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Thread: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

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    Default Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    Andre Dawson elected to Hall of Fame

    Buzz up!5 votes

    AP FILE - This is an April 4, 1989, file photo showing Chicago Cubs' Andre Dawson following through on a
    By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer 18 mins ago
    NEW YORK Andre Dawson was elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday in his ninth try, while Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar fell just short of earning baseball's highest honor.
    Dawson received 420 of 539 votes in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, 15 more than the 75 percent necessary to gain election. The eight-time All-Star outfielder had fallen 44 votes short last year.
    "It was well worth the wait. I can't really describe the elation," Dawson said during a telephone conference call. "If you're a Hall of Famer, eventually you're going to get in, no matter how long it takes."
    Blyleven had 400 votes (74.2 percent), up from 338 last year, and the pitcher will likely get in because he has two more tries on the BBWAA ballot. The highest percentage for a player who wasn't elected in a later year was 63.4 by Gil Hodges in 1983, his final time on the ballot.
    "Hopefully, next year will be my time," Blyleven said in an interview on MLB Network.
    Alomar received 397 votes (73.7 percent) in the second baseman's first appearance and was followed by pitcher Jack Morris with 282 (52.3 percent), a big rise from his 237 last year.
    "I feel disappointed, but next year hopefully I make it in," Alomar said at his home in New York. "At least I was close."
    Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin, also making his first appearance, was on 278 ballots (51.6 percent), followed by reliever Lee Smith at 255 (47.3 percent) and slugger Edgar Martinez at 195 (36.2 percent). Martinez, on the ballot for the first time, is viewed as an early test of how voters will receive players who were primarily designated hitters.
    Mark McGwire received 128 votes (23.7 percent), 10 more than last year and matching the total from his first two times on the ballot. Eighth on the career list with 583 homers, he has been stigmatized since evading questions from Congress in 2005 about steroids use.
    McGwire was hired in October as St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach and is expected to hold an introductory news conference at some point.
    Dawson will be inducted July 25 at Cooperstown along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, elected last month by the Veterans Committee.
    Dawson hit 438 homers in a career that spanned from 1976-96. Nicknamed "The Hawk," he was voted NL Rookie of the Year in 1977 with Montreal and NL Most Valuable Player in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs, the first member of a last-place team to earn the honor.
    A victim of owners' conspiracy against free agents after he left the Expos, Dawson signed a blank contract with the Cubs during spring training. Then-general manager Dallas Green filled in the dollar amount of $500,000, making Dawson the second-lowest paid regular on the team.
    Dawson stayed with the Cubs through 1992, then spent two seasons apiece with Boston and Florida. He had a .279 career average with 1,591 RBIs and 314 steals, playing through 12 knee operations.
    He is one of only three players with at least 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, joining Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.
    The close calls for Blyleven and Alomar marked the first time in BBWAA balloting that two players fell fewer than 10 votes short in one year.
    Alomar received the most votes of any first-year candidate who wasn't elected.
    Next year's ballot also will include newcomers Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell, John Franco and Kevin Brown.
    APTN producer Adam Pemble contributed to this report.

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    I thought for sure Alomar would have got in.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    Alomar should have went this year. But I think he is being made to wait because of that spitting incident......Tim Raines should be in the hall. But He will never make it.

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    Blyleven was 5 votes short and 5 people didn't even vote. He got on more than 75% of the actual ballots. Anyone who gets as close as he and Alomar did ultimately will get in, though.

    Shocked that Larkin got about the same number of votes as a guy like Jack Morris. Morris never did anything particularly well except eat innings.

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    Blyleven was 5 votes short and 5 people didn't even vote. He got on more than 75% of the actual ballots. Anyone who gets as close as he and Alomar did ultimately will get in, though.

    Shocked that Larkin got about the same number of votes as a guy like Jack Morris. Morris never did anything particularly well except eat innings.
    There are some great players of the 80's and 90's that did not make it that were on this ballot. I think the hof selection for baseball is so ****ed messed up. It is a sham really. ****ing Alomar was one of the best 2nd basmen to play the game, really. He should be in regardless of the spitting incident and the sexual innuendo when he was in Toronto.

    Morris was great in the playoffs though, wasn't he?

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    ****ed off Barry Larkin didn't make it! and I don't even like baseball
    "He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, 'You can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant." I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of there." Denver rookie QB John Elway, on Jack Lambert, after Lambert and the Steelers knocked Elway out of his first game as a pro (1983).

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    Default Re: Hawk Dawson: the lone HOFer

    The curious case of Andre Dawson

    If you think the glass is half-full -- and I'd like to say I do -- Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar will both be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year after nearly missing the honor this time around. And with Jeff Bagwell the leading first-year candidate on next year's ballot, the August 2011 ceremony could make for a great day in Cooperstown. Barry Larkin topping 50 percent in his first time on the ballot bodes well for his future in the process, and even the overlooked Tim Raines -- who, it must be said again and again, reached base more times in his career than did Tony Gwynn -- added 42 votes over his meager 2009 total. All of these facts point to progress as voters embrace newer metrics for valuing player performance.

    Unfortunately, we still ended up with a barrel full of fail, as the only candidate inducted this year, Andre Dawson, is most notable for the enormous number of outs he made while bulking up his credentials. Dawson's career OBP, which at .323 is so low you have to be named "Yuniesky" to admire it, is the lowest of any outfielder in the Hall. His election is, as predicted here and elsewhere, the direct result of the election of Jim Rice last year, an act that severely lowered the bar for outfielders -- and perhaps position players in general -- in the Hall. The elevation of Rice, and now Dawson, ignores some essential concepts in measuring player performance, like the effects of specific ballparks, the unimportance of the RBI statistic, or the value of reaching base versus making an out. Dawson -- who ranks 22nd all-time in outs made, but 96th in times on base -- earns enshrinement although the importance of OBP has been recognized by almost every front office in the game.

    Raines' case, which I outlined in detail last January, is extremely strong. He reached base 22 more times than Gwynn while making just eight more outs, yet in that time had more home runs and triples and nearly 500 more stolen bases. He reached base 503 more times than this year's electee, Dawson, while Dawson made 950 more outs. Raines was the best player in the National League for a time in the mid-1980s, he had a long career, he was perhaps the best base stealer in the history of the game (if you consider success rate instead of just raw totals) and he was so -- dare I say it? -- feared that, in 1987, he was walked intentionally 26 times. It is good news that he reached the 30 percent mark, but that figure is still appallingly low.

    Alomar, who will almost certainly saunter in next year, should have sailed in this time as one of the best second basemen of baseball's integrated era. Among all players with 1,000 or more games at the position since 1946, Alomar ranks fifth in OBP and fourth in slugging percentage; the only second sackers in that period with a higher OPS than Alomar are Rod Carew (in the Hall already), Joe Morgan (ditto) and Jeff Kent (not yet eligible). At his peak he was considered a plus defender at second, and while Gold Gloves don't mean a whole lot when it comes to defensive value, it's at least not a point against him that he won 10 of them. Yes, he was finished as an everyday player at 34, but second base has always been a tough position physically, one that shortens careers of players who don't move off it. In fact, Alomar is the hits leader among all players since World War II who played at least 75 percent of their career games at second base, and only one second baseman in the pre-war era, Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, managed to reach the vaunted 3,000 mark.

    And Edgar Martinez, who showed up on just 36 percent of ballots despite being one of the best hitters of his era, also had a strong enough case to at least come close to the 75 percent barrier. He reached base more times than Ernie Banks in 1,600 fewer plate appearances and outslugged Banks as well. He reached base 145 times more than Dawson did, but made 2,400 fewer outs. That is a difference of several hundred runs of value between what Edgar provided to his team and what Dawson provided to his. Voting for Dawson without voting for Edgar is either an admission that Dawson was the greatest right fielder in history or what I would consider a misread on offensive statistics.

    An added twist in this year's voting was that the number of voters who submitted blank ballots -- that is, they took the time to sign their names to their ballots and return them to the BBWAA for counting -- exactly matched the number of votes Blyleven needed for enshrinement. On the one hand, it's wishful thinking to think all five voters would have circled Bert, even with his outstanding Hall credentials. On the other, I don't understand how anyone could fail to see that Blyleven and Raines had careers that qualify them for the Hall by significant margins. Some voters make up additional rules that are not in the voting guidelines, like refusing to vote for a player in his first year on the ballot, or refusing to vote for a DH. And that's to say nothing of the potential for malfeasance, such as a voter submitting a blank ballot to gain attention for himself, or submitting a blank one as a "protest" against the steroids era.

    Arguments over players' credentials are natural and, on the whole, good for the process and the institution. But it would be disgraceful to go beyond the specified guidelines (a player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and team contributions) and hijack such a vote for a personal agenda. There are ethical considerations in voting on any of these awards, and if you can't abide by them, or feel like you should make up your own criteria to supplement the actual guidelines, you should abstain.

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