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NWSABR Meeting in Vancouver B.C. 8/21/10
Written by John Henshell   

Canadian and U.S. NWSABR members were among the large turnout at Nat Bailey Stadium in downtown Vancouver B.C. The meeting was hosted by member Max Weder of Vancouver. Chapter president, Tim Herlich, and vice president, John Henshell, briefly addressed the group.

Ian and Colin Dixon were our featured guest speakers. Ian played in the Yankees organization from 1961 to 1964, the last years of the team’s lengthy glory era. He voluntarily retired to go to college. Ian felt his best chance to play in the majors was as a pitcher, but the Yankees gave him a better offer to play 3B.


Colin, Ian’s son, also played 3B. He was in the Red Sox organization from 1989 to 1995. At 42, he looks fit enough to still be playing. Today, he is a financial advisor. Both Dixons are from the Vancouver area and still live there.


Ian was a charming speaker and told some great stories about both well-known and obscure Yankees. He told about his lifelong friendship with Roy White. Details are also recounted in Tom Hawthorn’s column here: The story of Ian and Roy’s encounters with racism in the U.S. south are particularly touching.


Ian talked about spring training in Florida. Growing up in B.C., he had never experienced heat and humidity like Florida’s. He had trouble sleeping and stepped outside for some fresh air. While he was outside, Mickey Mantle also left the hotel. “I guess Mickey had some trouble breathing, too,” Ian deadpanned. Then a limo with a beautiful woman inside arrived. Mantle got in the limo and presumably broke curfew. Ian noted how the players were in awe of Mantle’s hitting prowess.


Colin’s experiences and stories were equally fascinating. Colin was disappointed that the Red Sox provided little instruction to their minor league players in his era. He sat down on the bench next to Ted Williams during spring training. “How are you doing, Ted?” he asked. Williams replied, “Where are ya from, kid?” Colin told him, and Williams said, “They got some great fishing up there.” Not knowing that Williams was famous for fishing, Colin asked, “Do you fish?”


They talked fishing for 15 minutes. Colin said only later did he realize he should have asked Williams about hitting.


Colin also addressed steroids, which were just coming into vogue when he played. He said the one way to identify a probable user is to look for hitters who fearlessly crowd the plate. He mentioned a former teammate who went on to great success with the Houston Astros as an example.


We had many questions for Ian and Colin, and they were answered with candor. Max concluded the meeting with a trivia quiz.


After the meeting, most of the group went to the home of Max and Jennifer Ettinger for pizza, beverages, and more baseball talk. The day of baseball activities was concluded with the Vancouver Canadians game against Boise that evening. A few pictures from the August 21 events are here:


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 10:04

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