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.

* www.baseball-refernce.com
** www.nytimes.com
*** 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 www.abadss.com

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!