I know we've discussed whether or not Andre Dawson deserves to be elected to the HOF briefly on other threads. This morning, ESPN did a little write-up on the case for and against Andre's making it in.
The case for (written by everyone's favorite resident whack-job, Phil Rogers):What do you want in a ballplayer? You'd want a consistently tough out, someone who could hit for power, run, cover ground in the field and make strong, accurate throws. You'd want high character, leadership ability and a willingness to play hurt. You'd want Andre Dawson. He won eight Gold Gloves, the first four in center field before sliding to right when Tim Raines arrived in Montreal. He was the first player with double-figure totals in both home runs and stolen bases 12 years in a row. Dawson had 16 straight years with 45 extra-base hits, a run worthy of guys like Henry Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Mel Ott and Honus Wagner. His 2,774 career hits are the most of any eligible player not in the Hall. Dave Winfield, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, had 3,000 hits and a World Series ring but never finished in the top two for MVP honors. Dawson won an MVP and finished second twice. It's time to remember just how great of a player he was.
Good point, Phil.
The Case Against (by David Kull):OK, I admit -- I don't have a Hall of Fame vote. I'm an editor, not a writer, so my opinion has no direct bearing on Andre Dawson's entrance into Cooperstown. But if I had a vote, I wouldn't vote for Dawson. Don't get me wrong: Dawson was a great player. He could hit for power, steal bases, gun down baserunners, and more. He produced stellar numbers from year to year. He won an MVP. He won Gold Gloves. There were no major kinks in his game. But not every great player is a Hall of Famer. I believe the Hall of Fame should be reserved for the truly elite, the best of the best. With Dawson, I only have an issue making the leap from "great" to "elite." Sure, there are several Hall of Famers with inferior ability and numbers. While that seems unfair to Dawson, that doesn't mean one should automatically admit him for comparison's sake. On his own "Hawk" falls short of garnering my vote -- for what it's worth.
I'll be the first to say it: I want him in. I'll also be the first to say that I believe that I have been unduly influenced to this day by the "Class For All Seasons" poster, which featured Our Beloved Sweetness, MJ, and The Hawk, which festooned the walls of my room as a child. In other words, I can't be objective in this one.
What do you guys think?