With every new induction class into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, debate rages over which team's cap a player should be enshrined wearing. One of the most contentious for Cubs fans, though, has always centered around Andre Dawson, who entered the Hall back in 2010... donning a Montreal Expos hat.
Dawson played 21 years in his MLB career, spending 11 of them with the Expos - compared to just six with Chicago. However, there is no doubt he hit his peak when calling the North Side home, earning five consecutive All-Star nods, a Silver Slugger, two Gold Gloves and the 1987 NL MVP award after coming to the Cubs in dramatic fashion.
Andre Dawson quickly cemented himself as a Cubs legend
He came to camp that spring, handing the Cubs a blank contract and having the team fill it in. The rest, as they say, is history. Dawson turned in a monster year for Chicago, leading the league with 49 home runs, 137 RBI and 353 total bases - quickly becoming a favorite of the Wrigley faithful.
This issue is nothing new to Dawson, who wanted to go into the Hall 13 years ago with a Cubs cap on his plaque. As the Chicago Tribune points out, though, players don't get to make that call - and the result has stuck in the Hall of Famer's craw ever since.
"It was an eye-opening experience for me. The adoration of the fan base, the welcoming from the city itself and the joy of being able to experience that feeling in the second half of my career. … I was one of the more popular players in Montreal, but I wouldn’t consider myself an organizational icon or the most popular ... I realize there will probably be some backlash, but at this point I’m 70 years old,” he said with a laugh. “Do you think I really care?"- Andre Dawson, via Chicago Tribune
Every January at Cubs Convention, the cheers for Dawson are as loud as they are for any current player. Even decades later, the fan base loves him - and appreciates the risk he took when he came to Chicago from Montreal. Now, he's hoping Cooperstown will help him find peace in the Hall with his beloved Cubs hat on his head.