At home with Andre Dawson: 1987
Be sure to check out Vine Line’s landing page at http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/vineline.jsp
Yesterday was a historic day for former Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson. He finally was enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame after being eligible for the past nine years. His baseball career has finally come home.
However, in December of 1987, Vine Line captured what life is like for Andre Dawson at home. Just months after his mammoth NL MVP season, Dawson invited staff photographer Steve Green to document his life with wife Vanessa for one weekend at his home in Miami. Green was able to capture the essence of the All-Star outfielder–his work ethic, his interests outside of baseball and his motivations to be the best.Green was the proverbial “fly on the wall”, observing Dawson while he worked out, and while he visited his grandmother’s grave.
Vine Line offers some of Steve Green’s most intriguing images from his visit:
Green witnessed first-hand Dawson’s complete dedication and famed work ethic. Despite knees ravaged by injury and the brutal effects of playing 11 seasons on Astroturf, and in the pre-bodybuilder age of baseball, Dawson still easily was one of the best-conditioned players in the major leagues. “
The man wan’t about fancy stuff,” Green said. ”He was into body-weight resistance and cutting up, not bulking up.”
A the gravesite of his grandmother, Eunice Taylor, Dawson and wife Vanessa freshen up some flowers.
“It was real respectful,” Green said. “It’s where he got his motivation and fortitude. He grew up not in a really great area. So she kept him on the straight and narrow.”
Dawson even did some gardening and even engaged in one of his favorite hobbies–coin collecting. But Dawson said he wanted to be a Cub, and the fans welcomed him with open arms.
“He wanted to come to the Cubs. He loved the experience at the ballpark,” Green said. ”He wanted the exposure because he felt like he didn’t get that in Montreal. He had become a star, hero over night. Harry [Caray] had touted him. He became an icon.”