Who cares what team a baseball player is designated with when he is enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame?
The fans of the shunned city, that's who!
The latest multi-team inductee is Andre "Hawk" Dawson, the lone 2010 class member. He began as a Montreal Expo, but is remembered by many as a Chicago Cub.
The great Frank Robinson comes to mind when I think about this question.
Robby won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1956 while a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He also won a Most Valuable Player Award there in 1961 when the Reds went to the World Series.
He spent 10 years in Cincinnati and only six as a Baltimore Oriole, yet he is in the museum as an Oriole. Why?
In his first year after being traded to Baltimore for Milt Pappas, Robinson won the Triple Crown and the MVP in 1966, becoming the only player to win the MVP Award in both leagues.
He hit 324 of his 586 HR with the Reds, compared to only 179 with the O's. He batted .303 in Cincy to .300 for Baltimore. He had nearly twice as many RBIs with the Reds, yet he is enshrined as a Baltimore Oriole.
Joe Morgan played eight seasons with the Reds and 10 with the Houston Astros, yet he was inducted as a Red. Why?
With Cincinnati, he batted .288 with 152 HRs and 612 RBIs. While with the Astros, he batted only .261 with 72 HRs and 327 RBIs.
While with the Reds, he was an eight-time All-Star and two-time National League MVP as a dynamic part of the "Big Red Machine."
Reggie Jackson is a New York Yankee. Say what?
You heard me, a New York Yankee.
He was in Oakland with the Athletics for 10 years and played in 1,346 games. He played with the Yankees for five years and 653 games.
He had twice as many hits in Oakland, hit 125 more HRs and drove in 315 more runs.
Jackson won the American League MVP Award in 1973 while in Oakland. He was on All-Star teams six times with Oakland and five with the Yankees.
So why is "Mr. October" not an Oakland Athletic on his Hall of Fame plaque? Is it just because of the World Series?
He was in two with Oakland and three with New York. Is that enough to undo all of the other stats and tenure he amassed while in Oakland? By the way, he played five years with the California Angels and played in more games and had more plate appearances there than with the Yankees.
Now, we come to the "Hawk." Many people thought he would never make it in the first place. I, Caesar Cliffius, may not be counted in that lot.
Dawson was the NL Rookie of the Year while with the Montreal Expos, for whom he labored for 11 seasons. He also was on three All-Star squads while he was in Montreal.
While with the Chicago Cubs, he won the NL MVP Award in 1987. He was an All-Star in five of his six seasons there.
His statistics are jacked completely toward the Expos, yet in my mind's eye, I see him as a Cub. What's up?
Hawk must think he is a Cub too because that is what he wanted to be inducted as, a Chicago Cub.
Not to be, Mr. Dawson. Your bust shall show that you are a Canadian, a Montreal Expo.
So, who decides from what city a Hall of Fame member will be enshrined? The Hall of Fame itself. Supposedly, it receives input from the enshrinee; however, it has the last word.
Robinson wanted to be a Red, everybody wanted him to be a Red except the Baltimore fans. Tough titty.
Reggie Jackson's numbers are ridiculously steeped in Oakland, but the powers that be said he was a Yankee. The Kitty spoke again.
So, in the dispensation of the fullness of time, it makes no matter from which city you enter.
Yeah, tell that to the millions of fans who think otherwise.