Andre Dawson’s Hall of Fame induction speech was a moving tribute to his mom and grandmother, and a testament to his love for the game. But The Hawk’s Cooperstown address also made it crystal clear that he wants to be remembered as a Cub, not an Expo.
To Expos supporters, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the former five-tool outfielder announced earlier that he would’ve preferred a Cubs cap to an Expos cap on his Cooperstown plaque. Still, after hearing him gloss over his Expos tenure, I couldn’t help but feel a little jilted.
Speaking to an audience that boasted dozens of fans sporting Expos jerseys, The Hawk briefly acknowledged the organization and their fans. He made quick references to some Expos teammates, including Tim Raines, Warren Cromartie and Gary Carter and mentioned past managers Jim Fanning and Dick Williams.
But Dawson reserved the bulk of his praise for the Cubs and their fans, acknowledging them first and then devoting several minutes to them in the second half of his speech.
“I never knew what it felt like to be loved by a city until I arrived in Chicago,” Dawson told the crowd, in what seemed like a veiled shot at Montreal and Expos fans.
Later, he would go so far as to pronounce Cubs fans as “the wind beneath The Hawk’s wings.”
I point this out not to denounce Dawson’s speech. It was a moving tribute to his family, many of whom were in the audience dabbing away tears as he spoke. But it sure feels like The Hawk has moved on from Montreal. His 11 seasons with the Expos have been reduced to a mere footnote in his life. And as a Canadian baseball history buff, I can’t help but feel saddened by this.
You can watch Dawson’s induction speech here: http://is.gd/dJZmf