Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My Second Encounter with Andre Dawson

Andre Dawson first impressed me in 1987 when he came to the Cubs signing a 700,000 contract. He wanted to play for the Cubs. He then slugged 49 homeruns with 137 RBI's for the Cubs. He also won the NL MVP for the last place Cubs and won a Golden Glove.

I was disappointed when Dawson went to the Marlins and wondered if he would come back to the Cubs in some position, but it doesn't look like that will ever happen now.

The first time I met Andre Dawson in 1994 at a book signing at the Family's Bookstore in LaGrange (I think it was LaGrange). He signed my copy of his autobiography Hawk: An Inspiring Story of Success at the Game of Life and Baseball. Andre took his time to talk with each person that wanted to ask questions.

The second time was on my flight to Miami a couple Sundays ago. I had already boarded the plane and was waiting for everyone else to board the plane and get on our way. I looked down the isle to see the people coming down the isle and trying to guess who was going to be seating next to me. I looked up and had to look again. My mind was telling me, hey it's Andre Dawson! I couldn't believe he was not seating in First Class and it seemed as if I was the only person to recognize him. I didn't say anything to him eventhough I really wanted to. So after he passing me to go to his seat. I realize that I had changed the seat assignment online before I got to the airport. That's when I notice Andre is seating the seat next to where I would have been seating if I hadn't changed. BOGUS!!

We all know how our minds go racing through possible scenarios on how to say something to someone and that is what my mind was doing for a good portion of the 3 hour 7 minute flight from Chicago to Miami.

The plane landed and everyone gets up to grab their bags. Everyone except Andre. He is just sitting waiting patiently for everyone to deboard the plane. I nodded to him as he looked my way and he said something that I couldn't hear because of the shuffling of everyone.

Then on our way out from the gate, I caught up with Andre. I said, 'Andre, Miss you in Chicago.' Dawson thanked me for my comment. We then had some small talk as we walked through the airport. Then as I needed to retrieve my bags and take the stairs down to the baggage claim area I thanked him for giving me something to cheer about while he was in Chicago. Andre then again Thanked me for my comments. At no point did Andre seem bothered to talk with me.

I was impressed the first time and now I am even more impressed with Andre. He was a great player and both times I met him he proved to be a quality person.

I hope the next time I run into Andre is at his HOF induction.