Today, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) released the names that are under consideration for election this year into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The player on the ballot who has come closest to induction without getting the 75% of the vote necessary is former Cub (and Expo and Marlin and Red Sox), Andre Dawson, who received 67% last year.
I stated last year that the fact that Jim Rice got in on the last ballot and Dawson did not is baffling. For all of the talk from the mainstream media about guys who played the game "right" or achieved their statistics without "enhancement," the writers seem to remain enamored by statistics piled up through pharmaceutical methods.
In addition to not achieving the magical milestones of 500 HRs and 3,000 hits, the main knock against Dawson is his pedestrian on-base percentage. Now, perhaps there are statistics out there that refute this theory, but if I was a manager bringing a team into Olympic Stadium to face a team that had Dawson, Gary Carter, Tim Raines, Tim Wallach, Warren Cromartie, and Ellis Valentine in the lineup, I would be pretty insistent that my pitchers throw strikes, let them hit the ball into the cavernous outfield, and for the love of God, don't f---ing walk anybody. Ever.
Then when Dawson was in the Cubs' lineup playing in Wrigley in the late 80s, he was practically the only real run producer they had in the middle of the order since Sandberg was always batting second. I'm sure he saw few strikes, and in an era when OBP wasn't really emphasized, I'm sure he expanded his strikezone trying to drive in runs (which he did more often than HOFers like Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell and many, many others).
It sounds like excuses (and feel free to provide me with data that refutes my theories) but I choose to put less weight on a low OBP than on the the rest of his combination of power and speed that ranks 7th all-time behind Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Bonds, and Joe Morgan. He remains only one of three players with 400+ HRs and 300+ stolen bases in their career along with Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. Combined with his eight Gold Gloves for his superior defensive work, Andre has put together an extremely impressive resume.
Many people will argue that sometimes there is more to a player than statistics, and this is most certainly true in Andre's case, but even by throwing that Yellonesque argument out the window, he has achieved plenty of tangible stats that dictate him getting into the same Hall of Fame that has deemed players like Tony Perez, Jim Rice, and Bill Mazeroski worthy of enshrinement.
BBWAA, it is time to put Andre in the Hall. He did it naturally. He did it through hard work and determination. He is the perfect candidate to showcase up against those players that you villainize for bastardizing the game and the records through the use of a syringe. A vote for Andre is a vote for America and a vote for the futures of our children. If you leave him off the ballot, I have to conclude that you hate America and you hate children.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Check this out at Aisle 424: A Vote You Can Believe In - Andre Dawson for HOFTweet this! Posted by SixRowBrewCo at 10:37 PM