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Hawk Tailor

Tomorrow, they will announce the BBWAA inductees for the Hall of Fame class of 2010.

One potential honoree holds a special place in Mets history, though it's probably one with which you're not familiar.

Andre Dawson has batted into the final out of the game in more Mets wins than any other player. Dawson has made the walk-off out 17 times, three more than the man with the next-most, Jose Cruz Sr (14).

This is a record that doesn't look like it will be broken any time soon. The leader among active players is Andruw Jones with 11, one more than Pat Burrell's 10.

Yes, I actually took the time to figure that out, with great assistance from, because that's just the sort of thing we do here.

In 10 of those 17 instances, Dawson represented either the tying or winning run, so these were some pressure-packed moments that the Mets pitchers survived. In fairness, he did get three walk-off hits against the Mets, including a pair of walk-off home runs,

The Mets were a constant bugaboo for Dawson throughout his career. He hit just .247, with a .702 OPS against them. Those were bad numbers, even for that era. The only NL team against whom he did worse in both stats were the Pirates.

Those were the fortunate teams. A lot has been made of how Dawson's on-base percentage would be among the worst ever for a Hall of Famer. But Dawson's slugging percentage of .482 (when the league average hitter would have been in the high-.300s/low-.400s should, at least partly, make up for that.

The guy did hit 438 home runs, drive in 1,591 runs, and steal 314 bases, and that's an impressive enough combination to get my vote, if I had one.

I've become a big fan of the "Oh f---" factor when evaluting Hall of Fame candidates, now that we're to the point that all those on the ballot were in their prime during my lifetime.

When I first started watching baseball on an everyday basis in the early 80s, the most feared opposing hitters to a Mets fan were Mike Schmidt, Dale Murphy, Andre Dawson, and Jack Clark. Those are the guys who made you say "Oh f---" when they came up to the plate in a big spot late in the game because they were SCARY hitters.

Dawson, for one, had 20 walk-off HITS in his career. Only 3 players (Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, and Jose Cruz Sr.) have had more in the last 55 years.

Only one of those four whom I deemed SCARY is in the Hall of Fame, and I'm a supporter of two of the others (Murphy and Dawson), who I feel get lost in an era in which the current numbers obliterate theirs. Murphy has no chance this time around, and his best shot likely won't come until he's under Veterans Committee consideration.

Dawson does have a reasonable shot though, and here's hoping that he walks-off the ballot successfully this year.

True Metwsons know...Dawson made the last out against the Mets 17 times, but had 3 walk-off RBI against them. The players who made the last out against the Mets the most, without managing a walk-off RBI against them are Ozzie Smith, Tim Raines, and Bill Buckner (12 times).


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