your opportunity to vote for your dream line-up consisting of the best seasons at each position in a franchise's history. I, of course, had to do my part and submit my votes for both the Cubs and Expos/Nationals.

Here were my selections:

Chicago Cubs
1B - Derrek Lee .335 AVG, 46 HR, 107 RBI, 120 R, 15 SB - 2005
2B - Rogers Hornsby .380 AVG, 39 HR, 149 RBI, 156 R, 2 SB - 1929
SS - Ernie Banks .313 AVG, 47 HR, 129 RBI, 119 R, 4 SB - 1958
3B - Ron Santo .313 AVG, 30 HR, 114 RBI, 94 R, 3 SB - 1964
C - Gabby Hartnett .344 AVG, 13 HR, 91 RBI, 67 R, 1 SB - 1935
OF - Andre Dawson .287 AVG, 49 HR, 137 RBI, 90 R, 11 SB - 1987
OF Sammy Sosa .308 AVG, 66 HR, 158 RBI, 134 R, 18 SB - 1998
OF Hack Wilson .356 AVG, 56 HR, 191 RBI, 146 R, 3 SB - 1930
P - Carlos Zambrano .337 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 9 R, 0 SB - 2008

I realized a couple of things after my vote. First, the Cubs have really lacked any long-term power threat at the 1B position compared to other franchises. Secondly, there were very few lead-off type hitters to choose from.

Third base was a tough pick, Aramis Ramirez and Santo's seasons were almost identical. Ryne Sandberg is arguably the best 2B in history, but there's no denying how great of a season Hornsby had in 1929. I really wanted to choose Kiki Cuyler for outfield to give the line-up some speed (41 SB), but you can't leave Andre, Sosa or Hack off. Maybe with this line-up the 101-year World Series drought would end...

Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals
1B - Al Oliver .331 AVG, 22 HR, 109 RBI, 90 R, 5 SB - 1982
2B - Jose Vidro .330 AVG, 24 HR, 97 RBI, 101 R, 5 SB - 2000
SS - Orlando Cabrera .297 AVG, 17 HR, 80 RBI, 95 R, 24 SB - 2003
3B - Tim Wallach .298 AVG, 26 HR, 123 RBI, 89 R, 9 SB - 1987
C - Gary Carter .294 AVG, 27 HR, 106 RBI, 75 R, 2 SB - 1984
OF - Andre Dawson .299 AVG, 32 HR, 113 RBI, 104 R, 25 SB - 1983
OF Vladimer Guerrero .336 AVG, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 106 R, 40 SB - 2002
OF Tim Raines .334 AVG, 9 HR, 62 RBI, 91 R, 70 SB - 1986
P - Steve Renko .278 AVG, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB - 1975

Okay, so I know there are no Nationals in this line-up, but not much to choose from in the DC years. I almost went with Alfonso Soriano in the outfield with his 40/40 season in 2006, but when it comes to my lead-off man, I rather have Raines' .334 AVG compared to Fonzie's .277.

To vote for Cubs' All-Time line-up, click here.

To vote for Expos/Nationals' All-Time line-up, click here.

Aug 29, 2009

Don't Judge Andre on His OBP%, that Wasn't His Job

Whenever Andre is mention in an article on who should or shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame I receive a Google alert. Majority of the time I'm pleased with the outcome of the article, probably 75% of those writing these articles, I would estimate say The Hawk should be in. Of the remaining 25% it often comes down to Andre's career On-Base Percentage (OBP) of .323. They feel that is too low to be in the Hall of Fame.

OBP hasn't really been a statistic that has had Hall of Fame merit until recent years. Since it has, I think that OBP is a stat that should be weighed more heavily on lead-off or two-hole type hitters, not players batting in the clean-up position. A large part of the formula that makes up OBP is the number of times a player walked.

If you were managing a baseball club and you had a runner in scoring position and down two runs, would you want Andre to swing for the fences or take a walk?

Andre didn't bat clean-up for the Cubs to get on base, he batted in that position to knock Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace in. (If the Cubs ever had a consistent lead-off hitter in the late 80s and early 90s, I would have mention him too!)

If Andre didn't knock them in more than likely no one would behind him. The Cubs didn't exactly support Andre with quality hitters in the 5 slot. Let's look at some of those players during his time with the Cubs: Dwight Smith, Luis Salazar, Lloyd McClellan, Hector Villanueva, etc. *

As a manager or a fan I want to see the big hitters trying to get a hit or sacrifice a fly to score runs. Yes, Andre didn't walk much in his career, but what the authors of these articles failed to mention is that Andre ranks 10th ALL-TIME in sacrifice flies with 118! **

So 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame voters, I ask you when considering Hall of Fame induction regarding OBP, leave it to Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin. For Andre, look at how many runs he knocked in over the years (34th ALL-TIME by the way with 1591). **


Aug 23, 2009

Andre Dawson - Best Cubs' Free-Agent Signing

I had the fortune to attend the Cubs-Dodgers game yesterday, the game was great, but the Cubs' lack-luster offensive performance was not. Not a whole lot of highlights here for the Cubs expect for the great pick-off of Juan Pierre by Ted Lilly and Sam Fuld ramming his head into the outfield fence to make a beautiful catch.

Between Milton Bradley striking out and waiting in line at the consession stand, I had plenty of time to think about how the free-agent signings of Bradley and Alfonso Soriano have not worked out the way they were supposed to and how Andre Dawson has been the best Cubs free-agent signing.

They have gotten some great players through trades over the past couple of decades including: Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. But none of their free-agent investments have came close to the production that Andre brought to the Cubs in 1987. Those investments have included: George Bell, Eric Karros, Henry Rodriguez, Todd Hundley, Juan Pierre, Moises Alou, Kosuke Fukudome, Soriano and Bradley.

How great of a signing was Andre? The Hawk played six seasons for the Cubs, let's take three similar players from the list above and compare their seven seasons together versus Andre's six.

Andre Dawson, 1987-1992 (6 seasons)
HR - 174 RBI - 587 AVG. - .285 SB - 57 Hits - 929 Runs - 431*

HenryRodriguez, 1998-1999
HR - 57 RBI - 172 AVG. - .278 SB - 3 Hits - 240 Runs - 128

Moises Alou, 2002-2004
HR - 76 RBI - 258 AVG. - .283 SB - 14 Hits - 467 Runs - 239

Alfonso Soriano, 2007-2008
HR - 62 RBI - 145 AVG. - .291 SB - 38 Hits - 300 Runs - 173

Totals: HR -195 RBI - 575 AVG. - .284 SB - 55 Hits - 1007 Runs - 540*

Pretty impressive, isn’t it? Dawson had 12 more RBIs in his six seasons than their seven combined. I guess the Cubs are like today's economy, some investments just don't pan out like they used to.

Kind of ironic, Andre was the one investment the Cubs didn't want to make. Dallas Green, the Cubs general manager in 1987, resisted signing Andre due to the condition of his knees, but then Andre presented him the “blank contract,”…and the rest was history.

Did I leave an unsuccessful Cub free-agent signing off my list? Leave a comment.


Aug 14, 2009

Un-measurable HOF Credentials, Dawson's "Three D's"

A few days ago published an article on a youth program called Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI). Ten teams are in Florida this week to compete in RBI's World Series. Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, and Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, spoke to the teams' players at the opening banquet.*

Andre spoke to the kids about playing the game by his "Three D's" -- Dedication, Determination, and Discipline. The Hawk knows the "Three D's" quite well; after all, he displayed them for the world to see over his 21-year career.

Dedication: Andre was dedicated to the game of baseball. He played for well under what he was worth in 1987 to join the Cubs. Of course, I'm referring to the blank contract. In today's sports era, there are draft picks who refuse to sign with teams because they feel they weren't offered contracts for what their worth. They haven’t even stepped onto a pro-level field yet, but feel entitled to a certain amount of money. Andre was an established star in the league and yet he took a pay cut to play the game.

Further in point, he had an MVP season for a last place team that year. He didn't quit on the team, he continued to perform at a high level even when there was no hope to make the playoffs. Isn't that a credential of a Hall of Fame caliber player? Just ask Ernie Banks.

Determination: It is common knowledge that Andre's knees were pretty much non-existent by the time he finished his career. He was determined to not let bad knees affect his glove work out in right field. If he could reach a ball by diving for it, he did it. That's why he was an 8-time Gold Glover.

Discipline: Andre approached every game and at bat with discipline. He gave everything he had running the base paths and with every swing of his bat. As Ryne Sandberg said in his Hall of Fame induction speech, "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 reason I'm blogging on these aspects of Andre's character is that I feel people, Hall of Fame voters to be specific, get so caught up in numbers that they sometimes overlook Hall of Fame qualities that aren't measurable.

Here's my "Three D's" for Andre: Deserves to be in the Hall, Defines a Hall of Famer, and Demonstrated a Hall of Fame player on and off the field.


Aug 7, 2009

The Hawk is Confident, You Should Be Too!

Recently, Andre did an interview for The Oklahoman (Published: July 26, 2009) while in Oklahoma City to make the first pitch of a Red Hawks minor league game. In the interview, he shared his feelings on the probability of being the next Hall of Fame inductee.

"The Hall of Fame has been a journey. Nine years. Now thankfully there’s nobody ahead of me that I have to hurdle. Next year perhaps will be a window for me. I think the one advantage I have is when you get up to 65 percent you usually get in. So I’m right about 66 right now and there’s nobody ahead of me so next year might be the year."*

I checked the Hall of Fame's website to see how accurate Andre's theory is. Since 1990, only two players who got at least 65% in votes didn't get inducted the following year, Tony Perez (67.9 in 1998) and Orlando Cepeda (73.5 in 1994). **

Perez only got 60.8% in the following year, but the good news for him was that he received 77.2% in 2000, enough for induction. In all fairness, he didn't stand a chance in 1999 because that was the year Nolan Ryan, George Brett, and Robin Yount were first-time inductees. He also received at least 65% in 1996 and 1997. You know what they say, the third....make that fifth time is a charm.

Unfortunately Cepeda wasn't so lucky, 1994 was the first year he received at least 65% in votes, but also his last year of eligibility. Steve Carlton was the lone induction that year.

All in all, I would have to agree with Andre, I think he should plan on being in Cooperstown next summer.

Interesting side note: I knew why Andre was nicknamed "The Hawk," but never knew who gave him the nickname. Andre also shared this in the article.

"The uncle who introduced me to the sport (baseball) bought me my first fielder’s glove. I took a liking to the game and growing up, it was the only thing I wanted to do. An uncle gave me my nickname. When he would throw me batting practice, he said I had a glare about me. I stayed on the ball unlike anything he had seen out of a youngster. He gave me the nickname and it stuck."

If you would like to read the article in its entirety, click here.


Jul 31, 2009

Holy Cow! Andre Dawson for Old Kuppenheimer

I thought this week instead of posting stats on why Andre should be in the Hall of Fame, we would have some fun.

Reason #10 Andre Dawson should be in the Hall of Fame, because he'll never get a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

As great of a ballplayer as Andre was, an actor he was not. Here is a classic little gem from the 1980s of Andre endorsing a suit company co-starring the great Harry Caray and Harry's son Skip, enjoy!

Holy cow, that was great! I searched and searched for another Andre Dawson 80s gem, his Tru-Link Fence ad to no avail. If anyone can find it, let me know, I would love to see it again.

Andre's Tru-Link Fence ad was one of my first memories watching the Cubs as a kid. I think that ad and Harry Caray were a large influence on why I became a Cubs fan. Even though I remember how poorly that ad was done, it made Andre seem more personal to me.

Jul 25, 2009

Move Over Jim, You're Going to Have Company!

Congratulations to Jim Rice for being inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame at this weekend’s ceremonies! Also congratulations to Andre Dawson and his fans for his induction next year!

Am I congratulating Andre and his fans too soon? Am I being too optimistic? No, after all I am a long-life Cubs fan (this is the year). Jim Rice's induction pretty much seals Andre Dawson a place in the Hall of Fame next year.

While I believe Rice undoubtedly deserves his HOF plaque, all of the same arguments of Andre Dawson nay-sayers have also plagued Rice over his career. Being a free swinger, low on-base percentage (OBP), and lack of base on balls (BB) have been the arguments against The Hawk for the hall.

While Rice's career OBP (.352 to .323) and BB (670 to 589) are higher, I don't think it is enough of a disparency to make that a valid argument anymore.

However, there are two areas that clearly indicate Rice created more outs for his team in his career than Andre - Strikeouts and Double Plays Grounded Into.*

Let's compare the two players.

Free Swingers (Struck out over 100 times a season):
Andre Dawson - 3 times (1978, 1979, & 1987)
Jim Rice - 6 times (1975-1978, 1983 & 1984)

*Andre played a total of 21 seasons, Rice 16.

Double Plays Grounded Into in Career:
Andre Dawson - 217
Jim Rice - 315 (6th place all-time)

*Andre finished in the top 10 in the league in this category only three times (1989, 1993, & 1994). By 1993 and 1994 his knees were shot from years of diving for the ball in the outfield. Rice, however, finished in the top 10 eleven times of his 16-year career; he was actually 1st four years in a row (1982-1985).

I've always rooted for Rice and respected what he did in his career, I'm only pointing out his weaknesses to show that if Hall of Fame voters are going to accept him despite these flaws, they have to accept Andre!


Jul 17, 2009

The Hawk's Intimidation Factor

You know what they say, "If you can't beat 'em, bean 'em," often in Andre's career that was the case. While being hit by a pitch isn't a statistic that comes into consideration for hall of fame induction, it does give insight on how pitchers were intimidated by Andre's power. He was one of the most feared hitters of the 1980s; in fact, he ranked in the top 10 Hit by Pitch stat for the first six years of his career. He actually led the league 4 times in that category.

1978 NL--12--1st
1979 NL--6--9th
1980 NL--6--1st
1981 NL--7--1st
1982 NL--8--2nd
1983 NL--9--1st
1986 NL--6--6th
1987 NL--7--5th
1993 AL--13--3rd

And who could forget one of the most famous beanings of all-time, the July 8, 1987 Beanball Brawl between the Cubs and Padres. Andre had hit two homeruns in a game against the Padres two days earlier. He hit a homer in the first inning of this game, his seventh against the Padres so far that season. During his second at-bat, Padres pitcher Eric Show threw a pitch that hit Andre in the mouth, launching a bench-clearing melee resulting in seven ejections.**

Other than a bloody lip, Andre was fine. And rightfully, Show apologized after the game.

Even the all-time strike-out king was intimidated by the Hawk, "When he's (Andre Dawson) hot there's no stopping him." - Nolan Ryan***

That quote is from a Hall of Fame pitcher, one of the best of all-time, 'nuff said.

*** Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible (1991)

Jul 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Andre!!!

I thought for this week, being that it is Andre's birthday today, that we would celebrate everything that is Andre. How am I doing this? By sharing with you some interesting facts on the Hawk and some of his favorites.

Middle Name: Same name as the all-time strikeout king, Nolan

Degree in: Physical Eduction from Florida A&M University

Hobby: Deep-Sea Fishing

Collects: Rare Coins

Best Friend in Baseball: Expo great Tim Raines

Favorite Players as a Kid: Hank Aaron and Dusty Baker

Favorite Sports Announcers were: Jack Buck and John Madden

Favorite Actor: James Earl Jones

Favorite Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Favorite Book: The Bible

5 Other Famous Athletes and Celebrities that share Andre's Birthday
1839 - Adolphus Busch, Founder of Anheuser-Busch
1943 - Arthur Ashe, Tennis Great
1945 - Hal McRae, Royals All-Star 2B
1960 - Roger Craig, 49ers Superbowl Champ RB
1980 - Thomas Ian Nicholas, Actor - Rookie of the Year (1993), American Pie (1999)

Sources - 1992 Leaf Studio, 1993 Leaf Studio, and

Jul 2, 2009

Shedding Some Light on the Wrigley Myth....

Recently I've came across a few articles on different baseball sites stating that Andre's batting numbers were enhanced by playing in Wrigley Field and that's why he shouldn't be in the hall of fame.

Two thoughts:

1) I guess these authors are exhausted writing about players who used performance enhancing drugs that they've moved onto finding reasons to keep honest players out of the hall of fame.


2) That these authors clearly did not look at Andre's statistics. It is obvious that he not only put up majority of his numbers, but also some of his best outside of Wrigley Field.

I can prove this very simply with three quick facts....

Fact#1: He played the first 11 seasons of his career in Montreal versus 6 as a Cub.

Fact#2: His career high in runs (107 in 1982) and hits (189 in 1983)came as an Expo.

Fact#3: 253 of his career 314 stolen bases came as an Expo.

Other than his 1987 season as a Cub I would argue his best all-around seasons were as an Expo. Even though it pains me to say that as a die-hard Cubs fan, but the numbers don't lie.

1982 - 23 HR, 83 RBI, .301 AVG, 39 SB, 183 Hits, 107 Runs
1983 - 32 HR, 113 RBI, .299 AVG, 25 SB, 189 Hits, 104 Runs

Don't get me wrong though, the day Andre goes into the Hall, I hope it is in a Cubs jersey!

Jun 26, 2009

All-Time All-Star

With the 2009 All-Star game approaching, I think it is only appropriate to focus on Andre being an 8-time All-Star.

Andre was a player's player, a manager's player, and a fan's player. The players that played with or against Andre loved him. Managers loved his approach to the game. And fans respected the way he played.

It was Andre's ability and work ethic that made him an 8-time All-Star, not to mention being voted by the fans to be a National League starter in 7 of the 8 games. The only game he didn't start was the 1989 game. He was a starting outfielder in the 1981-83, 1987, 1988, 1990, and 1991 games.*

He won the 1987 pre-All-Star game festivity the Home Run Derby, fitting since he led the Majors that year in home runs. He capped off his last All-Star appearance in 1991 by hitting a majestic home run in Toronto’s Skydome.*

Being an elected to start 7 All-Star games is a great accolade, but being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame would be the ultimate compliment to Andre's career.


Jun 15, 2009

Tale of Two MVP Seasons

In 1987 Andre Dawson won the National League MVP award for a Cubs team that finished last. That is the only time in Major League Baseball history that a player on a last place team won the coveted award.

Many baseball experts and fans since 1987 have debated if the award should be given to a player of a non-playoff contending team. The purpose of this post is to give an example of why those that voted for Andre in 1987 did so (he received 80% of the vote).*

In 1987 Andre topped the National League in homeruns (49), RBIs (137), and total bases (353), as well as fifth in hits (178) and third in extra-base hits (75).

But I think the most amazing statistic of 1987 is that Andre accounted for 32% of the runs the Cubs scored that year. The Cubs scored 720 runs, 137 in which Andre batted in and 90 of which he scored himself. Of the 720, 227 involved Andre. 32% is HUGE!**

Here is an illustration of how huge that really is. In comparison, in the 2007-08 NBA season in which Kobe Bryant won MVP he accounted for 31% of the Lakers total points that season(Points + assists). Andre accounted for one more percent of his team's run in his MVP season than Kobe.***

I doubt anyone would argue against Kobe for basketball's hall of fame; it shouldn't be any different for Andre!


Jun 8, 2009

The 8 Gold Gloves

Fielding is rarely a statistic that comes into consideration regarding baseball's hall of fame. The only player I can think of that was inducted largely on the defensive aspect of the game was Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith.

What made Andre such a great all-around player was his ability to save as many runs with his outstanding glove as he created with his bat. He won 8 Gold Gloves in his 21-year career, six in which were in consecutive years (1980-1985, two additional Gold Gloves in 1987 and 1988).

I believe Andre would have won additional gold gloves later in his career had he began his career playing on natural grass rather than hard artificial turf during his time as a Montreal Expo. Despite that, only two outfielders in Major League Baseball history have won more Gold Gloves than Andre, Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays, both are in the hall of fame*.

Andre's fielding percentage for his career was .983 (1.000 is the highest possible %).*


Jun 1, 2009

The 400HR/300SB Club

Andre finished his career with 438 home runs and 314 stolen bases. 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 feat are: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley*.

Andre belongs to an even more elite group, the 400/300 Club (400 home runs and 300 stolen bases). What makes this group so amazing is that out of the 16,187** players in Major League Baseball history (1876-2007) only three have the statistics to belong to this exclusive club. Mays and Barry Bonds are of course the other two members.

This means only 1.85% of all players to don a MLB uniform belongs to this club. Mays is in the Hall of Fame and Barry is not eligible for the Hall yet. That leaves Andre. Don't you think a player that accomplishes something of this magnitude that 98% of other players couldn't, that it is a no-brainer that Andre should be elected?


May 22, 2009

How Andre Became a Cub

For my first post, I want to share a story about Andre that shows what set him apart from other superstars of the game. I could talk about him hitting 49 homeruns in a single year or his 8 glove gloves, but I think how he became a Chicago Cub makes a strong case on what type of Hall of Fame caliber player he was.

The biggest story every off season of Major League Baseball is which superstar is optioning out of his contract for more money or which is not resigning because the offer was not large enough.

Andre finished his contract in 1986 with the Montreal Expos, hitting 20 homeruns and driving 78 runs, while batting .284, outstanding numbers for that era. He had also finished 8 punishing years playing on astroturf that tore up his knees. Andre knew where he wanted to go, Wrigley Field, where the grass was plentiful as were his statistics at that stadium.

Only problem was that the Cubs weren’t that interested. Dawson had campaigned for the Cubs to sign him during the offseason, but general manager Dallas Green resisted. Two weeks into spring training, Dawson presented Green with an offer he couldn’t refuse. He presented Green with a blank contract.

Baseball is a business, always remember that. So what did Green do? He filled in the contract with a miminal figure of a $500,000 salary. While that seems fair to you and I, at the time other baseball superstars were making three to four times that.

How did Andre respond? By winning the 1987 National Leage Most Valuable Player award.