Dawson dished out damage on Phillies

Andre Dawson has always been an imposing figure. To pitchers, his 6' 3" frame had to look much bigger than that and to Phillies pitchers, he played even bigger than that. Now, Dawson officially becomes a Hall of Fame player and the only one inducted this year.

Few teams escaped the fury of Andre Dawson. Part of his greatness was that he analyzed how teams pitched him and studied pitchers in an effort to learn their every nuance. Amazingly, if you look at his stats, the only teams that he had trouble against, were the ones that he didn't have a chance to see very often.

With 19 of his 21 seasons spent in the National League and no inter-league play when Dawson was ripping apart baseballs, American League teams were often the ones spared. The Angels (then known as the California Angels), Orioles, White Sox, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays, Pirates and New York Yankees and Mets were the only teams to hold Dawson below a .250 average.

Dawson finished his playing career with a .279 average, 438 home runs and just under 1,600 RBI. He also stole over 300 bases and was a terror on the bases early in his career, stealing an average of 30 bases per season from 1977-1983.

In Philadelphia, Dawson found Veterans Stadium to be tough, but not unbearable. In 146 games at The Vet, Dawson launched 21 home runs (an average of one every 26 at-bats), drove in 71 runs and hit .271 as a visitor. It was on his home fields that Dawson did the most damage against the Phillies, hitting 30 home runs, drove in 92 and hit .290 against the Phillies.

When you add it all up, the numbers and feats are staggering:

All-Star: 7 times
Rookie of the Year: 1977
NL MVP: 1987
Gold Gloves: 8
NL Hits Leader in 1983 (189)
NL Total Bases Leader in 1983 (341) and 1987 (353)
NL Home run leader in 1987 (49)
NL RBI leader in 1987: (137)

Some will argue that Dawson's home run numbers were inflated by Wrigley Field, but make no mistake about it; Andrew Dawson was one of the dominating players of his era and is deserving of the Hall of Fame honor. Keep in mind too, that he played many of his years in the majors on fragile knees that likely curtailed many of his numbers, especially stolen bases and extra-base hits.

The big question is, which hat will Dawson wear into the Hall? If you go by games played, it's Montreal easily, followed by the Cubs. If you go by his greatest seasons (including his monster MVP season in 1987), it's the Cubs. Chicago probably gets top consideration as well if you go with what team Dawson is most identified with, thanks to the huge seasons that he put up with the Cubbies. Odds are that it won't be Boston or Florida, even though Dawson is currently employed by the Marlins as a special assistant to team owner Jeffrey Loria.

The exit polls

  • Bert Blyleven missed by just five votes. The guy deserves to be in the Hall.
  • Jack Morris was named on 52% of the ballots and continues to get closer, but he was still shy by over 100 votes.
  • Roberto Alomar missed by eight votes. Did one wad of spit cost him a first-ballot entry to the Hall. If it did, good.
  • Former Phillies on the ballot included: Dale Murphy (63 votes) will be eligible again next year. Todd Zeile (0 votes) and pitcher Mike Jackson (0 votes) will not be eligible for Hall consideration in the future.
  • Andres Galarraga, Robin Ventura, Ellis Burks, Eric Karros, Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen, David Segui, Mike Jackson, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds and Todd Zeile did not receive enough votes to stay on the ballot.
  • Curt Schilling and Kenny Lofton (both in 2013) are the only former Phillies up for election in the coming years.
  • The 2013 class also includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and David Wells.
  • Next year's class consists of Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez, John Franco and John Olerud.

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