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.