Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dawson, at Point of No Return, Has HOF Wishes Denied

I guess Gary Carter was lonely, because the Baseball Hall of Fame has told Andre Dawson he's entering the HOF as an Expo. Dawson, who wanted to be immortalized on his plaque as a Chicago Cub, is instead succumbing to the HOF's Expos fetish:

The hall announced its decision Wednesday. Dawson told WMVP-AM in Chicago that he thought hall officials would discuss the issue with him in detail before the decision was made. He said he wanted a chance to tell them "what really catapulted me to Hall of Fame status and pretty much what my preference was but I think their decision had been made. It was a little gut-wrenching for me to hear that but it's their decision."

"I'm disappointed," Dawson told the ESPN Radio affiliate. "I can proudly say that because Chicago was my preference."

Dawson's official statement issued by the hall was more circumspect.

"I respect the Hall of Fame's decision to put an Expos logo on my cap, and I understand their responsibility to make sure the logo represents the greatest impact in my career," Dawson said in Wednesday's statement. "Cubs fans will always be incredibly important in my heart, and I owe them so much for making my time in Chicago memorable, as did the fans in Montreal, Boston and South Florida, my home. But knowing that I'm on the Hall of Fame team is what's most important, as it is the highest honor I could imagine."

The induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., is July 25.

Dawson played his first 11 seasons with Montreal, batting .285 with 225 home runs and 838 RBIs. He was named an All-Star three times and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. He played six seasons with the Cubs, where he won the 1987 NL MVP award after batting .287 with 49 home runs and 137 RBIs. He also played two years each for Boston and Florida before retiring in 1996.

Dawson told WMVP he thought he "would have a little bit more input or I would carry or merit some sort of weight" as to whether he would go into the hall as a Cub or Expo.

"It was to my understanding they would make the determination at the consent of sitting down and discussing it with you prior to making the determination and I just thought it would carry a little bit more weight than it did," he said.

Earlier this month, Hall president Jeff Idelson said "you want the logo to represent where this guy made his greatest impact. He was impactful in Montreal. He was impactful in Chicago, and to a much lesser extent Boston and Florida, but it's more of a case sitting down and collectively make a decision."

The hall noted that Dawson had 1,575 of his 2,774 hits as an Expo, won six of his eight Gold Glove awards in Montreal and led the Expos to their only postseason series win with a five-game victory over the Phillies in 1981. Idelson also said it's the museum's responsibility to "properly interpret the game's history."

Somewhere, Pedro Martinez weeps.

18 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

Randy Winn to Yank-mes. Vin is sad he can't tell his half-court shot story except in interleague play.

Fite Club said...

It makes sense to me to put the dead franchise on his cap from the point of view of both his extensive tenure with the Expos and the fact that the HoF won't have many more chances to "properly interpret the game's history" in regard to having a team in Montreal for 36 years (although Tim Raines should already be enshrined).

Still, I can understand Dawson's frustration over not having a stronger say.

We could fix this by enshrining people only after they're dead. ;)

Steve Sax said...

Or we could just have a big wheel (like at Vons) and spin the wheel for every player, and give them that team's hat irrespective of whether he played for them or not. Dawson could go in as a Brewer, for example.

Casey said...

Dawson is coming off like a big baby in all of this. It might be different if he hadn't bellyflopped into the HOF. Just smile and be glad you made it, Hawk!

Casey said...

But on a more Dodgers-related note, this decision does make me feel even less certain about the chances of Piazza going into the Hall with a Dodgers cap: the Mets only have one cap in the Hall (Seaver). Mike's inevitable request to be enshrined as a Met will probably only be icing on the cake as far as their decision making goes.

Dusty Baker said...

@Casey

Damn, I hadn't even thought of the Piazza/HOF/cap bit yet. I would be shattered. Surely he would go in as a Dodger. Surely?

Ok, I'll stop calling you Shirley.

Mr. Customer said...

What the hell would they do if Sheffield made it in?

As for Mikey, I'd go the King Solomon route and put him in as a Marlin, so all parties would be equally pissed off.

Mr. Customer said...

Always remember that this is all Wade Boggs' fault for being mucking it up by wanting to go in with the Rays instead of the Sox (and for not knowing who England's greatest PM was).

Steve Sax said...

Good point, Casey. Piazza had better go in as a Dodger. With a mullet. Made of real hair.

Steve Sax said...

By the way, no one mentions Expose? I thought that was right up your alley.

Casey said...

Sheffield is an interesting case: he may go in with a blank cap, a la Catfish Hunter.

Not that I necessarily want his number hanging in the LFP, but the Dodgers have as solid a case for having Sheffield in the Hall as anyone. He only played a handful more games for the Marlins (although he won a ring there) than in LA, and arguably his peak years of performance were in blue.

Mr. Customer said...

All my Exposé material was used up in that last series with Washington.

Jason said...

Sax, I read it as "Expos, eh?" I enjoyed it as I do all Canadian-based humor.

Fred's Brim said...

I thought Dave Winfield had a hand in messing up the HOF Hat situation. Didn't he take a job, money and maybe a car from the Padres to go in with an SD hat?

Casey said...

I hadn't heard Winfield was bribed. As far as I knew, he chose the Padres because they gave him his start and as a screw you to George Steinbrenner.

Boggs was an issue because rumor had it that his Devil Rays contract gave him more money if he promised to select the Devil Rays when he was eventually inducted. That didn't sit well with the Hall.

Mr. Customer said...

@Casey,

I think you are correct, though I would not be surprised to learn that there were fringe benefits exchanged between the Pads and Winfield.

Steve Sax said...

@Jason 3.30p: Such as Strange Brew?

Jason said...

@Sax - Strange Brew, Canadian Bacon, Kids in the Hall, the whole concept of Loonies and Toonies...