Come To Think Of It: Why Andre Dawson Is a Borderline HOF Candidate

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IDecember 14, 2009

I know that many Cubs fans can't separate their heart from their head when it comes to MLB's Hall of Fame. From Ron Santo to Andre Dawson, Cubs fans everywhere let their fan loyalty cloud their judgement.

And that's okay. In fact, it is to be expected. But, as usual, I stand alone as a die-hard Cubs fan (since birth) who is not only willing but able to separate fact from fantasy.

More on Santo later. The main premise of this article is The Hawk, aka Andre Dawson.

First of all, full disclosure: I love the Hawk. I am a fan of what he stands for โ€” playing the game right (no steroids), and not allowing his myriad of knee injuries from preventing him from playing on a daily basis.

But even I understand that he is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.

What, you say? Dawson should be a slam dunk, particularly after Jim Rice got in?

Well, look, my answer is that two wrongs don't make a right. Rice was a very good player but not a hall of famer. The whole "feared hitter" argument never carried weight with me. Runs batted in should not carry as much weight as some voters think they should since that is largely a function of having runners on base.

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Recognizing this, the whole, "Rice is in so Dawson should be in" argument is moot, at least to me. Sure, Dawson was every bit as good a player as Rice, but that should not be the point.

The issue should be what did Dawson contribute to his teams? Well, if you agree with me that not making outs is the most important thing an offensive player can do, then on-base percentage should be at the top of your list.

And this is where Dawson suffers.

In 23 years, Dawson's OBP was only .323. He hit .186/.226 in the postseason with no home runs.

Look, you have to ask yourself the following: is a .279/.323/.482/.805 Hall worthy? I don't know.

Just like Ron Santo, Dawson's injuries should not enter into the conversation. Sure, he had bad knees, and Santo had diabetes. I understand that. But one simply cannot take that into consideration.ย 

Because we simply can never know what kind of numbers Santo would have put up without diabetes, and we can never know what Dawson would have done without bad knees.

Hey, I think it should be the Hall of the Great, not the Hall of the Very Good, and though we have already seen guys get elected who don't deserve it (hello, Tony Perez) I just don't believe that we should lower our standards because of past mistakes.

If either former Cubs makes the HOF, I will be happy as a Cubs fan. But if neither makes it, I understand. You should too, come to think of it.