Dawson lands in Hall
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 just 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.
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.
Dawson, an All-Star eight times who had 438 homers, 2,774 hits, 1,591 RBIs and 314 stolen bases in his career from 1976-96.
Dawson was part of a class that included former manager Whitey Herzog, umpire Doug Harvey, broadcaster Jon Miller and sports writer Bill Madden. The ceremony also honored Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty, who sang his classic song “Centerfield.”
Fogerty wrote the tune 25 years ago, and it had been played at the start of induction Sunday for more than a decade.
Herzog, 78, who played eight nondescript years for four teams, managed for 18 seasons, 11 with the St. Louis Cardinals after stints in Texas, California and Kansas City. He guided the Royals to three consecutive playoff appearances in the 1970s and led the Cardinals to the 1982 World Series title.
The Cards also made World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987 under Herzog, who retired in 1990 with a record of 1,279-1,123.
“Ever since I was elected in December, people have asked, ‘What’s it feel like to be a Hall of Famer?”’ Herzog said. “Now I can tell you what it feels like. It feels like going to heaven before you die.”
The 80-year-old Harvey called 4,673 regular-season games during his career (1962-’92) and also umpired five World Series.
“If you’re a true baseball fan, you need to visit Cooperstown,” he said. “This is home, and you need to touch home. I’ll be watching to make sure you do.”