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Nationals honor Andre Dawson

The Nationals had already unveiled their new Ring of Honor behind home plate at Nationals Park. They rolled a giant red carpet rolled out from the Nationals dugout to a platform behind home plate, where Andre Dawson stood and was recognized in a pregame ceremony.

"Anytime someone extends the gratitude to pay homage to your career, it's very gratifying," Dawson said beforehand. "It doesn't necessarily mean that I had to play here. I understand the history and the connection. I'm most grateful."

The Nationals presented Dawson a No. 10 Nationals uniform with his name on the back, and Dawson wore an Expos jersey. After Dawson thanked the Nationals with brief words, he bowed his head and wiped away tears. Nationals president Stan Kasten, who had placed the jersey over Dawson's shoulders, and Gary Carter patted him on the back.

The Nationals, of course, only became the Nationals after the Expos relocated to Washington. The ceremony for Dawson -- in which Expos catcher Carter took part -- signals that the Nationals see themselves as the caretakers for Montreal's baseball history. Carter, who discovered only minutes ago he is on the Ring of Honor and not just here to catch Dawson's ceremonial first pitch, was also honored.

"To know in the nation's capital there will be a place of honor for me is something I will live with for the rest of my life," Carter said. "I can't put it into words. To be part of that ring up there is something special."

During batting practice today, all of the Nationals wore Montreal Expos caps. Shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Roger Bernadina were both drafted by the Expos organization, and Livan Hernandez and Miguel Batista once pitched for Montreal.

The Nationals have several players in their organization who have been with them since their Montreal days, including minor leaguers Jason Bergmann, Devin Ivany, Collin Balester, Leonard Davis and Seth Bynum.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  franchise history  | Tags: Andre Dawson  
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Next: Good news for Nyjer Morgan


Nice way to honor these two great players who are essentially homeless. Especially nice to wear Expos caps during BP. Classy work by the Nationals brass.

Posted by: chrisduckworth | August 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

While the Expos are gone, Carter does have his association with the Mets and Dawson with the Cubs, so I wouldn't necessarily call them homeless.

I do like the nod to the franchise's Montreal past. People shouldn't forget who the Nats were before they came here.

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | August 11, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

You cannot imagine how little I care about Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, or any other expo the other side of Christian Guzman or the other initial Nats.

They were NEVER Washington's team. They never played any games at RFK. They are NOT a part of our heritage. Indeed, the only games I ever saw them play in at all were the postseason games that the Expos got into, and I wasn't paying much attention even to those. The Expos were NEVER "our team."

Save any "Ring of Fame" for WASHINGTON'S stars, Senators (old and new) and/or Nats (the Senators, remember, were also called the "Nats"). I'd rather see Ken McMullen or Mickey Vernon or Muddy Ruel or Roy Sievers or Chuck Hinton or Camilo Pascual or even Ken Aspromonte, Hal Naragon or Zoilo Versalles honored in OUR stadium than Montreal retirees, whose career meant nothing at all to Washington baseball fans.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | August 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, and those whose legacies are the foundation of the Washington Nationals.

We do have a weird history here in DC, with ties to the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers in MLB. By that token, should we honor players of those teams who never played in DC? Should the Washington Wizards honor people like Walt Bellamy and Kevin Loughery, who played for the 1963-64 Baltimore Bullets? They, too, never played for a Washington team, but are part of the history of the franchise.

Like nature and families, we are all interconnected. Free agency and players switching "loyalties" year to year makes it far more difficult to pinpoint who gets to own the legacy. So let's not get too wrapped up in ownership and enjoy the fact we CAN honor some really great players.

[And, why do we let FergusonFoont in on these conversations? He's nothing but a 5-star p00pie-mouth.]

Posted by: luv2bikva | August 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What about Frank Howard? What brought this Expos business on, all of a sudden? Some politically correct minion in the MLB office? Where was the call for this from Nats' fans? I have nothing but respect for Dawson and Carter. But, like "Fergy" says, Carter has the Mets and Dawson has the Cubs. Washington and its former stars didn't get a dime's worth of respect from MLB for all the years we didn't have a team and we still aren't getting a whole lot. But we expect that. What continues to drive me up the wall as a season ticket holder is the callous disregard for the feelings and pride of DC area fans on the part of Kasten and the Nats front office. Just when we get over the Opening Day debacle, we get this thrown in our faces. What's next?

Posted by: fluffy4 | August 11, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I guess this means the Nationals' throwback jerseys will be Montreal uniforms. Sounds like a cheap marketing ploy.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | August 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

A couple of former Montreal Expos have a prominent place inside of Nationals Park while the Washington Hall of Stars remains relegated to a tarp on the side of a parking garage? Really? How would we feel if Minnesota placed Walter Johnson in a Ring of Honor located prominently inside their ballpark? It's a slap in the face of the franchise's former city.

Let the Cubs and Mets honor Dawson and Carter. There's simply no reason to do it in Washington, D.C. Though, this move doesn't surpise me given the level of baseball competence shown by this ownership group. What a shame.

Posted by: mromeo | August 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We can all agree that no Washington fan will ever celebrate the Montreal Expos. But, for better or worse, all of our "records" belong to other franchises.

Baseball is grounded in the passage of time and the comparison among eras. You can't expect my 12 year old to link in his mind Walter Johnson to Stephen Strasburg without some intervening stars.

If the link has to be Johnson to Harris to Killebrew to Howard to Dawson to Dunn - then so be it.

Posted by: ktroxelljr | August 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

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