Meeting Brett Jackson, Before Stardom
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie and Dearborn welcomed a very special guest. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson signed autographs for fans from 7-9 p.m. for a new MasterCard promotion. Fans had to take the Cubs Pledge: how far would they go or what would they do for the Cubs? After entering a pledge on one of the iPads available, each fan received the chance to meet Dawson and get an autograph. It could be something like wearing the same clothes for a year if the Cubs won, donate to a charity for each win, kiss a Cardinals/White Sox fan if the Cubs win the World Series, go to every home game, etc. Each pledge appears on the MasterCard Cubs Pledge Facebook page.
“Mr. Cub”, Ernie Banks, was there as well, having an early supper with some companions. He is a frequent guest at this location. Both Banks and Dawson posed next to the Harry Caray statue near the entrance before Dawson greeted the waiting fans. Dawson signed photos for fans, but was willing to sign a personal item, such as a jersey or his new book, If You Love This Game, if someone requested it instead.
Andre Dawson, nicknamed “The Hawk”, retired from baseball in 1996 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010. He played for twenty-one years for the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and Florida Marlins. He played despite chronic pain due to a knee injury. He won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. He had eight All-Star appearances and earned eight Gold Gloves. He was named the 1987 Most Valuable Player while with the Cubs. In his Hall of Fame induction speech, he said, “If you love this game, it will love you back.”