Andre “Hawk” Dawson received 77.9% of all HOF ballots to squeak into the Hall on this, his 9th year.
I’m a LOT happier about his selection than I was about Jim Ed “Teh FEAR!!!” Rice last year.
I know that he didn’t walk much, and therefore had a very low OBP, especially for a Hall of Famer, but unlike guys like McGwire and Edgar Martinez, Hawk was a COMPLETE player. I know that modern baseball places the most emphasis on hitting, especially hitting with power, but I have a LOT more respect with players who can do that PLUS run well and field well, and that was The Hawk.
To me, he is a somewhat lesser version of Barry Lamar, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. But hey, even 90% of greatness is still great.
Andre was an 11th round draft pick (not an Obvious Supa dupa STAH!!! from the beginning) in 1975 by the now defunct Expos (and I certainly hope he will go into the Hall in an Expos cap, not a C*bs one.)
He had a .934 OPS in 300 AB at age 20 in the rookie league that year, and the Organization MUST have seen something unbelieveable, because they promoted him to AA to start the year in 76, and after 143 AB with a .975 OPS, he was promoted to AAA, where he produced a 1.123 OPS over 275 AB and then was called up to the ML in Spetember, where he, uh, fell back to earth with a .584 OPS over 84 AB.
But he never went near the minors again and at age 22, was in the bigs to stay.
That is almost never EVER seen these days, even with Supa Dupa STAHS!!! draftees like Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria had more minor league ABs than Hawk’s 683. And of course these days, teams try to keep their draftees in the monors for as long as they can to delay the onset of free agency – and even if the player is desperately needed, they keep him in AAA until the super 2 deadline has passed to cheat him of a year of FA. Hawk was a FA at age 28, his peak, and teams not named the Yankees desperately try to avoid that sort of thing.
But Back In The Good Old Days, teams saw a great young player, didn’t care if he was only an 11th rounder instead of their top pick, and put him on the 25 man.
This refusing to promote OBVIOUSLY ML ready young players these days really bugs me. And yeah, I think I am getting old enough to have this lawn I gots to tell younguns to get offn.
Where was I? Oh yeah.
Hawk was made the full time starting CF the very next year and responded by posting an .800 OPS and winning Rookie of the Year and he never looked back. He won the MVP in 87 (ahem – yes I know Ozzie shoulda won) and was a top 10 finisher 4 times, with 2 second place finishes. He won 4 silver sluggers and 8 Gold Gloves (and yes, I don’t like the way GGs are selected any more than any other stat geek/geek-ess.)
He finished his career with 2774 hits, 589 walks, 503 doubles, 98 triples, 438 HR, 314 SB/109 CS: a 119 OPS+ over 7 years as a CF, 8 years as a RF, 2 years as a (mostly) DH, 2 years as a PH/DR – well, only 61 AB those last 2 years, so they don’t really amount to much.)
I wasn’t surprised that he was elected – a lot of writers are focusing on steroid-free guys from the past.
I WAS surprised that Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin didn’t make it in. Too many writers are obsessed with Alomar sptting on an umpire (and it was a ONE time event of him losing his cool) and Barry Larkin’s troubles keeping healthy. I was very disappointed that Bert Blylevin missed admission by 5 votes. Must be tough to get 74.9% – close but no cigar is cold comfort after 13 years. I was also disappointed but not surprised at the BBWAA ignoring Tim Raines again. He made the bad mistake of refusing to swing at bad pitches and taking a walk to get on base instead of getting out. And, of course, of playing at the same time as The Rickey and playing in some other country nobody never heard of, to boot, instead of Boston/NY/Chicago, where all the good players at.
Hope they, and Alan Trammell all get in next year because 2012 is going to have at LEAST 5 no doubt about it HOFers in its new class.
UPDATE 1/7: I can’t count. 2014 has the 5 no doubt about it guys. 2013 has the Big Argument guys (Bonds, Sosa, Clemens) who absolutely positively should go in the Hall, but the writers are gonna make sure that they don’t. Which is ridiculous because Bonds is one of the 10 best position players who ever played MLB and Clemens is one of the 5 best RH pitchers who ever played MLB.
And of course, Sammy Sosa has got to be punished for being a (derogatory insulting word meaning a Latin with African descent who speaks English as well as your average 2 year old whose first language is English) for taking a translator when summoned by the government of the United States.