Chances are you never knew Dave Pearson, maybe never even heard of him. He was one of those behind-the-scenes people who quietly makes things happen at Dodger Stadium.
But everyone around the Dodgers knew him, from the front office to team broadcasters to the media as he would serve his meals with equal parts attention and love for more than 40 years.
Pearson, 75, passed away Saturday. He had lung cancer.
He was still working at Dodger Stadium on a daily basis when the disease took its firm grasp. He still battled back for a while, his huge smile beaming as he returned to fill plates with dinners he has spent untold hours preparing.
They named the press dining room “Dave’s Diner,” and there was no question his thin figure was the commanding presence in the room. Team employees and media would file past him every day, choosing which of his daily preparations they wanted, while the TV on an overhead stand often broadcast a tennis match or the latest episode of “Love It or List It.”
It was almost impossible to pass through the line, see Dave and not leave happier. His smile was never-ending. Even after all those years and countless meals, he took great pride in being a chef, and the recipes he’d mastered and memorized, in the fashion he prepared his meals.
“Cooking for the people, that’s what makes me happy,” he told The Times’ Bill Plaschke in June when the seriousness of illness became widely known.
Pearson continued his fight six months after his diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer. Others prepared meals in the press dining room, but no one could or can replace the sweetness of Pearson.