Cubs’ World Series victory meant the world to ‘Hawk’

hawkAndre Dawson may be a Hall of Famer and a longtime Chicago Cubs fan favorite. But on Nov. 1, 2016, he was just like every other Cubs fan around the world – hanging on every Game 7 pitch and praying for the 108-year World Series drought to end.

Dawson recounted his fond memories as a Cub, and the team’s crowning achievement, during Friday’s visit with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Advanced Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. During a Pelicans’ pre-game Q&A with Pelicans’ radio announcer Scott Kornberg, Dawson recalled how he had to catch an early flight for an appearance in Chicago the next day, but only if the Cubs won their first World Series since 1908.

“I’m sitting there watching the game, the Cubs are winning, and I’m sweating profusely because … it’s the Cubs,” joked Dawson while sitting just feet away from the World Series Trophy on display at TicketReturn.com Stadium. “You’re sitting there waiting, ‘OK, how are we going to blow this? In the eighth inning we had a three-run lead and I’m thinking, ‘OK, I guess I better go ahead and pack because I’ve got a 6 a.m. flight to catch.’ I go to pack and all of a sudden it’s tied, and I’m thinking ‘OK, I jinxed them.’

Having spent six of the best seasons of his 21-year career with the Cubs (1987-92), Dawson learned to expect the worst from the Loveable Losers. He even bought into the whole “Cubs curse” theory that includes the infamous billy goat of 1945, the black cat of 1969, and Steve Bartman of 2003. The stage was set for another legendary collapse.

“It goes into extra innings, then it starts to rain, so the only think I can think of is how is this going to end? How are they going to lose this game?” Dawson said. “When the final out was recorded I was lying down watching the game I jumped up and I literally pounded on my chest and yelled ‘We did it!’ Well, we didn’t do it, the Cubs did it.”

If anyone can say “we” in reference to the Cubs, it’s Dawson. His mutual love affair with the Bleacher Bums and Wrigley Field made him a hero among long-suffering Cubs fans who took delight in worshiping “The Hawk” – literally. The right-field bleachers greeted him with a salute known as the “salaam,” bowing in his presence. Ironically, it was the love he felt from the Wrigley Field fans before he became a Cub that convinced him to join the club.

“One thing about Wrigley Field was, as the opposition, I went in I was treated very well by Cubs fans, unlike other parks where fans can be real rude to you as the opposition,” Dawson recalled. “I remember my free agent year a fan yelling from the right field bleachers, ‘Hey, consider Chicago. We would love to have you here.’ I knew I had better numbers in day baseball, and I always enjoyed the Wrigley Field experience.”

So much so that Dawson did something unthinkable in the spring of 1987 – he courted the Cubs. While today’s free agents are fawned over by prospective teams, Dawson made a surprise visit to Cubs spring training camp and presented manager Dallas Green with an offer he couldn’t – and didn’t – refuse – a blank check to sign him for the upcoming season. It was less about the money than the love of the game.

“The Cubs and Braves were the only teams I visited during spring training, and I never made it to the Braves because the Cubs signed me,” Dawson said. “That was my dream come true. To see the fans ‘salaaming’ me when I ran out to right field. … It was just a love affair. The fans created Andre’s Army out in right field. It was in so many ways a new awakening for me.”

Dawson went on to win the National League MVP Award in 1987 and lead the Cubs to the playoffs in 1989. He went on to an eight-time NL All-Star, finishing with 2,774 hits, 438 homers and 1,591 RBIs. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 – the pinnacle of his career until that fateful night last fall when the Chicago Cubs finally won it all.

“For anyone who ever wore a Cubs uniform that was a magical moment,” Dawson said. “I think about all the fans, not just the young fans, but the old fans who stuck with the team through so many years of losing. It was just a wonderful thing for the whole city.”

And for “The Hawk” personally.

– Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

Comments

comments

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season opener

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season openerThe Coastal Carolina University football team will open the 2018 [more]

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majors

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majorsFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Christian Villanueva made his major [more]

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU Shootout

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU ShootoutThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 3-under par [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debut

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debutA sellout crowd enjoyed the Carolina Panthers' 2017 home opener [more]

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt win

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt winCoastal Carolina women's soccer team got back in the win [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee Invitational

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee InvitationalThe Carolina Forest swimming teams continued their successful seasons by [more]

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UABCoastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 [more]

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSU

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSUCoastal Carolina began defense of its 2016 Sun Belt Championship [more]

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of Socastee

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of SocasteeIn a highly anticipated showdown between undefeated North Myrtle Beach [more]

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on Panthers

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on PanthersWill the real Myrtle Beach High defense please stand up? [more]

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumbles

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumblesOne week after pulling off an amazing comeback win, the [more]

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild win

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild winOn a big Friday night for public school football on [more]

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SF

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SFThe Myrtle Beach High volleyball team finally got the opportunity [more]

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks Carolina Forest's Sami Spencer shot a career-best 3-under-par 33 to [more]

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivals

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivalsThe North Myrtle Beach High girls cross country team took [more]

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-double

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-doubleNo stranger to triple-doubles on the basketball court, Carolina Forest's [more]

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineup

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineupSo far WPDE TV and sister station CW 21's foray [more]

Saints volleyball gears up for another state title run

Saints volleyball gears up for another state title runFollowing a surprising run to the SCISA Class AA state [more]

Seahawks-Panthers game postponed to Friday night

Seahawks-Panthers game postponed to Friday nightThursday's televised contest between the Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest [more]

Coastal learns kickoff, TV times for next two games

Coastal learns kickoff, TV times for next two gamesThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced today its start [more]

CCU's Hardeman retains Sun Belt offensive honor

CCU's Hardeman retains Sun Belt offensive honorSenior outside hitter Leah Hardeman has been named the Sun [more]

Photo Gallery: Ideal starts for Braves, Chiefs, Tigers

Photo Gallery: Ideal starts for Braves, Chiefs, Tigers"Undefeated!" It's something not many high school football teams can [more]

Clemson defense comes to rescue in win over Auburn

Clemson defense comes to rescue in win over AuburnPowered by a defense that sacked Auburn’s quarterback 11 times, [more]

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season opener

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season openerThe Coastal Carolina University football team will open the 2018 [more]

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majors

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majorsFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Christian Villanueva made his major [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach