Emory Dickerson Jr., 90; Loved baseball, was GM pioneer

Emory “Bo” Dickerson, Jr. loved baseball. “If anything came up the day he had to play ball, forget about it,” said family friend Hazel Tyson.

“He was the best.”

Dickerson began playing baseball before anyone could remember, and he played until he couldn’t play any more.

It was a fond memory to many that he would go to early church services on Sunday so that at 12:30 p.m. he could exit the sanctuary and be ready for his baseball games at 2 p.m.

“When it was time for him to leave, he was gone,” said Tyson.

“That was his passion” Margaret Dickerson, his former wife, added.

Dickerson entered the professional Negro Baseball League playing for the Atlanta Black Crackers. He then went on to play in the semi-pro Negro League with the Atlanta Panthers as the team manager and third baseman.

With Dickerson on the team the Panthers won the league championship four times from 1960-1965.

The Panthers played many of their baseball games on the ballfield of Booker T. Washington High School where Dickerson graduated in 1942. The team also traveled to Rome, Ga. and south Atlanta to play.

Emory Dickerson Jr. of Atlanta, died Sept. 18 of prostate cancer. He was 90. A service was held Thursday at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 17 Meldon Avenue S.E., Atlanta. Goolsby Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

“He lived a good life,” said daughter Shelia Askin. “He was someone you could talk to, he was always there to listen.”

Indeed, Dickerson was a people person: He didn’t care who you were, he would talk to you, she added.

Dickerson retired from General Motors at the Lakewood Plant in 1984. He started work as a janitor but became GM’s first African-American foreman.

“It was hard to get there, but he worked his way up,” said Margaret Dickerson.

When he wasn’t on the baseball field or at his church, he was building something. A jack-of-all-trades as a carpenter, Dickerson built the house he lived in.

He was also an accomplished painter, brick mason and hunter.

Askin remembers her father, at 80 years old, screened in her porch. “It was something he wanted to do,” she said.

“He always kept busy; he was always there.”

In addition to Margaret Dickerson and his daughter, Emory Dickerson Jr. is survived by daughter Charlotte McMichael of Atlanta; son Emory Dickerson III of Chandler, Ariz., and six grandchildren.

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