The verdict is in and Andre Dawson will be the lone inductee into baseball’s Hall of Fame. It was his 9th year on the ballot and the publicity campaign worked for “The Hawk.” Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were close, but weren’t able to get 75% of the votes to join Dawson.
I have been a huge fan of Andre Dawson since I was about seven years of age. When he appeared on the Cubs, I was unaware where he came from. I was very young and I only kept tabs on the Cubs since I watched them every day on WGN. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he was a star in Montreal for many years. When he arrived in Chicago, he was a home run machine and the clean-up hitter that Chicago needed to finally win a pennant in 1989. He was a nice player to lineup near Ryne Sandberg, but he turned out to be much more for Chicago, since he won the NL MVP in 1987 and lead the league in home runs.
Dawson was clearly a shell of himself later in his career because he played on the very bad turf in Montreal that messed up his knees. He used to have a lot of speed and stole a lot of bases with teammate Tim Raines leading the league many seasons. The Expos were a very fast team, but after playing so many years there, players were plagued with various knee problems. The turf was basically carpet on top of cement.
I will surely be watching the induction of “The Hawk” as I did when Ryne Sandberg was inducted. When you think about the 1987 season for the Cubs, they had Dawson, Sandberg, Rafael Palmeiro, Greg Maddux, Jamie Moyer, and Lee Smith. They had six players that will either be in the Hall of Fame or will be very close. It’s hard to believe that the team finished last place in the NL East that year with a record of 76-85.
It was a shame that Bert Blyleven fell 5 votes of getting into the Hall of Fame. Every pitcher who gets near 300 wins, even if he had nearly as many losses, deserves to get in. He has two more years of eligibility and he should get in next season. Roberto Alomar also fell short in his first year of eligibility. He is another player that should get in and they both faired well in a year with not many stars becoming eligible. Jack Morris also saw an increase in votes, but he still has a long way to go, his name was on about 50% of the ballots.