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Sonny Dixon

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John Craig Dixon

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[edit] Biographical Information

At the age of 16 and before the 1941 season started, Sonny Dixon was signed as an amateur free agent by the Washington Senators. The young man would have no idea of how far and how long the major leagues were away. He was assigned to his hometown Charlotte Hornets in his first year and appeared in only 3 games, going 1-1. He stayed right there for his second season, this time going 5-12 with a 2.98 ERA.

The United States Military Service asked for Dixon's help during World War II and the young man spent the next three years (1943-1945) with the Navy in the Pacific Theater of War. Sonny arrived back safe and sound in time for the 1946 season and went 19-11 for the hometown Charlotte club with a 2.62 ERA.

Dixon would spend the next six years in the minors (1947-1952). He had a good season in 1952, going 19-14 with a 3.19 ERA for the Chattanooga Lookouts, prompting the Senators to give the 28 year old a look see in 1953. Sonny went 5-8 in 43 games and had a 3.75 ERA, but was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Gus Keriazakos on June 11, 1954. On the very same date, the Sox traded Dixon along with Al Sima, Bill Wilson and $20,000 to the Philadelphia Athletics for Ed McGhee and Morrie Martin.

Sonny finished out the 1954 season with the Athletics, winning 5 and losing 7 with a 4.86 ERA after his 1-2 season start with the Senators. The 1954 season saw Dixon lead the American League in appearances with 54. He would start the 1955 year with the now-Kansas City Athletics and get into two games with no decisions. On May 11th, he was traded to the New York Yankees, with cash, for Johnny Sain and Enos Slaughter. He would finish out the 1955 season with the AAA Denver Bears going 3-3 with a 4.19 ERA.

He was with the Yankees a short time in 1956, going 0-1 in 3 appearances with a 2.08 ERA and this would be his last trip to the mound in the major leagues. In the four years he was in the majors he ended up going 11-18 while appearing in 102 games and ended with a 4.17 career ERA.

Dixon was in the high minors through the rest of his pro baseball career that ended in 1961 with the Nashville Volunteers. Sonny spent 18 active seasons in pro ball (1941-1961) and had accumulated some impressive statistics. His minor league career sheet shows that he appeared in 510 games, winning 141 and losing 122 while pitching in 2,209 innings, allowing 2,331 base hits and 608 base on balls for a career 3.65 ERA.

After baseball, he worked as a manager of a Handy Pantry convenience store in his native hometown of Charlotte, NC.

Dixon died in 2011 at age 87.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL Games Pitched Leader (1954)

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s

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