2. Andre “The Hawk” Dawson: 1987 – 1992
When being compared to animals, I have to imagine hawks are pretty high up on the list for what professional baseball players would like to be called. Andre Dawson earned the nickname for the Chicago Cubs and definitely deserved it.
“The Hawk” made an impact from the second he arrived in Chicago, earning five straight All-Star appearances and an MVP in 1987 as well as a couple of Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. For his career, Dawson hit for a 119 OPS+ and played stellar defense in the outfield, compiling a lifetime .983 fielding percentage.
Dawson also racked up a bevy of All-Star, and Gold Glove nods as part of the Montreal Expos, playing a pivotal role for their organization before coming to Chicago. It was there that he won his Rookie of the Year award in 1977 with 19 home runs and a solid .282/.326/.474 slash line.
Dawson earned his nickname playing little league when his uncle noted the young player’s incredible plate vision. Aside from that, his nasty scowl as he looked for a pitch at the plate looked reminiscent of a predator hunting his prey.
What makes “The Hawk” such a good nickname is its simplicity combined with the implications it had for Dawson at the plate. While Dawson didn’t necessarily have the best eye in the majors (he only recorded 589 walks and punched out 1,509 times), he still was a significant threat to pitchers throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s.
It’s such an intimidating nickname paired with his imposing presence at-bat and versatility in the outfield. I really couldn’t justify putting such an iconic nickname any lower.