The Warmth of the Sun

He arrived just as my beloved Expos graduated a flood of qualified outfielders to the major leagues. Bombo Rivera, Gary Roenicke, Warren Cromartie, Jerry White, Pepe Mangual, Ellis Valentine and the truly awesome Andre Dawson. There was only one #1, and once Valentine spun out it was Dawson who grabbed the mantle of marquee player on baseball’s best young ballclub.

Dawson at the plate was a violent affair, something similar to Roberto Clemente before him and Gary Sheffield after him. Dawson in the outfield was something to behold: tracking the ball with purpose, propelled by long, graceful strides.

Andre Dawson was a wonderful athlete to observe, a character player and a leader. He lost dozens of home runs and both knees to that rockpile they called the big O in Montreal, but he gained a legion of fans across Canada who knew exactly what he was from the moment he graced the field: special.

You were certainly worth the price of admission and I don’t regret a moment of it, not even blue Monday. And if Jim Fanning had brought in a lefty to face Rick Mon…well, we’ll just leave it there.

We won’t forget you, Andre Dawson. Congratulations on the Hall of Fame. Long overdue.

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