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…..