Andre Dawson is one of those legends. For some, he's "one" whose legend is embellished. For others, he's an under-appreciated great whose contributions go beyond the numbers.
Well, this article is supposed to be about numbers, but the Cub Tracks-er in me has to start with other links.
You know that Dawson is in the Hall of Fame.
But it took him nine votes to get in and some consider him to be the definition of a borderline candidate.
He won the MVP Award for the Cubs in 1987, though many consider that to be a poor selection.
Hawk was known as an intense competitor. He once went nuts on Cowboy Joe West. You MUST watch this clip, if for no other reason than to see a shirt WGN sportscaster Dan Roan was allowed to wear on the air.
On to the numbers.
Regardless whether you think Dawson deserves a spot in the Hall, he had a fantastic career. He played 21 total seasons, slashing .279/.323/.482, hitting 438 HR, driving in 1591 runs, and stealing 314 bases. His OPS+ was 119 and Fangraphs has him being worth 59.5 WAR. He was Rookie of the Year for the 1976 Montreal Expos, won the MVP for the Cubs, earned a spot on eight All-Star teams (five as a Cub), and won eight Gold Gloves on one of the strongest and most accurate outfield arms around.
Dawson spent six seasons as a Cub, his age 32-37 seasons. He famously joined the Cubs by offering the team a blank contract to help save his knees. That's a memory Dallas Green recalled with fondness.
As a Cub, Dawson hit .285/.327/.507 with 174 HR, 587 RBI, 57 steals (thanks Montreal's astroturf) with an OPS+ of 125 at a value of 17.2 WAR. The Hawk tapered off his last four seasons as he played out the string with the Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins.
We loved the Hawk because he wanted to play for us and he appreciated Chicago. Six seasons is sort of a short stay, but it was plenty long enough for Dawson to play his way into Cub lore. What's your favorite Dawson memory?