The first 57hits podcast episode

Here is the very first podcast episode for 57hits.com. I talk about why Andre Dawson left the Cubs after the 1992 season.

After barraging my friend, Abhay, for 23 minutes on instant messenger about Andre Dawson in 1992, he finally said, “Have you thought about starting a podcast just talking baseball?”

Shaking my head, I declined, “naw, i wouldn’t be able to talk much about it. I look up random things, but I wouldn’t be able to have a full-on conversation.”

To which he quickly replied, “You are doing it literally right now.”

Ok, challenge accepted. I dug out my Marantz solid state recorder PMD620 (from the great Leigh Hanlon).

Surprisingly, I talked for ten minutes. It felt pretty natural. Give the 10-minute episode a listen on Soundcloud.

Screenshot of soundcloud player

Show notes

Tom Brady’s pass to himself this morning was rather funny. So that got me thinking about how it was a mistake for Tom Brady to sign with another team. Man, just take a lower salary and stick with the Patriots. Like, ride out your career with the fans of your team.

That got me thinking about Andre Dawson. Why did Dawson left the Cubs after the 1992 season? I was pretty sure he wasn’t traded. His page on baseball-reference had the answer.

Yes, he was granted free agency. Check out the note for his 1987 salary: “Let club fill in amount”.

Screenshot of Andre Dawson's salary history on baseball-reference.com. Arrow pointing to 1987 line "Let club fill in amount"

The infamous $1 salary. It actually was 500k & bonuses for a total of 700k. The 1992 Cubs had Dawson in right field, Sosa in center.

Imagine that. Dawson and Sosa in the outfield together.

At the start of the 1992 season (Dawson’s last with the Cubs), the Chicago Tribune reported:

Dawson, 37, will receive $3.3 million in `92, the final year of a three-year deal. The Cubs declined last week to negotiate a new contract for him and then dumped well-paid veterans George Bell ($3.1 million) and Les Lancaster ($1.1 million).

After handing Ryne Sandberg a four-year, $28.4 million extension less than a month earlier, management is trying to close the cash drawer.

Before the Cubs meet Milwaukee at Wrigley Field Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. exhibition (WGN-Ch. 9), Dawson will show new outfield partner Sammy Sosa the nooks and crannies of the old ballpark.

Then in December 1992, UPI reports:

Andre Dawson, who rejected the Chicago Cubs’ offer to return to Wrigley Field for two more years but at their price, signed a two-year, $9.3 million contract Wednesday with the Boston Red Sox.

The Cubs and Dawson’s agent Dick Moss had stalled on the figures for a two-year deal. The ballclub was willing to pay $7 million; Moss wanted $11 million.

‘We actually hadn’t thought about Dawson,’ [Red Sox GM] Gorman said. ‘We wanted to sign (free agent Mark) McGwire but we couldn’t work out the dollars.’

Imagine that. The Red Sox signing Mark McGwire in 1992. Funny to think that McGwire hit 52 HR the season before he joined the Cardinals. He actually hit more HR with the A’s than the Cardinals (363 vs 220)

Sammy played only CF for his first season with the Cubs. You know what’s really funny about his first Cubs season? Doug Dascenzo played more games in CF than Sammy.

LOL. Dascenzo hit .255 with zero home runs in 1992.

What was Cubs manager Jim Lefebvre thinking?

Bonus

In researching baseball cards of Dawson from 1992, I came across this monstrosity. What in the world did Topps do to Dawson?!

1992 Topps Kids 2 Andre Dawson

The entire 1992 Topps Kids set is like this. Especially the Ozzie Smith.

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