Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Creating New Memories ; Dawson, Griese, Lemon and Others Thrill Fans at Night

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Creating New Memories ; Dawson, Griese, Lemon and Others Thrill Fans at Night

Article excerpt

Andre Dawson has autographed several items through the years, but never a brick until Saturday at the Night of Memories. Lifelong Chicago Cubs fan David Krantz presented Dawson with a chair and brick from Wrigley Field to sign during the 14th annual charity fundraiser at the Vanderburgh 4-H Center.

"I didn't expect this, especially a brick," said Dawson, a Baseball Hall of Famer who played for the Cubs from 1987 to 1992. "I enjoy mixing and mingling with the fans, regardless of the teams they cheer for."

Krantz, a native of Chicago, moved to Newburgh in 1991. He said it was so cool to meet Dawson, nicknamed "The Hawk."

"He's not 'Mr. Cub,' because 'Mr. Cub' is Ernie Banks," Krantz said. "But it's a thrill. It was such a neat thing. It was just so cool and neat to meet Andre, here in St. Louis Cardinal country. 'The Hawk' won the 1987 National League MVP award. Wow."

After Wrigley's reconstruction and expansion following the 2005 season, items were auctioned off on the Internet, which is how Krantz came to possess the chair, plus a brick from the center field wall. He also owns a chair from Soldier Field, following the completion of its renovation in 2003, and chairs from Chicago Stadium and Comiskey Park, which were torn down.

Among other featured guests were Meadowlark Lemon, Bob Griese, Walter McCarty and Al Hrabosky.

Hrabosky, a current St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster and former pitcher, remembered facing Dawson when he was a rookie with the Montreal Expos in 1977.

"I already knew he was almost an elite player," said Hrabosky of Dawson, who was named National League Rookie of the Year that season. "He was a tough out. He was a complete player. He could play defense. He had a great throwing arm. He could play every aspect of the game. I wasn't surprised he was elected to the Hall of Fame. …

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