KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson was in the town as part of Hardin Valley Academy baseball’s kickoff dinner.

Dawson showed immense perseverance throughout his 21 years playing professional baseball. Growing up he said he wasn’t confident he would make it in the big leagues, but he was hopeful. Dawson never lost sight of the dream and that’s what he relays when he speaks to young athletes.

Playing for the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins, Dawson fulfilled his childhood dream. The eight-time all-star reminds those going after the same dream that you never know who’s watching and who could make it come true.

“It’s not gonna be easy, it’s a game of failure, and you gotta be able to learn and adapt to failure, try not to make your mistakes or repeat your mistakes, but the opposition, they’re gonna be on you tight and you’re gonna have to know how to counter or the adjustments you got to make and just again look in the mirror and know that each and every day you’re giving it your best effort and at the end of the day hopefully you’re satisfied with whatever the outcome is,” said Dawson.

Dawson said you gotta eat, sleep and dream, don’t stop dreaming and don’t let someone tell you that you can’t accomplish something.