Baseball Hall of Fame Case: Andre Dawson

1/7/08 in MLB   |   Seth   |   301 respect

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It’s time for the baseball Hall of Fame debates to begin. From now until the results are announced, FanIQ will be taking a look at this year’s major candidates. Ending the series: Andre Dawson.
Andre Dawson played for 21 (often injured) seasons, 11 with the lowly Expos where he infamously ruined his knees manning the outfield for Montreal and then offered the Cubs a blank contract just to get out of Olympic Stadium (collusion on 1987 kept him from getting a legitimate free agent contract). Six seasons for the Cubbies where he earned his MVP award, rounded out by 2 years in Boston and Florida
Pros For Induction
The Hawk was a career .279 hitter, with 438 home runs, 1373 runs scored, 1591 RBIs, 314 stolen bases, and a .482 slugging average.
Rookie of the year in 1977.
MVP in 1987, finished 2nd in 1981 and 1983.
4 Silver Slugger Awards
8 All Star appearances
8 Gold Glove Awards
Considering that Andre Dawson played half of his career on some very bad Montreal teams (the Expos only made the playoffs once during his 11 seasons and that was during the strike interrupted 81season where Montreal finished first in the second half of the season), he still managed to produce MVP caliber numbers. He was a true five tool player. He could hit. He could run. He played great defense.
Cons Against Induction
Career OBP is .323. That’s not very good at all.
Dawson was hurt by injury. He lost multiple games most seasons which hurt his career totals along with destroying his knees from years of pounding on Astroturf, and while it’s nice to think about how much better he could have been if he wasn’t injured, you can only vote by what he actually did accomplish.
His career numbers alone are pretty good and might warrant election if you don’t factor in his long career. Over his career he averaged only 21 home runs and 76 RBIs a season, not too spectacular even if played during a non-steroid era. 
The Verdict
If I had a vote, Dawson would get mine. He falls short of some of the "mystical" induction lines like he is short of 300 hits, but the 41 people ahead of him are all hall of famers. He also falls short of 500 homers, but only Dave Kingman is ahead of him and not in the hall, and Dave Kingman is no Andre Dawson. Plus Dawson was more than just a feared hitter, before he lost his knees, he was a speed threat too. There are only two other players with 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds. That's good company to be with. Throw in 8 gold glove awards, and Dawson had all the tools to be one the best players on the 80's.
Will He Get In?
He’s got a shot, eventually. Dawson received votes on 56.7% of the ballots, and while it doesn’t always make sense, his votes will probably go up this year with no sure fire locks coming out this year. With more players becoming eligible from the steroid days, it may be that Dawson will garner a few more votes over the coming years to get elected, but he may be one of the hardest to predict his eventual fate.
Now it’s your turn. Discuss Dawson’s candidacy in the comments, and be sure to vote in both his individual poll and Seth’s poll encompassing the entire ballot.
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