March 16, 2018
By Ted Hickman
Dixon Little League’s 50th Opening Day was held last Saturday at the Little League fields south east of town. There are over 300 boys and girls playing on 24 teams this year from the Majors down to the Challenger Fields which has players of all ages as seen in the photo above I took… The five fields have games playing, weather permitting, nightly from Tball (4-5 years old) up to the “Majors” (11-12 years old).
Don Richey from the Dixon Planning commission was present as was Helen Richey representing the Dixon Parks and Recreation Commission and Vice Mayor Ted Hickman representing the City Council. Hickman was honored for being one of the founding fathers and threw out the first pitch as seen in the photo here. (Photo by Hazel Aguirre).
I was in on the formation of the league back in 1968, eight years before our first child, Trey, was born. I was Editor of the then Dixon Tribune at the time and Quentin Larson was shop foreman. Larson had moved to Dixon from Brownsville, Texas which he described being a dusty little hole in the wall, “But at least they had a real Little League”. At the time I was serving my first term as a city councilman.
Quentin said, “Little League, that’s what we need here.” The kids are playing in t-shirts and jeans, “That ain’t baseball.”
He said he would apply for the charter if I would get the city council to assure field space (which was one thing required to obtain a charter). He said he would do the setup and I could get team sponsors from local merchants. He sent away for the paper work and when we got it back we formed a board of directors consisting of Quentin as Pres., His wife, Me asVP/player agent and my wife, Delores and Marty Garton, Shirley Anders, and several other couples.
(It would be nice to see the charter to see who I’m forgetting.)
We got the team sponsors, and the city to dedicate the land for 100 years at $1 per year. It took a year or so to get everything going but as you see, it’s still going strong. I and my wife Linda got back into it years later and Linda was one of the first female managers and board member after Brenda Gilday. Over the years I served as a VP, Pres, Player Agent, safety officer, umpire and Linda was head scorekeeper for a while, coached and managed. I coached and managed teams and coached in “All Star” games.
Our third time around was when our grandson played a year or two ago… So, yes, we support youth baseball in Dixon.
That was the seed – and the flower is still blooming today. I’m just glad I took part in its birth. I later had the Major Field named after Quentin and it’s called Larson Field… now you know why.
(I was only 12 years removed from playing the in the first year of Little League, and the first All Star game in Dayton ,Ohio where I grew up…. So I was an agreeable Little League supporter!)