Chicago Cubs: The start of something great
Dawson went on to play baseball at Florida A&M University before the Montreal Expos drafted him in the 11th round of the 1975 Major League Draft.
In his first full season, he earned National League Rookie of the Year honors, batting .282 with 19 home runs and 65 runs batted in. He quickly became known around the league as a bonafide five-tool player.
More from Cubbies Crib
- MLB Pipeline ranks Pete Crow-Armstrong as Cubs top prospect
- Cubs betting heavily that arms can carry them to their next championship
- 3 roster battles the Cubs will answer by the end of this season
- Cubs have a new late-inning shutdown arm in young Brandon Hughes
- After the Cubs traded him, Mychal Givens has been a hot mess for the Mets
In 1983, he had his best season yet, showcasing all of the facets of his game. He led the National League with 189 hits and 341 total bases. He batted .299 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI, the first time he would reach the 30 home run-100 RBI plateau. He also showcased his wheels, stealing 25 bases and scoring 104 runs. He finished second to Atlanta’s Dale Murphy in the MVP race but managed to capture both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award.
The next season, Dawson had a down year, as a decade in the Majors started to show in the 32-year-old. The years spent playing outfield on Olympic Stadium’s artificial turf did no favors for his knee, making them even worse. Many thought that he was entering the downside of his playing days.
In 1986, he showed some signs of resurgence. He hit for a .284 average with 20 home runs in 130 games. After the season, he became a free agent and hoped to land a superstar contract. Unfortunately for Dawson, no such offers came..