LUBBOCK, Texas – Former Florida A&M University Hall of Famer and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Andre Dawson earned another accolade on Thursday as he was inducted into the 2019 National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 2019 hall of fame class, which will be inducted as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions celebration Nov. 1-2 in Baton Rouge, La., is headlined by former Florida State coach Mike Martin, winner of 2,029 games, and Cal State Fullerton’s Mark Kotsay, a two-time All-American and winner of three national player of the year awards in 1995.
“What a fantastic class,” Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, said. “These guys hit all the marks as Hall of Famers and are all very deserving.”
Joining Dawson, Martin and Kotsay during this year’s hall of fame class are Dave Chalk, a two-time first-team All-American at Texas, Wally Hood, who posted a 21-2 record in 1948 at USC, Seminole State coach Lloyd Simmons, who is the winningest coach in junior college baseball history and Ferrum College pitcher Billy Wagner, whose strikeout records still stand in Division III. In addition, NCAA administrator Dennis Poppe rounds out the class as the first inductee to be selected from the contributors’ section of the ballot.
Dawson, also known as the “Hawk” twice received All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Honors and led the team in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs in 1974 and 1975. The slugging outfielder led his teams with a 64-19 record in his three years at FAMU, including historic wins over nationally-ranked Miami three times.
The Miami, Fla. native finished third in NCAA Division II with .41 doubles per game and 10thin slugging in his sophomore season and hit .352 during his junior season (1975).
Dawson was only the second player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases.
The eight-time All-Star outfielder battled rehab and treatment on his knees to survive 21 seasons in the major leagues. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1975 and played only 186 minor leagues before joining the parent club. In June of 1977, Dawson made his major league debut as the Expos starting center fielder. That season, Dawson was named the National League Rookie of the Year.
With Montreal, Dawson won six consecutive Gold Glove Awards and twice finished second in the MVP balloting (1981 and 1983). He led the league in hits and total bases in 1983.
In 1987, Dawson left Montreal as a free agent and signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs.
In his first year with the new club, Dawson led the league in home runs with 49, RBI with 137, batted .287, won a Gold Glove and was named National League MVP despite the fact that the Cubs finished last in the National League East.
Dawson would go on to win his eighth Gold Glove in 1988 to add to his four Silver Slugger Awards. He played for the Boston Red Sox from 1993-94 and finished his career with the Florida Marlins from 1995-1996. He posted a .279 career average with 438 home runs, 1,591 RBI and 314 stolen bases.
Dawson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 2010.
Courtesy: FAMU Athletics