SARASOTA, Fla. —
"Each guy is going through eight, nine bottles a day," said Dickerson, who was playing with the
So Dickerson, now with the
In 2009, when Dickerson was playing for the Reds, he formed an e-waste recycling drive in Cincinnati, in which he and teammates collected 200,000 pounds of used electronics over one weekend. His organization has been holding the event every year since, and this season he's planning to expand the e-waste drives to five major league markets, including Kansas City and San Francisco.
"This year is going to be huge," Dickerson said with a smile.
The 31-year-old Dickerson, who grew up in Southern California in an environmentally conscious family, would like to make the same impact in Baltimore. He's already spoken to some of his new teammates about his passion — he said left-handers
Dickerson, signed to a minor league deal Jan. 29, is in a crowded mix for a major league reserve outfield spot. If he doesn't make the team's Opening Day roster, he would likely begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk.
For most of the past five seasons, Dickerson has shuttled between the majors and Triple-A. But he is an athletic player who has speed, can hit for power from the left side and can play all three outfield positions. Last season, he recorded a .316/.417/.515 batting line with 17 stolen bases in 69 games with the
"He is a very talented guy," Orioles manager
Dickerson is making the most of his opportunity, especially recently. He's 9-for-28 (.321) this spring and 4-for-11 with three runs, a double and a homer in his last five games, albeit mostly in a substitute role.
The competition for the reserve outfield spot is tough.
"They've gotten a lot of at-bats by design," Showalter said. "When these guys come in the game, they're not going to lose the opportunity to try to impress. We're going over some of the non-roster invitations and some of the non-roster guys in the past. You can look at where we were and the level of those guys we have now. The great thing is we have a chance to hold on to all of them."
Meanwhile, Dickerson continues to work to spread the word of environmental awareness through Players for the Planet, which he founded with former major league pitcher Jack Cassel, the older brother of NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.
"Basically for me, I spent all my life growing up in Southern California and spending a lot of time at the beach and just seeing how the damage is done more when we don't throw away our garbage and we're not cognizant of what we're doing to the environment around us," Dickerson said. "We used to have kids who couldn't show up to practice because or bad air, especially in [Los Angeles] with the amount of cars on the road."
Hundreds of fans participated in his Cincinnati e-waste recycling event — donating used computer monitors, hard drives, televisions, laptops and other electronics to be broken down by a company named Global Environmental Services, which removes all the harmful parts, disposes of them properly and takes the precious metals (nickel, gold and silver) to be made into other products.
Dickerson's colleagues have bought in, which is important to the visibility. Reds players
"It's unfortunate but we live in a celebrity-based environment," said Dickerson, who started out with only eight athletes in his coalition, including Jackson. "My e-waste event is not nearly what it would be if
"We see what goes on from a fan's perspective with how much trash is generated and how many resources are used in baseball," he continued."We play every single day with an average of 25,000 to 30,000 fans and it's a lot be disposed of and we need to be responsible not just getting to the games, carpooling, stuff like that. There are so many things we can do as fans to reduce the impact on the environment."
Dickerson's organization is still grassroots — there are just five people on staff — but it is making big strides. It is partnering with the
In a matter of years, Dickerson said he'd love to be behind a
"These are the kind of stories that we want to tell and get out to the public," Dickerson said. "Being on another team, it doesn't necessarily hurt because you're able to talk to other guys and see what they're concerned about. ... I'd love to have something for every major league city."