When former MLB slugger Andre “The Hawk” Dawson entered baseball lore and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he wanted the cap on his plaque to reflect the team he holds most dear to his heart, the legendary Chicago Cubs. Baseball had other ideas and put him in a Montreal Expos cap.
The eight-time All-Star and 1987 NL MVP has been attempting to make the change since the announcement was made that he had earned his call to the Hall. Now, 13 years later the former MLB great still wants to have the cap on his plaque changed.
On Monday, Dawson who did the bulk of his damage while in an Expos uniform told reporters at the Chicago Tribune that he sent a letter ….
“I don’t expect them to jump on something like this,” Dawson said at the time. “If they elect to respond they’ll take their time. And it wouldn’t surprise me it they don’t respond.”
The Hall responded saying …
“We plan to speak to Andre but have not yet received the letter.”
Prior to the 2002 season players who were elected for the Baseball Hall of Fame were permitted to choose which team they wanted to go in under, and since Dawson’s induction came nine years later, he wasn’t afforded that opportunity. It’s now been over a decade, and the powers that be haven’t even considered making the change.
Dawson’s Best Years Were In Montreal
After being selected in the 11th round of the 1975 MLB Draft out of Florida A&M University, Dawson starred for the Expos from (1976-86) where he quickly established himself as one of the game’s best outfielders. The former slugger had 1,575 of his 2,774 hits in an Expos uniform. 225 of his 438 home runs came north of the border. Of his 1,591 RBI, 838 came in Montreal. He also won six of his eight gold gloves in Montreal, while leading the franchise to its only playoff series win in 1981.
So, if we’re talking impact, and that’s the main criteria, Dawson going as an Expo is a bit of a no-brainer.
That’s exactly what the Hall reiterated to Dawson at the time of the decision in 2010 with this statement:
“You want the logo to represent where this guy made his greatest impact. He was impactful in Montreal. He was impactful in Chicago, and to a much lesser extent Boston and Florida, it’s more of a case of siting down and collectively making a decision.”
To this day, and against his wishes, the decision is being made for Dawson by the Hall. That’s why he’s still lobbying to be heard.
Andre Dawson Had MVP Season With Chicago Cubs
In Hawk’s defense, he did enjoy his best professional season with the Cubs in 1987, winning his lone MVP award. He posted a .287 batting average with 49 home runs and 137 RBI. Yes, impactful, but not anywhere near the accumulation of feats he delivered during his 10-years in the Expos organization.
Dawson Is The First Player To Request Cap Change On Plaque
No other player has lobbied to have their cap on their Cooperstown plaque changed since that decision was taken out of the player’s hands in 2001. While, Dawson is attempting to change that, it’s highly unlikely he’s successful in doing so.
Dawson wanted to go into Cooperstown associated with one of baseball’s flagship franchises. The fact that the Expos are no longer in Montreal and have since become the Washington Nationals also further buries him in history. Baseball probably doesn’t want to open up a can of worms and have to deal with players wanting to change the teams on their plaques as well. So, while Dawson has a case, it probably won’t be heard.