FAMU’s baseball program has seen its fair share of talented players on the baseball diamond.
One of the most outstanding is a candidate for the baseball Hall of Fame. He is Andre Dawson.
Dawson exemplified the standards of Rattler baseball. His accomplishments at FAMU led to a professional career many college players dream of.
The Miami born star began his professional career in Montreal after being drafted in 1975.
Once he reached the majors, he quickly acquired a reputation for speed and hitting by earning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1977.
Dawson gained his nickname “The Hawk” because of his keen sense to attack a ball on the fly in the outfield.
His storied career includes winning the Gold Glove award, a symbol of defensive excellence in the Major League, from 1980-85 and in 1987-88.
In 1981, he was selected to his first all-star game. Seven more selections would soon follow.
On Sept. 24, 1985, he became the second player in Major League history to hit two home runs twice in an inning.
He had a wonderful career in Montreal, but “The Hawk” wanted to step out of the shadow of Expos’ standout Gary Carter. Wanting to play on grass instead of turf, Dawson packed his bags and headed to Chicago.
After being traded to the Cubs in 1987, he recorded a batting average of .308, 49 home runs, 178 hits, 90 runs, and a career best 137 RBIs. His outstanding play led to him being named Most Valuable Player in the National League for the 1987 season. Dawson was the first player to ever win the award on a last-place team.
Over his career, he played for Montreal, Chicago, Boston and Florida. In 1990, Dawson stole his 300th base, adding him to the exclusive 300/300 club of stolen bases and homeruns.
Dawson has appeared in the All-Star game eight times and was on the ballot for the 2002 Hall of Fame. He has compiled career totals of 1,591 RBIs, 1,889 homeruns, and a batting average of 279.
Dawson’s extraordinary talent is only matched by his love for FAMU. He was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.
Rattlers hoping to play professional baseball have a legacy to live by and uphold. Standing in the shadow of the greatest is a good place to start.
Dawson is one reason why the Rattler baseball team continues to strike, strike and strike again!
–compiled by Rashard Willis