MLB Black Knight Andre Dawson turns 64 years old today. Inducted into MLB's Hall of Fame in 2010, Dawson was one of the greatest all-around players and people in MLB history. If not for debilitating knee injuries throughout his career, he'd be ranked even higher among the great diamond miners.
“I don’t think I ever managed a greater player or a human being,” said Don Zimmer, who managed Dawson in Chicago.
Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Andre Dawson! #EverybodyIn https://t.co/FS2WuuBZd9
Dawson amassed 438 homers and 2,774 hits to go along with 314 stolen bases, eight Gold Gloves and eight All-star nods over 21 injury-plagued seasons. He was the 1977 NL Rookie of the Year.
Dawson, known as the “Hawk”, was only the second player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, following the GOAT, Willie Mays. During his Hall of Fame induction Hawk reflected on and thanked the coaches and African-American players, such as Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson, who helped him along his journey.
Dawson was also very outspoken against steroid and PED users, calling the epidemic “a stain on the game” and characterizing the players who indulged as “being lured to the dark side.”
7/25/10: Andre Dawson talks about entering the Baseball Hall of Fame Check out http://MLB.com/video for more! About MLB.com: About MLB.com: Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League Club owners voted unanimously to centralize all of Baseball's Internet operations into an independent technology company.
Born on July 10, 1954 in Miami, Dawson was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1975. In June of 1977, manager Dick Williams made him the Expos starting center fielder and he gave them 10 years of superb play. The artificial turf at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium started wearing on Dawson’s knees and by 1987, he joined the Chi-Town Cubs as a free agent.
In his first year in The Windy City, he emerged from the small market of Montreal and became a big market superstar in a town that unwaveringly supported their losing team. Dawson had a career year, leading MLB in home runs with 49, RBI with 137, batted .287, won a Gold Glove and was named National League MVP. He became the first MLB player from a last place team to win an MVP.
That’s how superior Dawson’s season was.
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“No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did better than Andre Dawson,” said Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg during his Hall of Fame induction speech. “He’s the best I’ve ever seen.”