Yesterday was Andre Dawson Day, both at Wrigley Field and in the city of Chicago. The Chicago Cubs held a ceremony for the recent Hall of Fame inductee and former Cub great, and for a few moments it was easy to forget how miserable the 2010 season has been.
Dawson, inducted into the Hall of Fame in July, was honored in pregame ceremonies at Wrigley Field. The outfielder known as “The Hawk” was given a No. 8 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard as well as a copy of Mayor Richard Daley’s proclamation that Monday, Aug. 30, is “Andre Dawson Day” in Chicago.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said he and his family used to live behind the right-field bleachers and came to games to cheer Dawson when he played for the team from 1987-92. Dawson said Cubs fans convinced him to keep playing.
“I’ve addressed these fans on numerous occasions over the years, and they, I think, were the ones who made the difference,” Dawson said. “I wouldn’t say the organization, but the fans — I was driven off their energy.
“I was looking at leaving the game because of the history of the knee problems,” he said. “[The fans] fueled me to the point where the game was fun. I wanted to go out there and make the most of what my blessing and my ability was. Had it been in another city, it probably would’ve been a lot more difficult.” cubs.com.
The Hawk will always be thought of by Cubs fans as among the greats, particularly in this generation of folks who remember watching a guy who was not only excellent, but played the game the right way; the way we envision we’d play the game if we were blessed with a physical ability beyond the ping pong table. He played hard and grateful, and it showed.