Eight years before Benjamin (Bubba) Dickerson (above) won the
2001 U.S. Amateur, he batted an amazing .900 for the Little
League Cardinals in Hilliard, Fla. Dickerson, 21, who missed the
cut at the Masters, is scheduled to turn pro this week.
This is an article from the April 22, 2002 issue
SI: What does it feel like to hit .900?
BD: It got to the point where I felt as if I was taking batting
SI: What position did you play?
BD: I was a utility guy. I pitched and played shortstop, but
really all the coach cared about was that I hit.
SI: Did you develop ahead of your peers?
BD: I was an average-sized 13-year-old. I wasn't a power hitter
or anything. In fact, I was a little pudgy, like I am now.
SI: Still, you must have been a teenage babe magnet.
BD: Uh, I really wasn't thinking about girls at that age.
SI: So no catcalls from girls yelling, "Hubba, hubba, Bubba!"
BD: If there was, I wasn't paying attention. I wasn't interested
in girls, just sports.
SI: Were the TV cameras out in full force?
BD: Hilliard was so small that we didn't have a local newspaper.
It wasn't something that was highly publicized. People came out
to watch, but it's not as if I filled the ballpark.
SI: Were the major league scouts hounding you?
BD: Not really. Like I said, it was a really small town. You have
to go to Jacksonville to get noticed by the big leagues.
SI: So who leaked your batting average to the press?
BD: My dad. He's a proud parent. When I found out he told a
reporter, I said, "Why did you have to go and do that? You know
no one will believe it."
SI: We believe you, but we did check your birth certificate to
make sure you were really 13.
SI: So why did you quit baseball?
BD: I lost interest the year after hitting .900. As well as I was
hitting, we still lost a lot of games. It was frustrating.
SI: You and Sammy Sosa both.
BD: I know. That's why I switched to golf.