In Memory

James "Jim" Gordon Dickenson - Class Of 1963

James Jim Gordon Dickenson

Classmate: James Gordon Dickenson
Date Of Birth:  10 Mar 1945 • Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Date Deceased:  04 OCT 1985 • Alameda, California
Age at Death:  40
Cause of Death:  Unknown
Classmate City:  Alameda, California
Was a Veteran:   Yes          Branch:  Navy
Survived By:  Wife & Son
Find-A-Grave Memorial

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07/27/09 11:35 PM #1    

Peter Vander Arend (1968)

It's with sadness I read the loss of Jim Dickenson. My earliest remembrances of Jim was his role as the assistant coach on the little league baseball team I played on. I was "husky" (a polite way of saying i was overweight), not at all fleet of foot, had two left hands for fielding, and wore big-time corrective lens (glasses looking like Coca Cola bottle bottoms). Yet I was on the team - I suppose I got picked towards the bottom of the available talent pool. Jim coached the team with Mr. Crocker, a salty old guy who chain smoked like chimney, but who had an innate sense of the game.

Jim's biggest challenge was to try and find a place for me on the field where I could do some good, and more importantly, not do any harm. Nick Lioce had first base locked since he was faster than I was and could hit better than me. Other kids had second and shortstop positions. Playing outfield was a real nightmare at the ball field that was located by the new Recreation Center. The lighting at night was dim and coupled with my poor vision created opportunities for balls to be hit in my direction without me having a clue.

Ultimately, I was put in at catcher and Jim taught me how to block errant throws and snag anything outside of the strike zone. He also taught me how to rip off the catcher's mask (without ripping off my glasses) and fire a line drive throw to the players covering second base on a streal. I actually got reasonable good at this - don't know what my steals against record was, but I do recall throwing runners out. I was told to get a "cup" to play the position.... not until I got rung up one day by a pitch that nailed me below the waistline did I fully appreciate why a cup is a MUST for a catcher. (I was a quick learner, but a poor listener & implementer.)

Jim's brother, Greg, was our mainstay pitcher. He was tall like Jim and had pretty good control. When I gave him a target, he usually was pretty close to hitting the mitt.

I recall Jim going into the Navy after graduation. Greg went on to Univ Alabama and graduated with a law degree. Nick Lioce also went into law and practices in West Palm beach from what I've been told.

Those years were memorable for me. Jim essentially provided the role of a big brother. I'm grateful and offer belated condolences to his family and brother Greg.

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