Andre Dawson has received many honors in his baseball career — an MVP award and the Hall of Fame being the most significant.
Tuesday, Major League Baseball and the baseball programs at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities announced that a tournament involving these schools will now be known as the Andre Dawson Classic.
Dawson said in a statement: “It is with the utmost appreciation that I take this opportunity to thank MLB for this honor. I am a product of an HBCU program that provided me an opportunity to pursue a college education while chasing a childhood dream. I am both honored and humbled to play a role in empowering students to be leaders in their communities and strive to improve and impact the lives of others.”
Andre played his college ball at Florida A&M, where in his one season (1974) before being drafted by the Montreal Expos he hit .390/.429/.695 with five home runs and 10 stolen bases in 118 at-bats.
The tournament will be held in New Orleans from February 16-18; two games on February 17 (2 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT) will be televised live on MLB Network with Scott Braun on play-by-play and former Cub Cliff Floyd on analysis.
Here’s the full tournament schedule (all times Central):
Former Major Leaguers, including Dawson, two-time MLB All-Star Dmitri Young, former MLB Pitcher Marvin Freeman, and former American League Manager of the Year & current MLB Youth Programs consultant Jerry Manuel all will attend various portions of the event. Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson will also make a special appearance to support his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday’s contest between UIC and Southern.
Congratulations to Andre on this singular honor. Well deserved.