Jan 4, 2010

1991 - A Special Season for The Hawk and Myself

The 1991 season was supposed to be the year the Cubs broke the curse and won the World Series (That's every year to a Cubs fan). With the newly acquired George Bell batting behind Andre, the Cubs were a likely favorite with three former MVPs in the line-up (Dawson, Bell and Ryne Sandberg). However, the Cubs finished with a disappointing 77-83 record, finishing 4th in the NL East. While the Cubs didn't enjoy much success in 1991, Andre did.*

Andre made his eighth and final appearance in the All-Star game, his fifth straight appearance since joining the Cubs in 1987. He finished the first half of 1991 tied for most home runs in the NL with 15 and was sixth in RBI with 52.**

What made 1991 special for me was that I got to attend the final game of that amazing first half. The game was July 7 at St. Louis; we drove from Oklahoma to see it. My family planned our summer vacation entirely around that game, so it was a big deal.

The Cubs won the first two games of the series. In the game on July 6th, Andre went 3 for 5 with a home run and a double to drive in 3 RBIs; Cubs won 12-2. I was hoping he would save some of that offense for the game we would attend the next day.

We brought our home made signs to the game, rooting for the Cubs to sweep the Cards. Of course, we got heckled by the home team fans, but I didn't let that damper my opportunity to see my first Cubs game live and my favorite player in action too.

Andre had one hit that night in four at-bats, but that one hit was a two-run home run. It was a deep left/center field shot off of Ken Hill in the 3rd inning.

The Cubs lost that game 8-7. The game was my first and last time to see Andre play and he didn't disappoint. Sure the Cubs lost, but even at the age of 12 I realized how special it was to have your favorite player come through for you with a home run.

A couple of days later he hit a solo shot over the center field wall in the All-Star game at the Skydome. The blast came in the fourth inning off of Roger Clemens; NL lost 4-2.***

He capped the season off with his fourth Silver Slugger award. It was most deservingly considering he hit two of his six career grand slams that season and his two pinch-hits in 1991 were both home runs.****

Andre finished 1991 with:*
Games - 149
Home Runs - 31 (4th in the NL)
RBIs - 104 (6th and accomplished back to back 100 RBI seasons)
Stolen Bases - 4
Hits - 153
Runs - 69
Avg. - .272
Total Bases - 275 (9th)
AB Per HR - 18.2 (7th)

What's your Andre Dawson memory? Please share with a comment!

* www.baseball-reference.com
** 1991 Upper Deck
*** www.wikipedia.org
**** 1992 Upper Deck


  1. Great post, Charley. I love it when people reminisce about a game with fine detail... I saw Andre play in '89 against the Reds... Not much to remember, but the ONE thing about Andre that ALWAYS stuck me was his batting stance. Perhaps there was never a more intimidating batting stance in MLB, it just seemed to have that "I dare you" aspect to it, and when you put in Andre's glare... Which had that same aspect, I kinda felt sorry for the opposing pitchers.

    I think Andre will get in this year. My fingers are crossed.

  2. Great story, Charley. You have an incredible memory. Very impressive.

    As for Andre, the one thing that sticks out the most in my mind is how unconventional his free agency was. Rather than taking the big money, he actually took a pay cut to play for the Cubs. Just for the chance to play on grass and protect his knees he pretty much signed for whatever they offered him. And he wound up the league MVP after the Cubs kind off didn't want him. That was incredible.

  3. Charley, just came across this... Maybe you've read it in which case I'm sure you enjoyed it... If not I'm sure you will. (The comments are great too)


  4. Saw Andre with my Old Man for the first time in '91 when I was 11 years old. We got to the park 3 hours early and sat in the 1st row of the left field bleachers. I remember clear as day Andre making a stretching grab in right center and firing a laser to first on the fly for a ho-hum double play to end the inning.

    If he doesn't get in, the Hall's a complete joke. He did it clean and went out every freaking day. No roids, no HGH, nothin'. I have a feeling it's tomorrow or never.

  5. Andre Dawson has been my closest personal friend for the past 32 years. I have had the pleasure of being there for the good times and the bad times of his life...but now I will there for his Crowning Glory. Andre like all of us is far from perfect but he is one of the most genuine, caring and sincere friends I have ever known. I think it is now time for me to write a book on the joy that our relationship has brought me with the game of baseball.

  6. Please do write a book about it. I will definitely wait for that book! I will definitely learn more about my Idol.

    "Niel" for pose isolant mince