Andre Dawson, whose legacy in the world of baseball is as sterling as the raw power he once displayed on the diamond, yearns for a revision of history — not the feats he accomplished or the awards he reaped, but the emblem under which he is remembered in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.
Upon his 2010 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the plaque that immortalized his achievements bore the insignia of the Montreal Expos, the team where his career blossomed, and with whom he won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1977. Dawson’s tenure with the Expos spanned 11 remarkable years, yet it is the Chicago Cubs, with whom he shared six seasons, that Dawson feels best encapsulates his storied 21-year career.
In his discourse with the Chicago Tribune, Dawson disclosed his appeal to the guardians of baseball’s sacred pantheon, seeking to alter the narrative captured in bronze. However, the silence from Cooperstown echoes, leaving his request lingering in baseball purgatory.
“My preference all along was as a Cub,” Dawson confided. For reasons etched deep within his heart, he believes this conversation about his legacy deserved a more collaborative approach, one that was never afforded to him.
The Hall of Fame’s 2001 decree stripped players of the right to elect the cap emblem for their plaque, anchoring this decision within its institutional walls. Dawson recollects that during the zenith of his induction he declared his desire to be enshrined as a Cub, remaining adamant that, above all, entrance into the Hall was his pinnacle.
Time, however, crafts perspective. Looking back with a mixture of wisdom and wistfulness, Dawson muses on the concept of choice, and the power it should hold, “Over time, I’ve thought about it more and came to the [conclusion] I should have had some say-so.”
His mission is now set before him, one that may stretch as far and as long as the baseball fields of his youth: to right a perceived wrong, to affirm his identity as he knows it. His written plea was directed at Jane Forbes Clark, esteemed chairperson, in hopes that his voice might be heard, his case considered.
Dawson’s illustrious career is accentuated by eight All-Star selections, and he remains one of the few to bear the Expos logo in the Hall, an honor also bequeathed to Gary Carter, followed later by Tim Raines. Beneath the statistics, the accolades, and the fans’ adulations lies a man’s simple wish — to be remembered not just for the games won or the home runs hit, but for the narrative he feels truest to his soul.