Since Andre's election to the Hall of Fame on January 6th, the question a foot has been will he be inducted wearing a Cubs or Expos cap.
What team should an elected player represent in the Hall of Fame has not been a prevailing debate for most of its history. Cal Ripken Jr., not a question, Tony Gwynn, not a question, Ryne Sandberg, not a question, etc. Gone are the days of a player playing majority of his career with one team thanks to free agency.
The reason it has been up for debate in Andre's case is that he spent more seasons (11) in Montreal while putting up majority of his statistics there. However as a Cub for six seasons, Andre rose to national prominence and became one of baseball's most well known ambassadors.
Here's a look at his numbers between the two clubs*:
Montreal Expos 1976-1986: 225 HRs, 838 RBIs, .280 Avg., 1575 Hits, 828 Runs, 253 SBs
Chicago Cubs 1987-1992: 174 HRs, 587 RBIs, .285 Avg., 929 Hits, 431 Runs, 57 SBs
As a Cubs fan I naturally want to see him don the Cubs cap on July 25th.
As an Andre Dawson fan I'm just glad he is a Hall of Famer regardless of the cap he will wear.
But as a blogger, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't share my opinion on this, so here it is.
Top Ten reasons Andre should be inducted as a Cub:
10. MVP trumps ROY. Andre's 1987 MVP award with the last-place Cubs is more impressive than this 1977 ROY award with the Expos. He was the first player to win the MVP on a last-place team, which in itself is true testament to the type of player he was. When most may have turned in a lack luster effort, Andre kicked it into higher gear.
9. 5-time All-Star with Cubs (1987-1991) versus 3 times as an Expo (1981-1983).
8. Career highs in Home Runs (49) and RBIs (137) as a Cub.
7. Joined the 300 HRs / 300 SBs club as a Cub.
6. The "C" logo on the Cubs cap makes sense. The logo on the Expo cap never looked like an "M." Amazing that franchise never changed the "JL" into a cleaner logo.
5. 3-100 RBI seasons as a Cub (1987, 1991 & 1992), only 1 as an Expo.
4. Hit more Home Runs at Wrigley Field (Cubs) than Olympic Stadium (Expos) (110 to 102)*. Even before he joined the Cubs in '87, he loved hitting in Wrigley.
3. Ryne Sandberg. While Hall of Famer Gary Carter was a teammate of Andre's in Montreal (1976-1984), Andre/Ryno was the Jordan/Pippen of Chicago baseball. The tandem should wear the same cap in the Hall. I'll let you decide which is Jordan in this equation.
2. The Cubs have stated that they'll retire his #8 if he enters the Hall as a Cub. First, let me say that I believe they should do this regardless of the cap he wears. Second, that statement is insane considering the cap he wears is ultimately the Hall's decision. Andre gets to share his input, but it's not his call. I think it would show a lot of class on the Cubs part to do it even if the Expos are chosen. If he is immortalized as an Expo in the Hall, then immortalize him as a Cub at Wrigley. But let's not take chances here; let's make the decision for the Cubs easy.
1. Cubs are forever. Expos are now the Nationals. 20, 30 years from now, kids won't even remember the Expos. Do you think kids today know who the Washington Senators were? I want the next generation of fans that visit the Hall of Fame to recognize the cap on his plaque and recognize him as one of the greatest Cubs ever!