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01/06/2010 2:25 PM ET
Dawson Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame
Former Denver Bear (Zephyr), now Marlins assistant, gets nod to Hall

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LISTEN to Dawson interviewed during Zephyr Field visit in 2009.

Outfielder Andre Dawson, one of the most feared hitters in the National League during the 1980's, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Dawson played for the Zephyrs' predecessor in Denver - the Bears - in 1976 before winning National League Rookie of the Year honors for the Montreal Expos the following year.

Nicknamed "The Hawk," Dawson slugged 438 career home runs and amassed 1,591 RBIs and 314 steals while winning eight Gold Gloves and the 1987 National League Most Valuable Player Award.

He finished his career with the Florida Marlins in 1996, and is now a Special Assistant to the President in the organization. Last season, Dawson spent a few days in New Orleans working with the Zephyrs' outfielders.

"I feel real comfortable with what I'm doing," Dawson told the Times-Picayune. "I'm happy. I enjoy coming to the minor leagues. The kids, they're a little hungrier."

In 1976, Dawson played in 74 games with Denver, then the Expos' Triple-A affiliate. In 267 at-bats, he hit .350 with 20 home runs, 46 RBIs, 19 doubles and four triples. He was promoted to Montreal in September, when he made his Major League debut.

Last November, Chris Coghlan joined Dawson as the only players in Denver or New Orleans franchise history to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

Dawson earned his election on the ninth attempt by receiving 420 votes, 15 more than necessary. He will be inducted on July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were elected by a Veterans Committee at the Winter Meetings last month.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.