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Cubs Thu Jan 07 2010

Former Cub Andre Dawson Enshrined Into Baseball Hall of Fame

The ninth time was the charm for former Cub Andre Dawson Wednesday when he was elected to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. Dawson received 77.9 percent of the vote, which was well over the necessary 75 percent. He was the lone candidate this year. Bert Blyleven fell four votes short and Roberto Alomar was eight votes short.

During his 20-year career, Dawson batted .279, hit 438 home runs, was Rookie of the Year in 1976, won eight gold glove awards, was an eight-time All-Star, and was the 1987 National League MVP on a last place Cubs team. He began his professional career in 1976 with the now disbanded Montreal Expos. Dawson would come to the Cubs as a free agent after the 1986 season.

Dawson would become famous for his actions during spring training in 1987. He, along with his agent came to then General Manager Dallas Green with a signed blank contract and told him "fill in whatever you want." Dawson wanted to play for the Cubs so badly that he would take whatever the Cubs were willing to offer him. He played for $500,000.

Dawson showed his gratitude that year by batting .287, hitting 49 home runs with 137 RBI which was good enough to snag him MVP honors. The whole blank contract is unheard of in this day in age with all the millions athletes are making.

Before Sosa there was Dawson. "The Hawk" was the man for the Cubs in the late '80s. While I was too young to remember his performances I have seen the many highlights and once I was old enough to start understanding the concept of baseball he quickly became my first favorite player for the men in blue.

Despite playing for the Expos, Marlins and Red Sox Dawson will always be remembered as a Cub to me.

 
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