Baseball is full of successful second acts. But there aren’t many like Andre Dawson’s.
Dawson, the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs great who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, runs a funeral home near Miami with his wife Vanessa. It’s not like when a star athlete slaps their name on a car dealership or restaurant either — Dawson actually works inside Paradise Memorial Funeral Home, doing almost any job that needs doing.
Dawson, 63, is our guest on this week’s installment of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast and we talked quite a bit about his funeral home business, but also a variety of other topics, including the time he gave the Chicago Cubs a blank contract, his “R.B.I. Baseball” likeness and his upcoming appearance at the MLB All-Star Game, where he’s one of the legends scheduled to appear at the GEICO All-Star FanFest from July 13-17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. He’ll also play in the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game, and we talked about whether he can still hit a homer. You can listen to our entire chat with Dawson plus our dive into the week in MLB by clicking over to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Acast.
The funeral home business, as you’d expect, is a lot different than baseball. But Dawson said, actually, baseball prepared for him it:
“You gotta make yourself comfortable,” Dawson said. “You gotta keep your composure. You’re going to deal with a lot of emotion. I think the game itself prepared me, in a sense, for that.”
So just how did The Hawk — the guy who hit 438 homers in the big leagues — get into the funeral business? Well, it wasn’t necessarily his intention. He was a business partner originally, but the business “fell into his lap” and Dawson basically had to take it over.
“I prayed on it,” he told Yahoo Sports. “I felt that it was a calling more than anything because it wasn’t my cup of tea. The first thing I said to my staff when we had the grand opening was, ‘Who would have ever thought?’ This is not something that you could have told me a couple years ago that I would be in with both feet.”
When he says both feet, he means both feet.
“I’m involved on a daily basis,” Dawson said. “I do a little bit of everything. I’m not a licensed director. I don’t do embalming or anything like that. But I will do removals. I will work the services themselves. I will do a lot of work around the funeral home. I kind of got my hands in a few things.”
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