01/12/09 2:00 PM EST
Dawson falls short of Hall induction
Gets slight bump in voting in eighth year on Cooperstown ballot
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Dawson, who was on the Hall of Fame ballot for the eighth year, was denied entry into Cooperstown on Monday, receiving 361 votes, or 67 percent. He needed 75 percent.
The Baseball Writers Association of America elected Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice into the Hall this year. This was Henderson's first year on the ballot and he received 511 votes (94.8 percent), while Rice was listed on 412 ballots (76.4 percent).
Among those not elected, only Dawson and Bert Blyleven (338 votes, 62.7 percent) were on more than half of the ballots.
Dawson received a minor bump in voting. In 2008, he got 358 votes, or 65.9 percent. In '07, when Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were elected into Cooperstown, Dawson received 309 votes for 56.7 percent. In '06, when Bruce Sutter was inducted, Dawson garnered 317 votes for 61 percent.
In 2005, Dawson got 270 votes (52.3 percent), a slight increase from '04, when he received 253 votes (50 percent). In '03, he received 248 votes (50 percent) and in his first year on the ballot in '02, he got 214 votes (43.5 percent).
The National League MVP in 1987, Dawson won eight Gold Gloves, and has more RBIs (1,591) than all but 33 players in history, including more than Rice (1,451). Dawson, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are the only players in history with 400 homers and 300 steals.
This was Rice's 15th and final year on the ballot. He does have a higher career batting average (.298) than Dawson (.279) and a higher on-base percentage (.352 compared to .323). Rice also finished in the top five MVP voting six times.
Dawson's critics say his on-base percentage figure makes him unworthy of Cooperstown. But that doesn't factor in what Dawson's teams wanted him to do.
"There are guys that get on base and guys that drive 'em in. Andre Dawson, we wanted him to be an RBI guy," former Expos manager Buck Rodgers told FoxSports.com. "We didn't want him up there taking pitches a quarter-inch inside or a quarter-inch outside. We wanted him hacking. If the ball was a little up, go ahead."
Former Cubs closer Lee Smith received 240 votes (44.5 percent), and will be on the ballot next year along with Dawson.
Former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, who was on the ballot for the first time, received 22 votes (4.1 percent) and will not be on next year's ballot.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.