Andre Dawson came to a brutal Chicago Cubs team, became a fan favorite

(Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Andre Dawson / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Seeing the Chicago Cubs trade the heart of our team, Anthony Rizzo, away last month, I was reminded of another time I felt this angry and betrayed: when the Cubs let Andre Dawson go to the Red Sox as a free agent in 1993.

It was a comparable loss, as Dawson was the heart of the Cubs for six years. During that time the outfielder was an All-Star in five of six years and the National League MVP in 1987. Even his last year with the Cubs, in 1992, the only season he wasn’t an All-Star, Dawson batted .277 with 22 homers and 77 RBI. Not exactly a slub.

The Hall of Famer made one of his frequent return trips to Wrigley this year to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and lead the seventh inning stretch. He was warmly received by the Cubs fans, as he always is at Wrigley. Many remember what a great player and leader he was.

Dawson came into the league with Montreal where he was Rookie of the Year in 1977. He played 11 years for the Expos, was a three time All-Star and won six Gold Gloves while playing mostly in center field. He won his last two Gold Gloves with the Expos after a move to right field.

In 1986 Dawson was 31 and played in just 130 games, his lowest total in five years, primarily because of his knees. The Expos’ home field was artificial turf and it was hard, exceedingly so, on Dawson’s knees. The veteran knew if he was going to continue to play, he needed to make a change.