This summer, Andre Dawson will become the 232nd player to be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Great, grand, wonderful.
I don’t remember much of Dawson’s career, especially with the Cubs and certainly not with the Expos. I remember his later years with the Marlins, and I knew he was a former Cub.
Most baseball fans know that when a player is inducted, their plaque includes a miniature bust of the player, and he’s wearing a certain team’s cap.
Derek Jeter will definitely wear a Yankees cap, Mike Schmidt wears a Phillies cap, and of course Ryne Sandberg went in as a Cub. What bothers me, however, is the choice of which cap the player will wear on his plaque ultimately belongs to the Hall of Fame and not the player himself.
Dawson recently spoke to the Daily Herald’s (Chicago surburban newspaper) Barry Rozner about the Hall’s decision to put him in an Expos’ cap. He said it was more than a slap in the face, it was “a punch in the gut”. Rozner and Dawson also highlighted how things ended in Montreal, which wasn’t pretty, and how coming to Chicago resurrected his career.
While the Hall does have the ultimate choice, Dawson said he felt as though they didn’t really take into consideration his preference. Dawson made it no secret that he wanted to go in as a Cub, but the Hall obviously went the route of the Montreal Expos.
This is what doesn’t sit well with me. I know that players used to essentially sell their Hall of Fame caps to the highest bidder, and that’s why the Hall took over the decision. However, I think the decision should ultimately belong to the player.
It’s an incredible honor to be inducted to the Hall of Fame, one that doesn’t come without years and years of hard work. It takes one hell of a career to call yourself a Hall of Famer, and I just think that if you earn that right, you should have the right to choose what cap goes on your plaque.
One does have to wonder what role the Cubs organization played in all of this. Them coming out and saying that they’ll retire Dawson’s number eight if he goes in as a Cub maybe made the Hall of Fame say “Screw you”.
OK, fine. That doesn’t change my opinion that the player should choose his destiny. It’s not like Dawson was soliciting the Cubs to retire his number.
On a day that will most likely rank in the player’s Top 3 days of his life, shouldn’t he get to dictate what goes on?