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

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state final

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state finalLL Coach. The somewhat cryptic rallying cry (Long Live Coach) was [more]

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinals

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinalsMyrtle Beach’s season came down to about three minutes. In that [more]

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title run

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title runThe closest thing to a blemish South Aiken had on [more]

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State opener

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State openerIn any other game, St. James coach Robbie Centracchio may [more]

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semis

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semisThe Socastee High boys soccer team crushed Cane Bay 5-0 [more]

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title match

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title matchEven after his death earlier this week, longtime Myrtle Beach [more]

Illing steps down as Socastee football coach

Illing steps down as Socastee football coachDoug Illing struggled with the emotions. He even fought himself trying [more]

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourney

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourneyIt took a little longer than St. James fans may [more]

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeat

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeatHeading into the playoffs, Carolina Forest’s girls soccer team hoped [more]

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch John Edward Cahill III occasionally glanced at a spot at [more]

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semis

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semisFor all of the dominant results, all the blowouts and [more]

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor Lynch

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor LynchCookie Goings was barely a teenager, an eighth grader running [more]

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring Classic

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring ClassicMore than 400 teams from six states completed in the [more]

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pick

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pickFormer Socastee High and Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow was selected [more]

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champs

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champsWhen Katie Kulick drove the ball past the West Florence [more]

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia State

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia StateThe relentless Chanticleers scored a run in each of the [more]

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019The Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club will host open [more]

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on Tuesday

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on TuesdayCoastal Carolina baseball split Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach