ON THE CUBS Cubs in Daw­son’s heart, Ex­pos on his cap

Chicago Sun-Times - - Sports -

An­dre Daw­son wanted to have a Cubs logo on his Hall of Fame base­ball cap. In­stead, he will be en­shrined July 25 as the sec­ond — and likely last — Montreal Expo.

The new­est Coop­er­stown mem­ber learned of the Hall of Fame’s de­ci­sion Tues­day, ar­gu­ing to the end for his pref­er­ence to be im­mor­tal­ized as a Cub. But the fi­nal de­ci­sion on lo­gos rests with the Hall, which de­cided the ‘‘his­tory of the game’’ fac­tor out­weighed Daw­son’s de­sires.

‘‘I re­spect the Hall of Fame’s de­ci­sion to put an Ex­pos logo on my cap, and I un­der­stand their re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure the logo rep­re­sents the great­est im­pact in my ca­reer,’’ Daw­son said. ‘‘Cubs fans will al­ways be in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant in my heart, and I owe them so much for mak­ing my time in Chicago mem­o­rable, as did the fans in Montreal, Bos­ton and South Florida, my home. But know­ing that I’m on the Hall of Fame team is what’s most im­por­tant, as it is the high­est honor I could imag­ine.’’

The Cubs, as well as Bos­ton Red Sox and Florida Mar­lins, will be listed on Daw­son’s plaque.

Daw­son spent the first 11 sea­sons of his ca­reer with the Ex­pos, winning Rookie of the Year in 1977. He joined the Cubs in 1987 and won the Na­tional League MVP Award that sea­son. He hit 225 of his 438 ca­reer homers with the Cubs.

In a state­ment Wed­nes­day, the Hall said, ‘‘The choice of which team logo ap­pears on a player’s plaque is the mu­seum’s de­ci­sion, though the wishes of an in­ductee are al­ways con­sid­ered. As the Na­tional Base­ball Hall of Fame and Mu­seum is a his­tory mu­seum, it is im­por­tant that the logo be em­blem­atic of where the player made his great­est im­pact. A player’s elec­tion to the Hall of Fame, how­ever, is a ca­reer achieve­ment. As such, ev­ery team for whom he played is listed on the plaque.’’

The only other Expo in the Hall is Gary Carter, the catcher who spent much of his later ca­reer with the New York Mets. The Ex­pos left Montreal af­ter the 2004 sea­son, mov­ing to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to be­come the Na­tion­als. mega-com­plex east of the team’s cur­rent spring-train­ing fa­cil­i­ties — all but as­sur­ing the Cubs will keep their spring home in Mesa and scrap a threat to move to Florida.

Bar­ring a fail­ure to get Ari­zona leg­is­la­ture ap­proval or fail­ure of a Novem­ber pub­lic ref­er­en­dum, the Cubs likely would move to a new state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity for the spring of 2013, with an ‘‘out­side’’ chance the move could come in 2012, team pres­i­dent Crane Ken­ney said.

The agree­ment comes on the heels of a unan­i­mous vote by the Mesa city coun­cil to ap­prove its part of the fund­ing for the new com­plex. Ken­ney said Ari­zona of­fi­cials from the state leg­is­la­ture to the gov­er­nor to Sen. John McCain have ex­pressed sup­port for the project.

Ken­ney said own­er­ship will now look to nar­row a fi­nal­ist list of three pos­si­ble sites.

Laura Rick­etts, one of the Cubs’ new own­ers, and Ken­ney said a five-decade re­la­tion­ship with Mesa was a fac­tor in turn­ing away from a bid to move the spring home to the Naples, Fla., area. Sean Mar­shall for 2010.

Mar­shall, who split time be­tween the ro­ta­tion and bullpen the last two sea­sons, was the sixth of the Cubs’ eight ar­bi­tra­tionel­i­gi­ble play­ers to agree to terms and avoid a hear­ing.

The two big­gest names from the group re­main: short­stop Ryan The­riot (who filed a $3.4 mil­lion ar­bi­tra­tion re­quest com­pared to the club’s $2.6 mil­lion of­fer) and closer Car­los Mar­mol ($2.5 mil­lion/$1.75 mil­lion).

Mar­shall, a left-han­der who made $450,000 last sea­son, set­tled just be­low the mid­point of the num­bers filed by him ($1.175 mil­lion) and the club ($800,000).

Ar­bi­tra­tion hear­ings are sched­uled to be­gin Mon­day. The Cubs haven’t gone to a hear­ing with a player since Mark Grace in 1993.


An­dre Daw­son will be the sec­ond Hall of Famer with an Ex­pos cap on his plaque.

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