Coach Gerald Pickens honored
The Coach Gerald Pickens Scholarship Luncheon, was held at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center, on Tamarind Ave. in Compton
Coach Gerald Pickens’ contributions to Compton youth, baseball unparalleled over 23-year career
COMPTON — A local baseball institution was honored, February 12. Coach Gerald Pickens received due recognition and distinction for his unparalleled contributions to youth and baseball for more than two decades in Compton.
The site of the recognition was the Coach Gerald Pickens Scholarship Luncheon, at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center, on Tamarind Ave. in Compton.
“Coach G is in his third decade of providing a safe and affordable alternative that keeps our youth in a safe and productive environment,” said Compton School Board President Satra Zurita, who co-emceed the event along with her sister, council member Janna Zurita.
Pickens has been coaching baseball in Los Angeles County overall for 40 years and helped guide several of his players to the major leagues, including former Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers star Eric Davis, who spoke at the luncheon.
Pickens, who has been battling cancer, began coaching at Centennial High School in 1994. He started the Compton Baseball Academy Teams (CBATs) which has been an integral part of the community since 1998.
A MLB Urban Youth Academy Hall of Fame member, Pickens has played a measured role in helping dozens of young men get recruited to play baseball in college at highly touted programs at USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Arizona State University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
As if his contribution to baseball hasn’t been enough, “Coach G” as he is affectionately called, was inducted into the American College Cricket Hall of Fame in 2014. Cricket is a sport that is thought to have inspired American baseball.
“Organized sports allow youth — both boys and girls — to pursue their dreams. They have the added value of helping keeping our young people in school,” said Satra Zurita. “Coach G has long educated the community about the value of keeping young men in baseball and out of trouble. I’m honored to be part of this celebration.”
In addition to Zurita, CUSD School Board members Micah Ali, Charles Davis, Margie Garrett and Alma Pleasant were members of the Honorary Committee recognizing “Coach G.”