Hall of Fame in­ducts ex-slug­ger Daw­son

Class also in­cludes man­ager Her­zog, um­pire Har­vey

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By John Kekis

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

An­dre Daw­son

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