A group of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School (IEKHS) students took a break from their regularly scheduled physical education class to take in a few wise words from former San Francisco Giants baseball player Andrew Dixon in the school library on Friday, Oct. 14.
A jovial Dixon entered the library, introduced himself and instantly captured the students’ attention with his humor. He was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and was introduced to the sport at the age of 10. He told students that initially he did not make the little league team, but that did not deter him. He worked on his flaws and made the team at the age of 11.
“If you play a sport—baseball, soccer, football—you cannot play the game unless you’re having fun,” Dixon told students.
Dixon went to Norfolk State University and in 1986 was drafted to the San Francisco Giants during his senior year. He played for six years and was known for his speed in the outfield. He is also the only person in Major League Baseball (MLB) have 70+ stolen bases back to back.
He retired in 1992 and now runs a non-profit foundation, the Andrew Dixon Foundation, which helps to develop self-esteem and discipline for inner-city children through baseball. He is active in his hometown where he certifies and teaches primary school physical education teachers baseball so they can coach teams.
“Don’t ever give up on what you want to do” was Dixon’s overall theme in his talk to Kean students. He also engaged in dialogue with them about their upcoming standardized tests. Many of the students were sophomores gearing up to take the PSAT next week. He pushed them to remain focused and score well.
“Good grades and great test scores are key to the admissions process in college and important for scholarships,” he said. “Excelling in school is just as important as excelling in sports. Just remember, if you play any sport, just have fun.”
Andrew Dixon was brought in to speak to the students by the Virgin Islands Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the V.I. Department of Education.