Mr. Tremendous disagrees with the argument that Dawson should be in the HOF because his numbers are comparable to others who have been elected like Kirby Puckett, Tony Perez, Ryne Sandberg and Gary Carter.
I happen to agree that comparing numbers is not always an adequate measure of a player's performance, but they do provide starting points for consideration. Tremendous says this:
Tony Perez shouldn't be in the Hall. Gary Carter is arguable, but he's a catcher. Ryno...eh. Ozzie Smith is in for defense and one memorable home run in the postseason. So, yes, you are indeed comparing apples to oranges. The closest actual comparison is Puckett, but Puckett's injury was non-baseball-related, which makes it a special circumstance.I agree Perez shouldn't be in the Hall, and I agree that special dispensation be given to Carter because he was a catcher... blah blah. But I have an issue with the special circumstances that hurried Puckett's induction (and don't go nuts on me ... I loved Kirby Puckett).
Anyway, forgive me if I don't cry a river. While it is true that injuries are a part of the game and have sidetracked any number of promising careers, Dawson continued to play at a high level on knees that would eventually need to be replaced. His career was not sidetracked, he played through the pain and continued to put up HOF qualifying numbers. In fact, his slugging percentage was higher than Puckett's.
From 1977 to 1992, Dawson's 162-game average was:
Despite playing on knees that would have felled a lesser man, Dawson continued to put together consistently good seasons for horrible clubs, including one season that saw him win the MVP though playing for a last place team. When was the last time that happened?
Additionally, he played half those 16 years on a rock-hard surface that accelerated the deterioration of his knees and STILL won eight Gold Gloves. Mr. Tremendous downplays the fielding awards, but Dawson's peers and sportswriters don't. They understand the importance of defense. Dawson stood above the rest during that 16-year stretch.
With respect to Mr. Tremendous' opinion, Dawson deserves enshrinement.