When I was a kid, I loved one baseball team, and specifically one certain player. My hopes for the game would rise and fall with every hit, stolen base, home run, and strikeout. I collected baseball cards and would get so excited when one of my Topps packs had an Andre Dawson card. The Hawk, was The Man as far as I was concerned. He had a rocket-arm and could throw men out at home from the ivy in right field. When I was 10 years old, Dawson had just joined my beloved Chicago Cubs, and, yes they were horrible. . .as usual. But The Hawk was voted MVP of the National League, even though the Cubbies finished in last place.
And now, this weekend, Andre "The Hawk" Dawson is being enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was regarded as one of the best outfielders, both defensively and offensively, but more importantly, he left a legacy of hard work, perseverance, and loyalty to fans and teammates. His Hall of Fame Speech today was eloquent and sincere. I am proud to call Andre Dawson my favorite player of all time.
As one columnist wrote, "There are players who command respect within the confines of the clubhouse, and others, like Andre Dawson, who exude an almost regal quality when they walk into a room." (You can read the article here.) He is a man to be admired, not just for his baseball exploits, but because of his character and his loyalty.
Here's to #8. . . The Hawk.