Phil S. Dixon

2014 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Phil Dixon Portrait

Wyandotte High School, 1974

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Dunbar Elementary and Northeast Junior High

Phil Dixon believes the keys to success in his life have come from preparation, dedication, education and focus.

Dixon is a Negro Leagues Baseball author, speaker and historian. For more than 30 years, he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs nationwide speaking about the Negro League and its players. He has interviewed more than 500 Negro Leagues players, family members and those affiliated with its history.

He has seen a great deal of success in his life. So far he has published nine books. But he admits that he has failed as many times as he has succeeded. In fact, one of his first books, The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History, 1867-1955 was turned down 100 times before it was published. Once published, it went on to win the Macmillan-Society for American Baseball Research award for excellence in baseball research, and the Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992. His love of history is something that he garnered from his mom, (a 1932 graduate of Western University, Quindaro, Kansas) who always encouraged him to watch history as it unfolds, and not just read about it in books.

The basic principles of writing that he uses in his work are ones that he learned from his 7th grade teacher, Patricia Caruthers. His homeroom teacher at Northeast, Harold Foster, shared his love of baseball with Dixon. A number of his teachers motivated him to strive for excellence and didn’t accept excuses for low achievement. At Wyandotte High School, he was a drum major; he remembers that being his first leadership role in his life, and it set the stage for many others.

He grew up playing and loving baseball, and collecting baseball cards. By the age of 20 he had amassed more than 100,000 baseball cards. But he admits that his most valuable card has always been his library card.

He has continued to give back to his community over the years. He spent more than 30 years coaching baseball and volunteering for the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) league. The organization awarded him with the Josh Gibson Division Baseball Coach of the Year award.

Currently, Dixon is undergoing a 90-city Our Town tour, traveling and speaking in 90 cities where the Kansas City Monarchs played, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the team’s first world championship in 1924.