Friday, November 27, 2009

A Vote You Can Believe In - Andre Dawson for HOF

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.


Charley said...

Great post Aisle! I couldn't agree more, someday when I take my kids to Cooperstown, I want them to see his exhibit and ask me about Andre so I can tell them how he played the game. 2010 will finally be the year he gets in! I'm confident of it.

Aisle 424 said...

Thanks. I no longer have any confidence in things the baseball writers do, but this is Andre's best shot yet.

By the way, Charley has a blog called Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame (link in Reading Material to the left <<<<<<<) that is worth checking out.

Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan said...

Damn straight. It's about time Dawson gets in.

martisnow said...

It's PAST time for Andre to be in the Hall of Fame. I pray this is his year!

wpbc said...

one of the things that i am able to do now is think back upon these players and ask at they time they played, were they HOF quality players? The answer with Dawson is without a doubt YES.

Now everyone can take the numbers and do what they do with numbers. But if you watched Dawson play for the Expos or for the Cubs you had no doubt he was a HOF player.

I'm afraid we have probably reached the point with Dawson where it is 'now or never'. If he doesn't get in this year, there is a real chance that his numbers begin to slide back down. I don't know why that happens but it seems to with HOF voting. Here's hoping Hawk get's in, but I'm not holding my breath.

Aisle 424 said...

I'm not holding my breath either, wpbc. I'm hopeful, but I don't know if he pushes through. Too much weight is still put on those milestones and by the time he escaped Montreal and the national media saw Dawson play with any regularity on WGN, he was starting to break down.

But the fact remains that Andre Dawson had to be included in any conversation about the best outfielders in baseball in just about any given year of his career. That, to me, is a Hall of Fame career.

I hope the writers agree, because I think you are right about this being "do or die." Maybe the Veterans let him in because he was universally liked (unlike Santo), but they seem more reluctant to admit guys without the magic milestones than the writers.

Post a Comment

The easiest way to comment is to choose the Name/URL option from the Comment As dropdown menu below. You do not need to put in a URL for this option to work.

Sometimes upon submitting the comment, you will get an error saying there is a problem. Submit the comment again and it should work. I am looking into correcting this glitch.