• Tournament Rained Out After First Game
  • York Diamonds 2 Oakville A's 1 - WP - Sydney Saunders
  • RBI - Yez, Corn

A Devastating Loss

November 21, 2012
The York Diamonds are heartbroken to announce the passing of legendary pitcher Ken Dicken this past weekend. The "Hawk" was loved by all who came in contact with him, and the void his passing leaves is indescribable. Below is his obituary and then some remembrances from many past and present players who had the privilege of being able call the Hawk their teammate and friend.

Dickin:Kenneth Wayne
(October 11,1950)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Kenneth Wayne Dickin on November 18, 2012 in his 63rd year at his home in Weston. Predeceased by his beloved mother Irene Mae (Moody) and his father Galbraith Dickin. Dear and devoted brother to his sisters Donna (John), Lynda (Rand) and Carol (Bob). Most cherished and favourite uncle to Darla (Pat), Deanna (Darrin), Jessie (Geoff), Sarah (Duncan), Jayne (Dane) and Kimberly (Jim). Adored great-uncle to his growing family of great-nieces and great-nephews. Our hearts reach out to all of his friends near and far who shared in his passion for life. He was taken from us too early and he will live in our hearts forever. Friends will be received at the Ward Funeral Home, 2035 Weston Road (north of Lawrence Ave) Weston on Thursday from 12 noon until the time of service in the chapel at 1pm. Cremation to follow. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

"This is a sad sad day!

This was a great person and gentleman who enoyed life and enjoyed all people around him,
Ken , was an icon to me, a great friend, and he hated nobody!
He respected everyone! didnt matter how old you were or even if he didnt know you.
Truly a sad day in life and York baseball history.

He will be missed!
He was the best!

God bless him for being great person!"

Zak #13

"Kenny and I (and another guy named Peter Mancini) started this cliub in the 80's. Peter and I wanted to put a team into this league but needed a park. We called York Parks and Rec to see if we could get Keelesdale but knew it was a very long shot. Thanks to our lucky stars though we got in touch with the best start of all when we called... a guy named Ken. We asked him if Keelesdale had an open night for us to put this team in the MSBL as the league was called back them. The first thing he said was "Do you need a pitcher?". We said yes. He said "You got a park." and that's how the York Cardinals started and soon after amalgamated with Rick Yez, Kevin Phillips and Grizz's team.

I am so sad right now like all of you. It was so unexpected and does not seem fair. We have such a good group of baseball friends as a direct result of this team. And we all feel a special brotherhood. Kenny was our oldest brother and an inspiration to everyone."

John Bissylas #8

"We all know Hawk was a great guy . I had the pleasure of playing against him starting in 1983 and then as a team mate many years later . In his prime he was a unbelievably great ball player . He could do it all , he had all the tools and as much as you think hawk was a mellow guy he was a prick to play against and a very smart player . I don’t think any one of us could touch his skill level back then . Just ask Biss , Zak, YEZ, Donnie cantwell, “ Q “ Shannon, corn brothers and so on . He was the BEST in the league many years running . I used to hate playing against him .Instead of trying to beat him I joined him and he was even a better teammate than a baseball player. All you old bastards know what I,m talking about .

God Bless Ya Hawk"

Paul Cancelli #36

"When I think of Hawk, I'll always remember how loyal he was. When we played in the over 35 Nationals in 2011, even though he was playing for Oakville (he felt he couldn't let those teammates down), he still came to our games, pulled on his York cap and jersey and sat with the team and cheered us on. This season, along with Bobby, Greg, and Grizz, he came out to our championship final games on a freezing October day to support us once again.

I loved catching for him. More than once I had to laugh as a bewildered hitter would mumble to himself and shake his head on his way back to the dugout after Kenny bamboozled him with that big windup and ever-changing release points.

Hawk was also about the last guy on the team I expected to show up at BP and announce, hey, I just met Playboy's Miss January 1999 (she was a friend of his niece apparently).

He was a class act in every way and I'll miss seeing him on a summer Thursday night. We should put up a #49 Hawk plaque or sign at ballpark so that he is always there with us. What I learned in ten years of being away from Keelesdale is that it's always home, that once you have put on the York jersey you'll always belong, and Kenny is a big part of that, even with his passing."

Rich Freeman #20

"I think that the e-mail below sums it up for me.
After having to decline an over-35 invitation for a late August game (for family reasons), Ken wrote back to me with the following sage-like advice/perspective.


Hey Dan , just show up play catch. ...all the Best , Ken ( the old guy)"

Dan Fiorita #21

"The world just lost a great man."

Andrew Lance #11

"Hawk was a fierce competitor and a truly great guy.I have the utmost respect for him as a human being and we will miss him."

Don "Bammer" Cantwell #33

"I can hear him now passing along some soft-spoken, zen-like, sage advice. Usually followed by his infectious, bellowous laughter. A true gentleman. We will miss him dearly."

Greg Shannon #17

"I've always admired how he enjoyed and made the most out of life.

RIP Hawk..."

John Raddi #35

"Sometimes it's the little things we cherish the most when suddenly someone is no longer with us. I will always remember him coming to many of our games, always cheerful, and throwing the ball with me in right field before each inning. He always learned the new guys' names quickly and cheered us on. Even in games 6 and 7 of the playoffs this year I'll never forget how he verbally took on some of the Pirates and the crappy umpire to try and fire us up from the stands. He was truly a fierce competitor and a hell of a nice guy."

Brent Sterling #12

"Very sad day indeed. Lots of great memories of this wonderful positive person. He was our ageless leader who new that baseball was a only a game meant for fun,and to be enjoyed. To a point, a parallel with life. Many memories all fun. My last one walking back to the car with Ken and my son Grayson during the Diamonds final game this year and Ken offered my son some pitching tips for the upcoming season. We all agreed to this thoughtful gesture and said goodbye. That's Kenny for you .I will miss u a lot. He also led us in our first championship in 1990 not only in pitching but a suicide squeeze he executed while I was on 3rd with 2 outs but as I'm writing this the squeeze may have occurred in 93 against the Colts to get us in the finals against the A,s in Toronto .He did it All!"

Rob "Grizz" Fraser #22

H"awk was the nicest guy I've ever known. Remember we went to Cooperstown in August 2001 to play an exhibition game at the famed Cooperstown park, but it rained so hard that the field Manager told us it was too wet to play. We were all so upset and angry at this decision, but Hawk was the only one who stepped up and had the patience and understanding that the field was simply unplayable. He was a real leader, and true gentleman."

Neil Parekh #11

"It is in our memories that Ken (Hawk) will live on.

My first memory of him was the evening of my first game with you all on the Diamonds. Ken was one of the first to shake my hand that night and introduce himself. I can remember thinking to myself "with a name like Hawk, I better bring my "A" game tonight".

Funny enough, my last memories were on the evening Paul arranged for us to get back together. I walked up from the club house, after many years of not playing, through the gate. To find Hawk standing there with yet another welcoming hand shake. And then hearing him yell "that a boy"! from the on deck circle as I took BP..

He was a man that loved the game, and lived for being around others that do as well.

I look forward to attending any event in his honour. And hearing many more great memories of the Hawk from you all."

Tyler Sloan #3

"I remember him coming to the park and always saying hi with a smile and always cheerful, it was so much pleasure to see him every time. We didn't play ball together but he always made feel welcome, I warmed up many times with him. It will be hard to go back to the park an not see him occasionally.

A true gentlemen!! I will really miss him."

Manny Rodriguez #5

"For those of you who don't know, Hawk ended his York career this past summer by pitching for us in an exhibition game against a team of police offices in Aurora. He smashed a ball almost to the wall, and pitched the last inning. With Spanky behind the plate, Hawk proceeded to struck out the side.

As well, for our last three championships that were actually won on the field... In 1993, Hawk was about 42 and he pitched the last three innings of the decisive game. In 1996, the 45 year old version of Hawk threw a complete game to win our next championship. And in our glory year of 2005, as we swept the Colts, a 54 year old Hawk (who rarely played anymore) was in at first base in the ninth inning and took the final throw from Eric Foley to complete the best season in Diamonds history. He had the game balls at home from all 3 championships.

As nice a guy as he was, he was a fierce competitor and the smartest pitcher I have ever met.

He's also the one, who in his zen-like, way told me to start behaving better on the mound. Reading between the lines of his calm demenaour, his message was something along the lines of, "Get your head out of your ass, and stop showing up your infielders". He taught me how to play the game the right way.

My favourite all-time moment, was after a day of golfing Hawk was on the bench drinking coffee at 9th Line, when our catcher "accidently" drilled the umpire in the kidney with a throw. Hawk went out there to "argue" the ejection in a brown-collared golf shirt with his jersey on top, jeans, sandals, and a cup of coffee in his hand. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen on the ball field, and Hawk laughed about it all night.

Paul Freeman #38

Diamonds Over-35 Takes Flight

The York Diamonds first game as an over-35 club took place today in the rain-shortened Mississauga tournament. The Diamonds triumphed in a well-played game over the Oakville A's by a score of 2-1. York played a nearly flawless game on defense.

The A's jumped ahead 1-0 in the first off starter, Steve Foley, who proceeded to make it through the rest of his two-inning stint unscathed. Often injured righthander Paul Freeman stapled and glued the ligaments of his shoulder back together and worked two scoreless innings thanks to some fine defense from Foley and Neil Parekh.

In the bottom of the third, Greg Shannon singled with two out and briskly proceeded around the baaes to score on a Rick Yez double. Shannon appeared ready to pass out as he rounded third, but he righted the ship and arrived at home to tie things at one.

Former York Pioneer, Sydney Saunders came on to pitch in the fifth and was dominant over the last two innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, Paul Freeman ignored the sage hitting advice of Steve Foley and stung a double that landed 1.62 millimetres shy of the warning track in left-centre. Freeman would later came around to score on a Bob Corn groundout. Saunders then preserved the win with a three-up-three down sixth inning.

Greg Shannon led the 8-hit attack by going 2-2.

The local Boston Pizza benefited from all fo the rain as the Diamonds went there twice in 3 hours. A record 27 people, including wives/girlfriends/kids attended the second gathering and a good time was had by all. Shortstop Rudy Naraine played Santa Claus/Uncle Bobby/Captain Kangaroo as he amused and tickled the children for hours on end.

The weekend served as a great reminder of the friendships we have built over the years, the importance and joys of family and friends, the great feeling that comes from playing the game with friends, and the even better feeling that comes from winning as a team. Everyone looks forward to the return of more vets in the near future including; Grizz, Bammer, Pino, and Dan.