Growing up a Giants fan, former Academic Athletic Association baseball star O’Koyea Dickson’s dream of getting drafted to a Major League Baseball team came true.
Ironically, Dickson was drafted by the team he grew up to hate — the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A graduate of Washington High School in 2008, Dickson was drafted in the 12th round (374th overall) by the Dodgers on Tuesday.
“It’s a dream come true,” an emotional Dickson said. “God is good and I thank him for putting me in this position. I also want to thank my family for the support. I’m just so happy right now.”
In his junior year at Sonoma State this season, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound first baseman batted .341 with a team-high 11 home runs to go along with 52 RBIs, leading the Seawolves to their second appearance in the NCAA Division II College World Series.
“I feel like I was at Sonoma State for a reason and I got the chance to play, which I’m thankful for,” Dickson said. “The transition from junior college to Sonoma State turned into a great experience.”
Washington baseball coach Rob Fung, who Dickson credits with helping him develop a determined work ethic, thought back to the time he first saw Dickson try out for the Washington varsity team as a freshman.
“I saw him as freshman and after watching him try out with us, I knew right away we were going to bring him up to the varsity. He just stood out,” Fung said. “By the time he was a sophomore, he was already one of ‘the guys’ and he helped us win a championship.”
During that sophomore year, Dickson had a year to remember, batting .455 with five home runs and 40 RBIs. In the AAA championship in 2006 at AT&T Park, Dickson went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a home run that’s still talked about among the locals.
While honing in his skills under the guidance of Fung, Dickson, who had another great season in his senior season at Washington, was named 2008 AAA Player of the Year, batting .581 with four homers and 44 RBIs.
Dickson went on to play at College of San Mateo for two seasons before transferring to Sonoma State, which led to Tuesday’s life-altering moment.
A lifelong Giants fan, Dickson insists it won’t matter if he happens to play against his childhood team.
“I’ll always be a Giants fan in my heart, but once I step inside the white lines, it’s about playing the game,” Dickson said. “If I’m going against Tim Lincecum, he’s going to try to do what he has to do for his team, and I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to give it my all.”
DRAFTED: 12th round, 374th overall pick, Los Angeles Dodgers
POSITION: First base
WEIGHT: 215 pounds
HIGH SCHOOL: Washington
COLLEGES: Sonoma State and College of San Mateo
2011: Hit .341 with 11 home runs, 52 RBIs, 61 runs scored and nine stolen bases while leading Sonoma State to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships