Jul 26, 2010
The Hawk Soars into Cooperstown with Cubs' Fans Beneath his Wings.
Yesterday Andre Dawson took center stage of the baseball world and the world got to see what it was about the man and the player that his supporters and fans have known all along...he is the epitome of what a Hall of Famer should be.
Since it was announced in January that Andre would be joining baseball’s best in the Hall of Fame, I wasn’t sure what to expect when he would make his induction speech. The Hawk was always known as a player who let his speaking be done on the field through his play not through the media. Knowing what I do about Andre Dawson I knew that he would make his speech personal and gracious.
I knew he would thank his family, especially his Grandmother and Mother who played such a large role in shaping his approach to life. I knew he would thank his closest teammates, Tim Raines, Warren Cromartie and Shawon Dunston. I knew he would thank his fans and the organizations he played for.
I think what surprised me was how the speech was less about baseball and more about the journey he experienced. Sure he addressed the performance enhancing era of baseball and paid forward the courtesy of rooting for a fellow teammate to be elected to the Hall as Ryne Sandberg did for him a couple of years ago.
But to me, his speech was about his journey that began with family and continues to be about family. Whether he was speaking about his Uncles who introduced him to the game to the fans of Chicago who picked him up from the lowest point in his career to the inside glimpse he gave us of what his wife and children mean to him, it was family through and through.
The Hawk didn't disappoint. It was a great speech from a humble and grateful Hall of Famer. His speech made me even more proud to have rooted for him all of these years and to have started this blog.
You were the one thanking people yesterday Hawk, but I think your fans would agree with me, we should be thanking you. Thank you for giving us your best for 21 seasons and loving the game the way you did. As you said, if you love the game, it will love you back; the same can be said of your fans!
Missed Andre's induction speech? Watch it here!