Cubs of Yore: Shawon Dunston

August 14, 2007 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Nickname: Shuh Juan

Played for The Cub: 1985-1995, 1997

Random Write-up: Enough of a phenom out of Brooklyn, NY, The Cub selected Shawon with the first overall pick of the 1982 draft and paid him $100,000 after hitting .790 in his senior year of high school. Many a Cub fan choose to remember Shawon in different ways. He was someone who seemed to eternally swing at a two strike slider in the dirt, he (along with his double play partner, Ryne Sandberg) always rocked the flip shades, he was one of the few ballplayers that ALWAYS hustled out ground balls, and he was a guy who had an erratic, rocket arm. When he threw over to Grace, it seemed as if a man with vertigo was shooting a cannon. How Grace won Gold Gloves in that era is unbelievable and most likely divine. Unquestionably an all-time Cub favorite with the fans, even if he was selected before Dwight Gooden.

What the Hell?: With his reputation of being such a "gunslinger", Shawon actually led NL shortstops in homers, fielding chances, put outs, and of course, errors. He stole 58 bases for the Quad City Cubs in 1983 while also committing an astounding 47 errors! It's hard to imagine, but Shawon did play for other teams, 5 to be exact. He also played for the Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Mets, and the Giants, where he is probably best remembered outside of the Cubs when he hit a 2-run homer in the World Series.

Also of Note: What would a Dunston write-up be without mention of the famed Shawon-o-meter from the '89 season? It's also important to note that a gradeschool friend of mine, Jason Jarchow, kept a replica Shawon-o-Meter in his front yard as well as a "Cubs Magic Number" sign, both of which he updated daily. Shawon and the Cubs commanded such respect in my eastern Iowa town that year that the local thugs left the signs untouched and acted as a small time Hell's Angels by protecting it from others as well. Shawon was also a two-time all star for the Cub, in 1988 and 1990. Amassed career estimated earnings of nearly $25 million. Bling! Allegedly scrapped with former Cub of Yore, Marvell Wynne, although the search for documentation on that has been futile.

"I owe him (Shawon Dunston) a lot. Nobody would have known how good I was at digging balls out of the dirt if it wasn't for him and all those bad throws." - Cubs first baseman, Mark Grace