Andre Dawson and the "Blank Check"
Photo Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons
Today, most major league baseball trades and free agent signings occur in December and January, but in 1987, Andre Dawson still did not have a team to play for entering Spring Training in March.
Without a team to play for even after a great career thus far with the Montreal Expos, Dawson and his agent reportedly came to the Cubs Spring Training facility in Mesa, AZ to offer the Cubs to fill in the amount they would pay him for the 1987 season. At first, Dallas Green, the Cubs General Manager at the time was resistant to the idea of signing Dawson and did not seem happy with this tactic by Dawson and his agent. Ultimately, the offer was too good to pass up as Green offered Dawson a well below market $500,000 and $250,000 in incentives if the "Hawk" was selected to the All-Star game, start in the all-star game and win MVP.
The happy ending to this story for both Dawson and the Cubs is that Dawson did earn the full salary payout collecting NL MVP honors in 1987 hitting a career high 49 home runs and driving in 137 runs. Dawson helped lead the Cubs to a playoff appearance in 1989 and the highest honor being elected into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Andre Dawson Wikipedia
Andre Dawson-Baseball Reference
Tribune Article About Dallas Green and Dawson's Blank Check