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Must-Click Link: Andre Dawson, Funeral Director

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I knew Andre Dawson was from Miami and I knew that, following retirement, he worked for the Marlins for years until he was dismissed this past offseason. I assumed that, being a club ambassador aside, like most Hall of Famers he had a pretty easy retirement, signing autographs, collecting personal appearance fees and, perhaps, dabbling in this or that investment. Maybe real estate. Maybe golf courses. Maybe a bar or a restaurant.

Had that wrong. From Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

Dawson, who for 21 years was one of the most dynamic players in baseball, winning one MVP in Chicago and finishing runner-up twice in Montreal, has gone from the ranks of the enshrined in Cooperstown to the ranks of the embalmers in a land where many go to die.

Dawson and his wife of 40 years, Vanessa, own and operate the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in Richmond Heights, Fla.

It’s not just an office job or an investment for Dawson. As Nightengale explains, The Hawk is 100% hands-on in the business, transporting bodies, planning funerals, consoling families and even cleaning the toilets and mopping the floor. He does everything but the embalming. The work, he describes, is too important to not be 100% invested in it. The community of Richmond Heights too important to him not to take it 100% seriously.
I have admired Andre Dawson more than almost any other player since I began to learn about him back in the 1980s. My admiration for him has only grown over the years.

A fantastic read about a fantastic man. Set some time aside for it today.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.