Friday, January 19, 2007

Hawk For Hall

No, I’m not talking about AJ and Billy. Andre “The Hawk” Dawson belongs in baseball’s Hall of Fame. He was snubbed for the 5th consecutive year a couple of weeks ago. 61% of voters did vote for Dawson, 14% lower than the 75 % needed for enshrinement. Cal Ripkin Jr (Overrated). and Tony Gwynn were voted in, while Paul Bunyan McGwire was not. ESPN’s well respected baseball analyst Pete Gammons voted for a whopping 8 players on his ballot, but none were named Andre. That’s a shame.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go Timmy Kirkjian and spew out OPS, or OBP or ABC, BBD, the East Coast Family on you. Here’s the deal. As a non pitcher, you have three ways to excel on the baseball field: hitting, fielding, and running the bases. Dawson did all three…very well. Besides hitting well over 400 bombs, he stole 314 bases, played in 8 All Star games, won an MVP (1987), was runner up MVP twice (’81, ’83), was awarded 8 Gold Gloves and had a friggin howitzer attached to his right shoulder. More than once he erased singles from the box score by gunning down runners at first base. That’s rare. That’s only possible if: A) Your right fielder has an absolute hose, and/or B) The batter chugging down the line is Jabba The Hut. Keep in mind he did all of this while running on two shredded knees as a result of playing his first 11 years on Montreal’s green colored cement field.

He excelled at hitting, running AND fielding. Doesn’t that make him a great “baseball” player? I think so. Consider this. If you were playing game 7 of the World Series tomorrow and you had your pick between Andre Dawson or Doug’s guy Ozzie Smith (First ballot Hall of Famer, 2002), who would you take? The guy who you could bat 4th, drive in runs, steal a base and gun down base runners or the slick fielding slappy who scares absolutely no one? Hellooooooo!!

My Prediction: Dawson gets in next year. It’s a weak class with Tim “I used to play games with a vial of crack in my pants” Rains as the most qualified candidate. I guess he didn’t get the nickname “Rock” for nothin’ .

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