One of the behind-the-scenes stars of the San Diego Padres’ remarkable 2020 season was bench coach Bobby Dickerson, who was born in and still resides in Laurel. Dickerson, who helped the Padres improve their infield defense en route to making the postseason for the first time in 14 years, has been named Baseball America’s Major League Coach of the Year. BA described Dickerson like this: “Big motor, no-nonsense, motivating personality, no fear, creative, dedicated and unselfish enough that he will move mountains just to help a player improve even a few degrees.” The 2020 season was Dickerson’s first with the Padres. He had a heart attack in May but was with the team when the season began in late July. Dickerson played college ball at Nicholls State and minor league ball for several years before becoming a coach and manager. He managed in the Southern League for four years at West Tenn (2002-05). He landed a big league coaching job with Baltimore in 2011 and spent eight years with the Orioles and one with Philadelphia before joining Jayce Tingler’s staff in San Diego. Dickerson’s son Dustin, who played at West Jones High, was Southern Miss’ starting shortstop in 2020. … Baseball America previously honored former Mississippi Braves star Freddie Freeman as its MLB player of the year and ex-M-Braves skipper Brian Snitker as the manager of the year.