By: Nick Wells
Lewis Pessano Dickerson played from 1878 to 1885 (and possibly a little longer) for a number of different teams and leagues. In 1879, he led the league with 14 triples while playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Posting a .284/.304/.377 lifetime line, Lew wasn’t a flashy spectacular player, but did pick up the nickname “Buttercup” which was attached to his legacy, even though it was rarely used.
Buttercup Dickerson is also credited with being the first Italian-American to play in the major leagues, but this article busts the belief that this could actually be true. Whether or not he actually came from Italian ancestry, he is still recognized as the first Italian American ball player by the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Just goes to show you can be anything you want to be no matter who you are. Buttercup was also blacklisted from the National League following the 1881 season for “chronic drunkenness,” and upon his reinstatement joined the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, who earned the nickname “The Hardest Drinking Team of All Time.” I like to imagine it as if the Washington Capitals’ celebration bender would be going on throughout an entire baseball season. There’s a 100% chance Buttercup and company’s pregame routine consisted of keg stands in the dugout. His name and liver are enough to add another important milestone to his baseball legacy: an induction into this esteemed Name Hall of Fame.
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Stats courtesy of Baseball-reference.com
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