Chicago Cubs: Remembering Dawson’s cycle, April 29, 1987
In his first year with the Chicago Cubs, Andre Dawson won MVP, but his early-season highlight against the Giants signaled just how good he was going to be.
Before 1987, the Chicago Cubs pulled off a deal that would change their immediate future and the future of the franchise as a whole. Andre Dawson, the star outfielder for the Montreal Expos for 11 years, took a very club-friendly deal in free agency to play at Wrigley Field. It turned out to be a match made in heaven as Dawson would immediately go on to win MVP and become a headliner for the team for years.
One game stands out more than the others in Dawson’s big year with the Cubs. On April 29, he became the 211th player ever to hit for the cycle. This moment was a turning point for Dawson in what, to that point in the year, had been somewhat of a disappointment. Before April 29, Dawson had been anything but the hot bat he was in Montreal, hitting only .239, though even that was only due to some recent success he had. If he wanted to turn a corner, he needed a big game and soon.
Dawson started that game off by homering to tie it in the first off of pitcher Roger Mason and then threw Mason out at first in the second. He followed that up with a double off of Mason in the third and a single off of reliever Greg Minton in the fourth.
Before the game was even half over, Dawson had almost completed the cycle and threw someone out at home. While it’s not as impressive as Rockies’ second baseman Mike Lansing’s four-inning cycle, it’s still remarkable to accomplish that much in a game that quickly.
His next at-bat, which came in the sixth, Dawson would hit his triple, completing the cycle and securing this as arguably his best game ever. He wasn’t content with that, though, and in his final at-bat, he added one more single for good measure, securing a perfect game. His OPS would skyrocket after that game from .804 to .956.
The game marked the real beginning of Dawson’s MVP campaign, with 43 of his 49 home runs coming after April 29. It was the moment Chicago Cubs fans got a real glimpse of the superstar quality of Dawson and, without doubt, created excitement for the years to come, even if the 1987 team was so lackluster.