Monday, July 23, 2012
Buttercup Dickerson, born Lewis Pessano Dickerson in Tyaskin, Maryland in 1858, was the first Italian American player in the major leagues. His first game was July 15, 1878 when he was the starting outfielder for Cincinnati. Batting left and throwing right, he played for seven years and finished his career playing for Buffalo. His lifetime batting average was 284. He died on July 23, 1920.
His father was William Porter Dickerson (1825 to 1905) and his mother was Mary Perscilla(1837-1924)
Lewis Pessano Dickerson (October 11, 1858 – July 23, 1920) was a 19th-century Major League Baseball outfielder. Born in Tyaskin, Maryland, he played a total of seven seasons in the majors, splitting time between eight teams in three different leagues. He is credited as becoming the first Italian-American to play in the majors.
Dickerson began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1878 at the age of 19, and played 29 games in the outfield, but did not find himself a regular starting position until the following year. In 1879, he took over the regular left field job replacing Charley Jones, who had departed for the Boston Red Caps. That season proved to be his best season in the majors; he batted .294, drove in 57 runs, and his 14 triples led the league
Dickerson departed the team the next season, moving on to the Troy Trojans, where he played mainly in center field. He then relocated to the Worcester Ruby Legs later that same season and split time in center with Harry Stovey. In 1881, he moved over to left field and had a very productive season, batting .316. He wouldn't play in the majors again until 1883, when he changed teams once again, playing 85 games with the Pittsburg Alleghenys. His production went down significantly, and he hit just .249.
The next two seasons, he spent travelling from team to team, four in total. Three of those team in the 1884 season alone. His best showing was with the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association when he hit .365 in 46 games. In 1885, he played in 5 games for the Buffalo Bisons before his career came to an end
Dickerson died at the age of 61 in Baltimore, Maryland, and was interred at Loudon Park Cemetery In 1979, he was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame