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Hey Nationals, Frank Robinson's a Hall of Famer

I'm sort of agnostic about Tuesday's plan to honor Andre Dawson at Nats Park for becoming a Hall of Famer. On the one hand, his Expos exploits were performed in a different country than I live in, and as someone who cares about Washington sports, I can't say I care much about Montreal. You wouldn't figure too many Washingtonians had his poster on their wall as kids.

On the other hand, Dawson played the majority of his career for this franchise, and it's not his fault the Expos got shipped out. So there's certainly no harm in honoring him, and showing a bit of class is never a bad thing.

But I will note that there's at least one person with Nats connections in the Hall of Fame that I do care about. Frank Robinson may be a surly, grouchy, grudge-holding codger, but for a few years, he was our surly, grouchy, grudge-holding codger, and he put together the most successful season in Nats history.

He remains one of the most iconic figures in Nationals history, something I don't think I'd say about, say, Tony Perez. So I'll agree with Reader Noah that this paragraph from the Nats press release about Dawson reads kind of funny:

Dawson is one of only three players in the Hall of Fame with ties to the Nationals/Expos franchise, joining catcher Gary Carter and first baseman Tony Perez (only Dawson and Carter wear Expos hats on their Hall of Fame plaques).

This also reminds me of the quote Thom Loverro mentioned on ESPN 980 this week. It came from Frank Robinson's first Spring Training with the Nats, when the lone Montreal reporter in a press conference asked about Gary Carter possibly following Robinson's lead as a Hall of Famer turned manager.

"He's in the Hall of Fame," Robinson said. "I'm a Hall of Famer."

Amazing quote, anyhow. Speaking of amazing, the embassy of Canada sent out a message about Dawson's Nats ceremony, offering ticket discounts for Connect2Canada members.

"Come out to celebrate the accomplishments of Andre 'The Hawk' Dawson," asks the invite. Bring your poutine, I'd add.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 5, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Some comparisons on the Bill James stats:

Wins above replacement: Robinson 107.4, Dawson 57.0

Hall of Fame Black Ink: Robinson 35, Average HOF 27, Dawson 11

Hall of Fame Grey Ink: Robinson 320, Dawson 164, Average HoF 144

Hall of Fame Monitor: Robinson 220, Dawson 118, Likely HoF 100

Hall of Fame Standards: Robinson 66, Average HoF 50, Dawson 44.

Posted by: 202character | August 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I have Canadian blood in me, so I grew up rooting for the Expos and every now and then the step-sister Blue Jays. I guess the only reason why the Nats didn't go out of their way for Frank Robinson is because he actually never wore the red, white and blue of the Expos. But, I might add that I haven't seen Gary Carter at many Nats game either. So, hurray for the Nats bringing The Hawk to DC. I might have to bring out the old Expos winter hat for the game on Tuesday.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Amazing quote, anyhow. Speaking of amazing, the embassy of Canada sent out a message about Dawson's Nats ceremony, offering ticket discounts for Connect2Canada members."

Given that this game is now scheduled to be Strasburg's next start, those Connect2Canada guys would be fools not to jump on these discounts. It would be like buying something with Canadian dollars, then turning around ans selling it for the same amount in US dollars. If they buy enough extra tix at the discount and scalp some of them, they can end up getting in for free.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 5, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree it silly to honor Andre Dawson in D.C., it won't sell one extra ticket, but what the hey, it can't hurt. The Robinson idea is long over due, this guy deserves to be honored by the Nats for no other reason of that magical summer of 2005.

Posted by: tcostant | August 5, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Preach it, Cheese Dude. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the rant, Dan. I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'm still upset by how shabbily the organization treated Frank Robinson at the end of his tenure. The Nats MUST have a Frank Robinson night and should be ashamed that they haven't already honored the man who started cleaning up the mess MLB made of this franchise and did it in such an admirable fashion.

Posted by: wocoliz | August 5, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I bet if you did a poll the majority would agree to honor Frank Robinson with a special day and there may even be enough support to retire his #20.

If you ask Stan Kasten, be ready for an odd contorted facial expression made to say WHAT?

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It's a disgrace how the Nats have overlooked Frank. They should retire his number. He gave up a comfortable job with MLB with no travel to take over the Expos as a favor to Selig. When the franchise arrived in Washington it had a large amount of credibility largely due to him.

Adam Kennedy should have had the awareness of Frank's stature to have preferred to wear some other number, and the Nats should be ashamed of themselves for allowing it to be issued.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Plus Frank is the intimidator. That was still one of the best moments in Nats history.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | August 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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