[Over the next few days, Josh and I will be discussing the Hall of Fame merits of the players on this year's ballot for the purpose of creating our ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance HoF voting.]
Nick: I’ll let you lead off on this one – I don’t even know where to begin. He seems to compare well to other HOF’ers, but my first gut instinct is “not enough”.
Josh: Given that I grew up right in the middle of Cards/Cubs battleground, Andre Dawson proved to be a very worthy adversary. His induction to the Hall of Fame makes for a much harder argument especially after his first ten years north of the border. The Hawk established franchise records for the Expos in over ten categories but also did major damage to his knees in the process.
Dawson garnered most of his attention by winning the MVP for a last place team in 1987 even though he placed second twice before that. More significant to me is how lethal a total package in all facets of the game. People talk about Ank’s arm but well before him, Dawson dared people to take an extra base on him. His stolen bases fell off considerably over the length of his career but the 21-year vet still joined a remarkable club with 400 HR – 300 SB. Only Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are also members of this group, pretty good company for anyone in baseball.
Will this be the year that Andre joins fellow 80′s legend Ryne Sandberg in the HOF? I certainly hope so given that he compares favorably in my opinion with Jim Rice as another one of the real all-around players, not just a designated hitter. If someone wants to look only at the numbers, take this last bit of info to heart. Dawson could very well have played the last half of his career in the American League, but the 8-time Gold Glove winner took less than market value to find the right home. Wow, that would be great to hear right about now in St. Louis land or any other city for that matter.
Nick: Dawson is the first guy I really hedged on.
I was prepared to dismiss him similar to Harold Baines – didn’t do enough in the counting stats, in fact, he ranks very close to Baines in similarity score.
I either never knew or forgot that The Hawk was ever a threat on the basepaths. By the time he won his MVP in 1987, knees in shambles, I remember watching him amble around Wrigley Field as if he had splints on both legs.
Eight Gold Gloves and a rocket arm from the outfield (and I really must get up to speed on my Montreal history) help to set Dawson apart, especially from a candidate like Baines.
On the strength of his Power/Speed numbers – exceptional defense – and an improbable MVP award… The Hawk is in. Agreed?
Josh: This is becoming repetitive but yes, Team PH8 is in agreement again.
Nick: At least this time there was some debate! You have convinced me.
This is the first name we’ve discussed that brought Jim Rice into the equation. Many folks are lamenting Rice’s inclusion, saying it now opens up the Hall to some player who wouldn’t have otherwise merited consideration. What say you?
So far that’s three names in on the PH8 ballot. Stay tuned for more upcoming banter.