Dawson rolls to '77 NL Rookie of the Year Award
In 139 games, Dawson hit .282 with 148 hits, 64 runs scored and 65 RBI. He totaled 54 extra-base hits, including a team-leading nine triples.
He was rewarded by being named National League Rookie of the Year on Nov. 22, 1977.
Dawson was drafted in the 11th round (250th overall pick) by the Expos in 1975. He played 186 minor league games before making his major league debut on Sept. 11, 1976. In 24 games at the end of the 1976 season, Dawson played each outfield position and collected 20 hits.
After a taste of the majors, Dawson set some goals for himself for 1977 and beyond.
“I set quite a few goals at the beginning of the season and came very close to most of them and went over a few,” Dawson told United Press International. “At the beginning of the season, things looked shaky, but I did reach most of the goals I set. … I can eventually hit 30 home runs and well over .300 – I’m not saying I will do it next year, but my goals will be around that area.”
Dawson hit 19 homers in 1977 and would post three 30+ home run seasons in his career, including a league-leading 49 in 1987. He also hit over .300 five times, reaching a career high .310 in 1990.
He put his speed to use on the basepaths, swiping 21 bags with only seven failed attempts in 1977. Following a successful steal of home – one that seemed to catch just about everyone in the stadium off-guard – against the Cardinals in August, the Montreal Gazette was already penciling Dawson’s name down for Rookie of the Year with the headline: “Dawson just may steal rookie award” and the Montreal Star referred him as “Awesome Dawson” in their summary of his exploits.
Arielle Gordon is the Digital Content Specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum