Andre Dawson, known by his nickname “The Hawk,” was one of the most prolific baseball players of the 1980s. A gifted all-around player, Dawson played center field with grace and power at the plate that led to eight All-Star selections and an MVP award in 1987 as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Dawson’s impressive career made him one of the most collected players in the hobby of baseball cards, with many of his cards highly sought after by enthusiasts to this day.
Dawson first appeared on baseball cards as a member of the Montreal Expos in the late 1970s. One of his earliest notable rookie cards is the 1977 Topps #94 card. Pictured in an Expos uniform with a serious expression, this Dawson rookie became a key piece for many collectors looking to build full sets from that era. While Dawson was still establishing himself in 1977, the card remained popular given his breakout seasons that would soon follow. Graded high copies in near-mint to mint condition still command prices upwards of $100 due to Dawson’s star power and the card’s status as one of his earliest issued rookie cards.
Entering his prime in the early 1980s, Dawson’s baseball cards from this period are some of the most iconic in his collection. In 1981, Topps captured Dawson’s emergence as an MVP candidate with their #144 card, showing him batting left-handed with his distinctive high leg kick. This popular Dawson card in top condition can sell for over $50. Another standout is the 1982 Fleer #250 card, which pictures Dawson in mid-swing from the left side with an intense focus. High graded ’82 Fleers of Dawson are highly sought after and can reach several hundred dollars.
Dawson’s best season came in 1987 as a Chicago Cub, where he batted .287 with 49 home runs and 137 RBI to win the National League MVP award. Topps commemorated Dawson’s MVP season with one of the defining cards of his career, the 1988 Topps Traded #T27 card. Often considered his best card visually, it features a crisp full-body shot of Dawson in a Cubs uniform with “1987 NL MVP” emblazoned below. Pristine copies in mint condition regularly sell for well over $100 given the card’s iconic status. Dawson also had a popular regular season issue card in 1988 Topps #480, making his MVP year well documented in the hobby.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dawson continued producing All-Star caliber seasons with the Cubs and Boston Red Sox that resulted in strong card issues. His 1989 Upper Deck #146 card showing him batting left-handed is a highly detailed and visually pleasing issue. Dawson’s 1991 Leaf #78 card from his time with the Red Sox also became a popular pick for collectors. He had one final major league season in 1992 with the Florida Marlins before retiring, capping a career that spanned over two decades.
Since his retirement, Dawson’s legacy as a five-tool player has continued to grow, as has collector interest in his vintage baseball cards. Many consider his rookie and early Expos issues some of the most undervalued from that era given his eventual Hall of Fame induction. Dawson’s iconic Cubs and MVP-related cards remain widely collected as well. For the dedicated Andre Dawson card collector, finding pristine high-graded examples from his playing days with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins can be a lengthy pursuit. But for those willing to hunt the hobby, Dawson’s memorable on-field performances are commemorated through some truly historic and visually striking cardboard that continues attracting new generations of collectors.
In summarizing, Andre Dawson established himself as one of the most prolific players of the 1980s through his contributions at the plate and in center field. This led to a strong legacy in the baseball card collecting world, with many of his rookies and star-studded issues from the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins eras remaining highly sought after by enthusiasts. Cards showing Dawson’s MVP season with Chicago in 1988 are particularly iconic, but collectors appreciate his full career documented on cardboard. While condition-sensitive, Dawson’s vintage cards remain a staple for dedicated collectors pursuing one of the game’s great five-tool players.