December 07, 2016

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) Three decades after collusion, Andre Dawson put past feelings aside and voted to induct Bud Selig into the Hall of Fame.

''For me, it was a no-brainer,'' the Hall of Fame outfielder said Monday.

''I vote based on the big picture,'' Dawson said. ''What he accomplished as commissioner, when you think about a guy of his stature, you really can't do anything perfectly,'' Dawson said.

Dawson, inducted into the Hall in 2010, was among the victims when owners conspired against free agents following the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons, which led to a $280 million settlement between Major League Baseball and the players' association.

He took a $1 million pay cut after the 1986 season to leave the Montreal Expos and join the Chicago Cubs. His agent offered a ''fill-in-the-blank'' contract, and then general manager Dallas Green wrote in a $500,000 salary, and $200,000 in bonus opportunities, all of which Dawson earned as he won the NL MVP award in 1987.

Selig was head of baseball's labor policy when owners were found to have conspired against free agents. Despite Dawson's setback in those days, he said he put Selig on his ballot.

''I'm a firm believer in due justice. What's fair is fair,'' Dawson said, adding ''there was no doubt in my mind he should've been a permanent fixture as a Hall of Famer.''

Limping because of a stress fracture in a tibia, Selig appeared at a news conference Monday along with longtime Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz, who also was elected Sunday by the Today's Game Era veterans committee.

Schuerholz was a unanimous pick, and Selig appeared on 15 of 16 ballots from a committee that included six Hall of Fame players: Dawson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton and Frank Thomas. There also were six executives, Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox and three media members.

Selig didn't worry about his role in collusion would impact his vote total.

''Did I think that may stop me? I don't know,'' Selig said Sunday. ''I was not the commissioner during that era, obviously. And that was in fact well before, well before, my commissionership.''


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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