COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Pete Girard wore a recently purchased Montreal Expos No. 10 jersey with “DAWSON” on the back and a 2010 Cooperstown induction crest on his left sleeve.
On his head was a red, white and blue Expos hat “from way back.”
“Expos fans who drove here all the way from Montreal were loud,” Girard said after Dawson’s induction speech Sunday afternoon.
“I’d have to think they were disappointed at how often he mentioned the Chicago Cubs and how little Andre mentioned Montreal,” said Girard, of Belleville, Ont.
Dawson thanked the Expos and their fans, but saved his highest praise for Cubs fans saying: “I never knew what it was like to be loved by a city until I arrived in Chicago,” and then told Cubs fans “you were the wind beneath the Hawk’s wings.”
Herzog, Harvey too
Dawson became the 203rd player inducted, of more than 17,000 who have played in the majors, along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey.
Scribe Bill Madden, of the New York Daily News, was presented the J.G. Taylor Spink award and ESPN’s Jon Miller received the Ford C. Frick award.
Former Expos Wallace Johnson, Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines were there to see Dawson inducted.
Lawyer Rand Huguely flew in from Dallas wearing his Expos jersey.
“I grew up in the Cincinnati area, but when you are nine years old in 1977 there is something exciting about something new when Andre won the rookie of the year,” Huguely said. “He clicked with me and became my favourite.”
Kerwin Clarke, from Montreal’s south shore, was in Cooperstown for the ceremony.
“I was a big Dawson guy,” Clarke said.
“He played the game clean and hard. I’ll never forget a home run he hit in the upper deck of the Astrodome in Houston.”
Earl (The Parl) Zukerman, from McGill University, told of catching an Expos post-season game and avoiding scalpers winding up with $10 tickets — the visiting club returned seats to the box office — and sat beside actor Donald Sutherland in Philadelphia.
All came to see Dawson.