Chicago Cubs: A staple in the late-80s ball clubs on the North Side
In 1988, his power output fell. He hit just 24 home runs, but raised his batting average up to .303. Once again, he was named to the All-Star team and won his eighth, and final, Gold Glove. The Cubs improved to fourth place and Dawson was one of the clubhouse veteran leaders, along with Ryne Sandberg and Rick Sutcliffe, that helped develop the team’s young up-and-comers like Shawon Dunston and Greg Maddux.
The following season, the Cubs gained some traction due to their flourishing depth. Mark Grace replaced the aging Leon Durham at first and was joined by young outfielders Dwight Smith and Jerome Walton.
Walton earned National League Rookie of the Year honors while filling in for an injured Dawson who was limited to only 118 games. The Hawk still managed to produce 24 home runs and 77 RBI, helping them to 90 wins and a playoff berth. The promising season came to a disappointing end, as the Cubs fell to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS in five games.
For the next three seasons, a healthy Dawson saw some solid, productive years. In 1990 and 1991, he drove in 100 runs. It was the first time that he had achieved that feat in back-to-back seasons. Dawson concluded his Cubs career in 1992, hitting 27 home runs and driving in 90, bringing his home run total to 174 with the club.