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

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch When Cole Poirier slotted home his third goal against Conway [more]

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinals

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinalsFreshman DeVante Jones scored a career-high 32 points in leading [more]

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to Trojans

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to TrojansNo. 16 Coastal Carolina outhit the Troy Trojans 16-12 for [more]

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning course

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning courseWhen North Myrtle Beach hired Brian Alderson to take over [more]

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweep

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweepRedshirt junior catcher Kyle Skeels blasted a two-run walk-off home [more]

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach Run

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach RunThere was a time when Myrtle Beach was invaded by [more]

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performance

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performanceSophomore right-handed pitcher Zach McCambley struck out a career-high 10 [more]

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia Monday

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia MondayJunior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 22 points and [more]

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time The door bell rang at the Smith house, and a [more]

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer season

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer seasonCarolina Forest entered last season with a roster full of [more]

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's Cup

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's CupThe luck of the Irish shined on four Coast FA [more]

Chants get new life, play host to Howard in CBI

Chants get new life, play host to Howard in CBICoastal Carolina has been selected to host an opening round [more]

Coastal caps road swing with sweep of Warhawks

Coastal caps road swing with sweep of Warhawks No. 16 Coastal Carolina scored a season-high 15 runs to [more]

With two aces on mound, Panthers get winning hand

With two aces on mound, Panthers get winning handIn the span of one game, Carolina Forest went from [more]

Coastal hits for home run cycle in Sun Belt opener

Coastal hits for home run cycle in Sun Belt openerThe No. 16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers had four different players [more]

MB's Cahill honored as Athletics Director of Year

MB's Cahill honored as Athletics Director of YearJohn Cahill's role as a father keeps him busy chasing [more]

Warhawks destroy Chants in Sun Belt quarterfinals

Warhawks destroy Chants in Sun Belt quarterfinalsCoastal Carolina met a hot-shooting Louisiana Monroe team in an [more]

Coastal falls to Clemson, opens Sun Belt schedule

Coastal falls to Clemson, opens Sun Belt scheduleNo. 16 Coastal Carolina couldn’t overcome a six-run first inning [more]

'Too Tall' Jones, Love III among big names at MAM

'Too Tall' Jones, Love III among big names at MAMDallas Cowboys legend Ed "Too Tall" Jones and PGA Tour [more]

Lady Chants' season ends with blowout by App State

Lady Chants' season ends with blowout by App State The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team suffered a 78-42 loss [more]

CAC swimmers post top times at Spring Sectional

CAC swimmers post top times at Spring SectionalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent its fastest senior swimmers [more]

Coast FA 03 Red survives delays to claim State Cup

Coast FA 03 Red survives delays to claim State CupGood things come to those that wait. That old adage [more]

Coastal Highland Games make Myrtle Beach debut

Coastal Highland Games make Myrtle Beach debutThe Coastal Highland Games came to downtown Myrtle Beach for [more]

Chants settle for tie with reigning national champs

Chants settle for tie with reigning national champsNo. 16 Coastal Carolina scored all four of its runs [more]

Cuthbertson tallies 1,000th; Troy rips CCU men, women

Cuthbertson tallies 1,000th; Troy rips CCU men, womenZac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 19 points and in the [more]

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch When Cole Poirier slotted home his third goal against Conway [more]

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinals

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinalsFreshman DeVante Jones scored a career-high 32 points in leading [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach