The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, commonly know as the "HoF" or "The Hall", has decided to induct Andre Dawson as a Montreal Expo. While the decision does not surprise many, it does leave me puzzled. On Facebook, the Hall describes itself as "institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of the game and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime." So, as a fan I feel that the Hall acts as a lifeline between myself and the history of the game. Why, then is the Hall inducting Andre "The Hawk" Dawson with an Expos plaque?
Dawson spent six seasons with the Cubs compared to ten years with the Expos organization. On the surface, it seems logical that Dawson should go into the Hall as an Expo but to really understand the situation a person must know Dawson's contribution as an Expo versus his contributions as a Cubs. Assuming Dawson had spent those six years as Cubs with the Expos, how many people would know who Dawson is? Thus, how big of an effect did Dawson have on baseball as a Cub versus as an Expo?
Most people remember Dawson from his time as a Cub. He won an MVP award and remained popular with fans throughout his tenure. While Dawson was also popular in Montreal, a history of inept management kept the team from competing on the field and business-wise. Dawson told WMVP-AM/Chicago "The Hall clearly stated their major concern is the history of the game." If the Hall's concern is the history of the game, why not preserve what fans actually remember: the Hawk as a Cub. While ten years versus six are a huge difference, is one to honestly believe that Andre Dawson made more of an impact in ten years as an Expo versus six years as a Cub? I do not think so.
Dawson also stated to WMVP radio that he felt the Hall's decision "had been made" before he "tried to explain, perhaps, the impact of what really catapulted me to Hall of Fame status, and pretty much what my preference was." If the Hall of Fame does not even know what players feel like, how can the Hall be trusted to know what to preserve in the best interests of the fans and of the game. I understand that the Expos only have one player in the Hall with an Expos plaque, but how can fans trust the Hall of Fame to preserve collections and enshrine the best when the Hall cannot even give fans what they want: Andre Dawson 's induction as a Cub.
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