OTD: Montréal Expos retire Andre Dawson’s number

On today’s date in 1997, the now-defunct Montréal Expos retired Andre Dawson’s #10 uniform.

Throughout the franchise’s 35-year existence, the Expos retired three other numbers, including:

  • Gary Carter’s #8;
  • Rusty Staub’s #10; and
  • Tim Raines #30.

The team retired Staub’s #10 in 1993 while Dawson was still active; however, Dawson’s honour was granted four years later. In 2010, he was inducted into the Major League Baseball (MLB) Hall of Fame with an Expos cap.

Following the 2004 season, when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., the newly created Washington Nationals chose not to recognize any of the four numbers retired in Montréal.

As an interesting aside, on Oct. 18, 2005, the Montréal Canadiens honoured the former team by raising an Expos commemorative banner listing the retired numbers to the rafters of the Bell Centre.

1987 DAWSON MEDAL

In 1987, Dawson was traded to the Cubs and quickly became the team’s starting right fielder, hitting an MLB-leading 49 home runs before being named the league’s MVP after two years as runner up in Montreal.

That year, Dawson was also featured on a limited-edition one-ounce silver medal in commemoration of being named that year’s National League MVP after an impressive season with the Chicago Cubs.

DAWSON COLLECTION

What’s more, while Dawson was making a name for himself in Montréal and then in Chicago, he was also earning a reputation in numismatics.

In 1998, the former MLB all-star saw his collection sold by Heritage Auctions at the Long Beach Coin Expo in California.

Dawson worked with a Florida coin dealer to amass a collection of coins that was noteworthy for its consistently high condition and rarity. Highlights include an 1897-O half dollar, an 1854-S gold eagle and an 1800 silver dollar.

Nicknamed “Awesome Dawson” and “The Hawk,” Dawson finished his career with 2,774 hits, 438 home runs, 314 stolen bases and 1,591 runs batted in. He’s one of only eight players in MLB history to record more than 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases in his career (known as the 300-300 Club).

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