BBA HoF Ballot Discussion: Andre Dawson

by on December 30, 2009 · 6 comments

[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.]

Andre Dawson

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.

On the other hand, he also ranks similar to Tony Perez, and Ernie Banks, and Dave Winfield. Those are some potent names.

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.

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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{ 4 comments }

Charley December 30, 2009

I applaud you guys for recognizing Andre Dawson as a Hall of Famer, despite him also being a Cub! That’s what was special about The Hawk, it didn’t matter whether you were routing against the team Andre played on, you still secretly root for this guy. Everyone respected his game from fans to peers, so it’s time BBWAA writers do the same!

Charley
Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame
hawk4thehall blogspot

PH8 December 30, 2009

Thanks for stopping in Charley.

As you can read above, it took some convincing for me, but really more just a reminder of how good Dawson was in his early years – as well as maintaining a high level of output when many others would’ve given up because of the chronic knee problems.

Hope this is the year for Andre.

Pete December 31, 2009

Although I never secretly rooted for Andre Dawson, nor found him a lovable fan favorite athlete, it is very difficult to deny him HOF status due to players that have been inducted. I will cite Jim Rice as a prime example. Rice has a better career batting average, however, when you add in the fact that Rice did not often play a position, and when he did, he did not do it well, I believe that it negates his value over Dawson. Dawson was a very good defensive outfielder, with a superior arm compared to his contemporaries. He also recorded over 300 stolen bases in an era of baseball that was geared toward speed. Bottom line if Rice is in, so should the Hawk be enshrined.

PH8 December 31, 2009

Pete – it’s a shame that eventually a player’s viability as a candidate boils down to whether or not he’s better than the “last player in” isn’t it?

Regardless of your argument, I think I safe case can be made for Dawson.

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