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The Hawk falls short
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01/07/2003  2:20 PM ET 
The Hawk falls short
Dawson's Cooperstown bid put off another year
Vote now for the 2003 All-Star game
Andre Dawson (center) with Gary Carter and Steve Rogers prior to the 1982 All-Star Game in Montreal. (AP)
Andre Dawson accomplished a lot during his 21 seasons in a Major League uniform.

As a member of the Montreal Expos in 1977, he captured National League Rookie of the Year honors by hitting .282 with 19 home runs and 65 runs batted in. Nine years later, Dawson found himself in a Cubs uniform, and then in 1987 he became the last player to win the NL MVP while playing on a last-place team.

By the time he retired after the 1996 season, Dawson, who also played for the Red Sox and Marlins, was one of four players (Willie Mays, Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds are the others) to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases in a career.

But for the second straight year, those feats didn't help Dawson get elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dawson finished fifth in the voting Tuesday behind Eddie Murray, former Expos teammate Gary Carter, Bruce Sutter and Jim Rice.

Hall of Fame 2003

Induction Ceremony
Sunday, July 27
Cooperstown, New York

The inductees
Gary Carter | Eddie Murray

Schedule of weekend events
Complete coverage

Dawson received 248 votes (50 percent) while Murray and Carter were voted into Cooperstown. A player must receive 75 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America to gain entry into the Hall of Fame.

Dawson was one of the more durable players in the 1970s and '80s despite being hampered with knee problems. In fact, the only non-strike season he played less than 120 games as a regular was in 1989. Through it all, Dawson managed to win eight Gold Gloves, the last coming in 1988.

He currently ranks 29th and 27th, respectively, on the career home run (436) and runs batted in (1,591) lists. Last year, during his first year of eligibility, Dawson also placed fifth and received 214 votes (45 percent), while shortstop Ozzie Smith was voted into the Hall. Dawson said Tuesday that he has heard the reasons he has fallen short of induction -- from his lack of postseason success to not truly dominating the sport. But Dawson doesn't buy those theories.

Final results
 Player Votes   %
 Murray  423  85.3
 Carter  387  78
 Sutter  266  53.6
 Rice  259  52.2
 Dawson  248  50
 Sandberg  244  49.2
 Smith  210  42.3
 Gossage  209  42.1
 Blyleven  145  29.2
 Garvey  138  27.8
 *Kaat  130  26.2
 John  116  23.4
 Morris  113  22.8
 Trammell  70  14.1
 Mattingly  68  13.7
 Murphy  58  11.7
 Concepcion  55  11.1
 Parker  51  10.3
 Valenzuela  31  6.3
 Hernandez  30  6
 Kile  7  1.4
 Coleman  3  0.6
 Butler  2  0.4
 Fernandez  2  0.4
 Honeycutt  2  0.4
 Pena  2  0.4
 Daulton  1  0.2
 Davis  1  0.2
 Tartabull  1  0.2
 Jackson  0  0
 Tettleton  0  0
 Williams  0  0
 Worrell  0  0
*Jim Kaat final year on ballot
"I've heard people say different things about why I was a bubble candidate ... why I may not eventually get (into the Hall of Fame)." said Dawson, who works for the Marlins as a special assistant to the president. "Some of it, you really have don't have control (over). I was in postseason play a couple of times. I played 20 years. I never knew postseason determined whether or not you are a Hall of Famer. There are a lot of good ballplayers that are in the Hall of Fame that really didn't do anything in postseason play. Some of them never even (played in the postseason).

"I read another comment where a guy said I wasn't a dominant player," Dawson said. "How many dominant players are there in the game in any one particular era?"

Dawson did, in fact, dominate the game of baseball in '87. He led the NL in several categories including home runs (49), RBIs (137) and total bases (353). And six seasons he ranked in the top 10 in hits.

While talking about his own career, Dawson also expressed his happiness for Carter, who received his Hall call in his sixth year of eligibility. Carter and Dawson played together on the Expos from 1976-84.

"I'm happy for Gary," Dawson said. "Gary was the clubhouse leader, very popular in Montreal. Like myself, (he had problems) with his knees. He never really wanted to take the time off. He wanted to be out there and ... play as much as he possibly could."

With his vote total increase, Dawson believes he will follow in Carter's Cooperstown footsteps.

"The route Gary went, he gradually climbed in the voting process each year and it was just a matter of time for him getting in," Dawson said. "If I had to make an opinion, I think I will probably follow suit. It may take me a little bit longer. I don't know. There are some pretty darn good ballplayers coming up in the next few years."

In the 2004 BBWAA vote, Dawson will compete against first-time candidates Paul Molitor, Dennis Eckersley and Joe Carter.

Bill Ladson is an editorial producer for and can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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