Hall of Fame inducts ex-slugger Dawson
Class also includes manager Herzog, umpire Harvey
COOPERSTOWN, N. Y. — “The Hawk” has landed in Cooperstown.
Andre Dawson, who endured 12 knee surgeries to forge an impressive 21-year major league career, was inducted Sunday into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the 203rd player in the game’s long history to receive the honor.
“Thank you for welcoming this rookie to your team,” said Dawson, who played for a decade in Montreal before signing with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent. “It’s an honor beyond words. I didn’t play this game with this goal in mind, but I’m living proof that if you love this game, the game will love you back.”
The 56-year-old Dawson took the podium as Cubs and Expos fans roared their approval and began his speech by thanking his loyal fans from both cities. He then poked fun at several Hall of Famers on the stage behind him.
“Tom Lasorda, he taught me how to get a free meal. You gotta love Tommy,” Dawson said of the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager. “You eat half your meal, then complain and get a whole new free one.”
Dawson, an All-Star eight times who had 438 homers, 2,774 hits, 1,591 RBIs and 314 stolen bases in his career from 1976 to ’96, then got serious, warning players not to be lured to the dark side of using performance-enhancing drugs.
“There’s nothing wrong with the game of baseball,” said Dawson, one of just three players to hit 400 homers and steal 300 bases. “Baseball will, from time to time like anything else in life, fall victim to the mistakes that people make. It’s not pleasant and it’s not right. Individuals have chosen the wrong road, and they’re choosing that as their legacy. Those mistakes