In a lot of ways, it has always been about the numbers in baseball. Fans, writers, and historians have long focused on the precious statistics in baseball, and there have been specific “standards” by which players are considered Hall of Fame material.

Well, all that’s a thing of the past, for now the numbers have been deflated by steroid-cheating needle pushers like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and especially Barry Bonds, who has obliterated the most precious of all records with his insidious ways.

Meanwhile, people can debate the merits of one Andre Nolan Dawson until they’re blue in the face and it won’t matter. The man’s a Hall of Famer now, and he’s worthy.

Look, he produced honest stats. He wasn’t all bulked up like A-Fraud. No sir, these were genuine accomplishments that were not made in a laboratory somewhere.

If anyone could have benefited from a little HGH to speed recovery time, it was The Hawk. His knees were like hamburger by the time he was 30.

Never mind that it took hours of preparation before and at least one hour after every game just so the man’s knees would stop barking long enough for him to play. That stuff didn’t matter, for he just loved the game.

Dawson didn’t look for the easy way out like a lot of athletes since then. The shortcuts taken to artificially inflate their bodies beyond the size of their egos was so absurd, it was beyond disgusting.

Andre Dawson would have none of that. He was a natural, true “five-tool” player who could hit, hit with power, run, play defense, and throw with the best of them.

While guys like Big Mac and Jose Canseco were bash-brothering their backsides with holes, Dawson was finishing up a career that rivaled the best.

Sure, his OBP was less than stellar, but only five other players have combined to hit more than 300 homers and 300 stolen bases in their career.

And only Bonds was younger when he accomplished the feat.

But those are mere numbers and that is not what this is about. Again, we’ve entered unchartered territory in baseball—3,000 hits, 3,000 strikeouts, and 500 homers just don’t have the same cache anymore.

You can blame guys like Bonds for that. He took baseball’s sacred records and made a mockery of them.

Which makes Dawson’s induction that much more worthy, in my opinion.


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