Monday, January 07, 2008

A Travesty

It is a travesty that Andre Dawson has not been elected to the Hall of Fame. The man had some monster seasons, a career that spanned 21 years and he won eight Gold Gloves. As a fantasy manager who always tries to build the best defensive team possible, this is most impressive. Here is a fine article by Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald regarding Dawson's candidacy.

Knee surgeries? ''Had 12,'' Andre Dawson says in that stoic way of his.

Does that count the number of times you needed the swollen knees drained?

A laugh.

''No,'' he says.

How many times did you have those knees drained?

"On average?''


"At the end of every spring training. That was good for about three months. And after every surgery. About three times a year, maybe more.''

How many years?

Another laugh.

"Every year.''

Every year of your 21-year career?

"Pretty much.''

What does that feel like?

''The small needle or the big one?'' he says.

Never mind.

Dawson is a proud man of uncommon strength, but he finally had one of his knees replaced last year. It is the worst pain he has ever known, making him go through the three-week Percocet prescription in 10 awful days.

''I literally cried for three days,'' he says.

The other knee?

It will need to be replaced soon, too.

''A painful career,'' he says.

Would he do anything differently?

''No,'' he says. ``Not at all.''

He belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he is not yet in.

Voters want more.

''The managers and trainers and doctors and players know what I went through,'' he says. ``If they were voting, I'd get in fairly easily.''

Even in the inflated age of steroids, bloated with swollen numbers, Dawson's statistics flex and demand immortality. Thirty-fifth in homers. Thirty-second in RBI. Forty-fifth in hits. Ever. In our most historic game. And all the more impressive when you see the stained names of Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield and Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco ahead of him in home runs.

Dawson's 438 homers are more than Joe DiMaggio or Johnny Bench or Al Kaline or Duke Snider.

Dawson's 1,591 RBI are more than Rogers Hornsby or Harmon Killebrew or Tris Speaker or Willie McCovey.

Dawson's 2,774 hits are more than Lou Gehrig or Ted Williams or Joe Morgan.

What makes him proudest?

''My longevity,'' he says.

All-around player? He won eight Gold Gloves. He is one of six men with 300 homers and 300 stolen bases -- on a short list that includes golden names such as Willie Mays and Barry Bonds. He is an eight-time All-Star. There are eight or nine right fielders in the Hall of Fame who don't have his résumé.

Read the rest here.

2 Swings of the bat:

PaulNoonan said...

Mr. Tremendous disagrees, and makes a compelling case:

Other Side said...

I'll check that out in a bit.