Andre Dawson is hoping that the 9th time’s the charm. With current Hall of Famers like Ryne Sandberg and Tony Perez endorsing the “Hawk”, one would think that it’s only a matter of time for Dawson to get the call. Dawson received 67% of the votes in 2009 (361 votes), but finished 3rd in the voting behind inductees Rickey Henderson (94.8% of the vote) and Jim Rice (76.4% of the vote). A player needs to receive at least 75% of the vote in order to gain access to the Hall.
Dawson is the top-returning vote-getter in 2010, just ahead of Bert Blyleven (62.7%) and Lee Smith (44.5%). Newcomers that could play a role in whether or not Dawson gets in include 2nd baseman Roberto Alomar, shortstop Barry Larkin and DH Edgar Martinez. But none of the them have the numbers that Dawson put up during his 21 MLB seasons – .279 career batting average with 438 HR’s, 1,591 RBI’s and 314 stolen bases. Dawson was named the NL Rookie of the Year Award winner in 1977 with the Montreal Expos. Dawson won the MVP Award in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs – that year he hit 49 HR’s and drove in 137 runs – both tops in the NL. Dawson is one of only 6 players to have hit 300 HR’s and stolen 300 bases. And he is the only eligible player who has more than 1,000 career extra base hits who is not a member of the Hall of Fame.
While it seems clear to me that the Hawk should be inducted, Dawson is still not counting his eggs before they hatch: “Now there’s no one for me to hurdle. Everyone’s behind me. I think (2010) poses the biggest window for me. I kind of, for a change, look forward to it. I can’t say that’s always been the case in the past, because the writers make sure they don’t put in more than one or two in a particular year.”
Talk about a travesty of justice. If the Baseball Writers of America do not vote the Hawk in this time around, we really need to assess the voting credentials of these guys. It’s a shame that Dawson is not in the Hall of Fame, so let’s keep out fingers crossed on January 8, 2010 when the results are announced.