Outfielder Vince Coleman, whose speed proved the offensive catalyst for the St. Louis Cardinals' drive to the National League pennant, is the Baseball Writers Association of America's first unanimous pick since 1959 as NL rookie of the year.

"A dream come true," he said. "Something that can happen to you only once . . . "

Coleman, who stole a rookie-record 110 bases, hit .267 and scored 107 runs, swept 24 votes from a panel of writers for the maximum 120 points, becoming only the fifth unanimous winner of the award in either league. Second place went to 20-game winner Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds, also by unanimous consensus.

Willie McCovey of the NL San Francisco Giants was the last to draw every first-place vote. The other National League unanimous picks were Frank Robinson of Cincinnati in 1956 and Orlando Cepeda of San Francisco in 1958. Carlton Fisk of Boston in 1972 was the only American Leaguer.

Coleman started the season in the minors but was recalled when center fielder Willie McGee suffered an early injury. A freak accident during the league playoffs kept him out the World Series . . .

The New York Yankees are among the clubs interested in acquiring veteran Expos outfielder Andre Dawson, says Montreal General Manager Murray Cook. Cook met with Yankees executive Clyde King this week to discuss a deal for Dawson, 31. The Expos are interested in pitchers Joe Cowley and Dennis Rasmussen.