Team Dawson comes to Cooperstown
By Craig Muder
Vanessa Dawson watched carefully Tuesday as her husband toured the Baseball Hall of Fame, preparing herself for a hectic Induction Weekend less than three months away.
But during a film retrospective of her husband’s career, the enormity of it all set in.
The stoic and regal Andre Dawson, one of the game’s leading citizens for more than three decades, took his Orientation Tour on Tuesday in preparation for his July 25 induction. Dawson, who spent 21 big league seasons with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins, was making his fourth-ever visit to the Hall of Fame – but this time he arrived as an electee. Hall of Fame officials spent the morning preparing Andre and Vanessa for what is to come in July, then showed the Dawsons the Museum in the afternoon.
At the end of the tour, Andre and Vanessa were treated to a video summary of his career, complete with commentary from other Hall of Famers. When the lights went up, Vanessa was moved to tears – overwhelmed by the tribute to her Hall of Fame husband.
“I was driven by discipline that was instilled in me through women who were my mentors – being my mother (Mattie Brown), my grandmother (Eunice Taylor) and then my wife,” Andre Dawson said.
That discipline brought Andre Dawson the 1977 National League Rookie of the Year Award, the 1987 NL MVP Award, eight Gold Gloves for his play in the outfield and eight All-Star Game selections. And now, it has brought him to Cooperstown.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.