The Post-Journal


Eric 'Swat' Erickson Noted Ballplayer, Dies

Eric George "Swat" Erickson, 73, R.D. 2, Matson Road, one of Jamestown's outstanding old-time baseball players, died at 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, 1965 in W.C.A. Hospital.

Mr. Erickson, whose baseball career is the subject of a special article on page 32 of today's Post-Journal, was a pitcher for three major league teams – the New York Giants, Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators – from 1914 to 1922.

Before retiring from professional baseball in the late 1920s, he was also a member of the San Francisco, Calif., Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minn. teams in the American Association and the Toronto team in the International loop.

One of his greatest feats in baseball occurred in 1930 in Celoron following his retirement as a professional player when he pitched a one-hitter for the Celoron Spiders to humble the barnstorming Boston Braves 3 to 0 in a contest in which he accounted for all of his team's runs by hitting a bases loaded triple.

Mr. Erickson broke into professional baseball when he was spotted and signed to a contract by Jack Curtis, a scout for the Dallas team in the Texas League, while he was pitching for LeRoe's semi-pro team in Celoron for $3 a game.

Mr. Erickson was born in Narunga,Vestergotland, Sweden, March 13, 1892, a son of Swan and Selma P. Larson Erickson.

He came to the United States as a boy and lived in Johnsonburg, Pa., before moving to the Jamestown area 57 years ago. He was a confirmand of the Mission Church, Johnsonburg.

Mr. Erickson was a veteran of World War I and was a member of Earl Morley Barracks, Veterans of World War I. He was also a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge, F. and A.M. and of the North Main Street Extension Community Center.

Following his retirement from baseball, he was employed for many years in the shipping department of Art Metal, Inc., until he retired in 1958. He also operated a farm on Matson Road and was widely known throughout the area for his berries and garden produce.

Survivors include his widow; Alma Bergquist Erickson, a son, Burwin E. Erickson, Matson Road; two great grandchildren, Linda S. and Dennis B. Erickson; a sister, Mrs. Henning L. Olson, and a brother, Harry C. Erickson, former mayor of Jamestown; and a niece and several nephews.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Powers Funeral Home. The Rev. Eldon H. Johnson, pastor of Zion Covenant Church, will officiate.

Burial will be at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

Masonic memorial services will be held at 7 p.m., Friday.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.