Andre Dawson: beanball master

Andre Dawson Beanbrawls Sports Illustrated cover

Did you know that Andre Dawson lead the NL in hit by pitch four times?

Hit By Pitch
1978 NL 12 (1st)
1979 NL 6 (9th)
1980 NL 6 (1st)
1981 NL 7 (1st)
1982 NL 8 (2nd)
1983 NL 9 (1st)
1986 NL 6 (6th)
1987 NL 7 (5th)
1993 AL 13 (3rd)
Career 111 (57th)

Most of Dawson’s years on this list was wearing an Expos uniform. In fact, he only appears on this list as a Cub once–his first year. The year he was an MVP in 1987. You have to wonder if after his MVP year, the Cubs said, “hey lay off the hit by pitches, you are too valuable.” Or perhaps the beanball to the face, as seen on this SI cover, was enough to deter Dawson.

I’d really like to read this article “Beanbrawls: baseball’s headhunting gets ugly” article from Sports Illustrated. Does anyone know how I would be able to get digital access to this article from July 20, 1987? Perhaps I have to go the old print route and purchase the magazine from eBay. With shipping, the cheapest auction is $6.50. I’d be willing to pay $1 to read the article online.

Hit by pitch is one of my favorite stats. There’s something extremely admirable and daring about being willing to get on base by putting your body on the line. In this year’s All-Star game Chase Utley leaned into a 94mph two-seam fastball from Chris Sales. His leaning into the pitch on the big stage of the All-Star game was fantastic. It came as no surprise as I knew Chase Utley has a HBP guy. He lead the NL three times:

2007 NL 25 (1st)
2008 NL 27 (1st)
2009 NL 24 (1st)

Utley currently ranks 18th all-time by HBP. One of these days I’ll have to do an in-depth HBP analysis. For now, I’ll keep it to expressing my surprise that Dawson lead the NL four times. Dawson is even more of a stud in my book. I didn’t know that was even possible to be more studly than Dawson already is. But he just upp’ed his stud status.


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