The Spartanburg Phillies minor league baseball team played in the Western Carolinas League and South Atlantic League from 1963-1994, at Duncan Park. When Ed Dickerson became the public address announcer at Duncan Park, the Voice of the Spartanburg Phillies-Traders-Spinners-Suns, the Israelis had just taken over the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967; the Beatles were enjoying the success of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and sadly, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were living their last summer. Dickerson was finishing his second year at SJC when Joe Bowles, Dean of Men at SJC, who also served as the Duncan Park announcer, but was leaving to take a position at Brevard College, approached Dickerson outside the gym about the announcer opportunity. Bowles recommended him to Pat Williams, who was then general manager of the Phillies and the rest is history.
Dickerson went on to Clemson, often commuting to Spartanburg to broadcast games. On a Sunday evening in 1969, Dickerson announced to the fans at the park that, “The Eagle has landed,” when man landed on the moon. Through the years, Dickerson acquired a plethora of memories and saw crowds of several thousand in the stands, to crowds of less than 100. Bob Feller came through from time-to-time with home-run hitting contests. Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, and Oscar Robertson were just a few of the celebrities who came to Spartanburg for promotions and such.
For 27 years, Dickerson’s crisp, professional voice welcomed fans to “Beautiful Duncan Park.” He had fans who rose for the playing of the national anthem. He introduced the “Singing Postmaster from the little postmaster’s office,” and his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch. He was the public address announcer that was not for either team—he was simply the voice.
After leaving his announcer role in 1994, Dickerson did not stay silent for long. Since 2008 he has been announcing Spartanburg High School football games, and in 2013 started announcing their baseball games, too. He has also been the voice of Spartanburg Christian Academy’s basketball for nine years and started calling their football games three years ago. Dickerson was a teacher of 8th grade American History for 31 years in the Spartanburg School District 7. He coached for the “Battle of the Brains” academic competition and is currently an active member of the SMC Alumni Council. Dickerson resides in Spartanburg with his wife Becky.
He is thrilled to see the renovations taking place at Duncan Park today and as he left our meeting, he winked and asked…“How do you keep a ballpark cool? Fill it with fans!” Words of wisdom from “The Voice.”