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