Jun 08

Boston’s number one fan

Washington’s major league baseball club heads to Boston for a baseball series. It is fitting that we take time to remember and acknowledge one of the biggest Boston baseball fans, Arthur General “Hi-Hi” Dixwell. From the 1890s and many years thereafter he was well known to baseball supporters not only in Boston but around the country.

Dixwell was named “Hi-Hi” from the habit of bring his hands together and yelling “Hi-HI.” Not only was he perhaps the team’s best supporter he was popular on the road. Today we would call him a super fan. Eccentric, his shaggy beard would be his trademark.

1891, on 13 April the American Association Boston Reds are in town and defeat the Washington Senators 6-0. General Arthur “Hi-Hi” Dixwell, the Boston’s biggest supporter is at the game and shouted his favorites to his “friends” in the director’s box. The General, the famous fan of Boston baseball known for his trade mark “Hi-Hi” greeting, expects to make a circuit of the association with the Reds. You can expect Dixwell to be a big draw.[1]

Later on 4 October, the Senators end the 1891 American Association season with a 6-2 loss in Boston to the Reds. The Senators are in last place.

A large crowd is on hand to witness the final game of the association champions and the unfurling of the team’s blue and white silk thirty-three foot long pennant. General Hi Hi Dixwell steps up and makes the presentation speech. Center fielder Tom Brown receives it on behalf of the players. Brown also receives a watch.

Groundbreaking for the new American League Baseball Park, the Huntington Avenue Grounds - Roxbury, Massachusetts 1901

In 1896 the St Paul Globe[2] had this to say about Dixwell, “General Hi Hi Dixwell, the wealthy Boston fan, has spent hundreds of dollars in lavishing presents[3] on the Boston players, and has been  walking advertisement for the Boston club for the past ten years, the bean eating triumvirate never extended him the courtesy of a season ticket.”

“Hi-Hi” Dixwell would have a falling out with the Boston national League franchise and switch his allegiance to the cities new American League team. Here is a picture taken on 7 March 1901 of “Hi-Hi” Dixwell, as he prepares to remove the first shovel of dirt for the Huntington Avenue. Base-Ball Grounds, the home of the Boston Red Sox.

He would go on to cheer for his Red Sox and passed away in 1924.”[4]

[1] Washington Sunday Herald

[2]16 July 1896

[3] Usually a box of cigars