Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30, 1948, Murry Dickson Tosses A Spring Training No-No

     On March 30, 1948, righthander Murry Dickson led the way in a 7-0 Cardinals victory over the New York Yankees by not allowing a single hit in the Spring Training contest. All the Cardinals runs came in the first inning off of Bill Bevens. The main highlights of that first frame was a three-run home run by Stan The Man Musial, then later in the inning Red Schoendienst knocked in three more with a bases clearing double. With all the run support that he would need, the 30-year-old Dickson locked in on the Yankees hitters and mowed them down one after another. When it was all said and done the pitcher who had posted a 13-16 record the season before had walked five men, hit one, and struck out six. The Yankees lone threat at getting a hit came off the bat of Joe DiMaggio who hit a screaming line drive right at shortstop Tommy Glaviano who made the key defensive play in preserving the Spring Training no-no.

     According to an article that was printed in the Southeast Missourian this was just the second no-hitter ever thrown in a Spring Training contest, although, the same article did mention that the records were sketchy. However, it was most definitely the first Spring Training no-no that had been tossed since Cy Blanton hurled one for the Pirates in April of '39.

     Dickson's career with the Birds was a bit of a rocky road. He obviously had the talent to succeed at the major league level. The Redbirds manager Eddie Dyer called him the Thomas Edison of pitching as he was an inventor of pitches who could throw just about anything. He posted winning records in '42 and '43 out of the bullpen. Dickson played on a bigger team in '44 and '45 after being drafted into the United States Army.

     When he returned in '46, Dickson joined the Redbirds rotation after Max Lanier and Fred Martin defected to the Mexican League. Dickson made the most of his opportunity by posting a 15-6 record for the pennant winning Cardinals. In the seventh and deciding game of the '46 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, Dickson held onto a 3-1 lead into the eighth. After putting the tying runs on board, Dickson handed the ball to Harry Breechen who finished the job and brought the Cardinals their sixth World Series title. Dickson was not able to post a winning record for the club over the next two years. After going 13-16 in '47, expectations were elevated for the hurler who had no-hit the Yankees in Spring Training. However, he posted a 12-16 record during the regular season.

     The Cardinals parted ways with Dickson following the '48 season. He was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates in January of '49, by then owner Robert Hannegan. The Cardinals received $125,000 for the pitcher who struggled to post a record that exceeded the .500 mark. Hannegan nearly sold Stan The Man to the Pirates instead. Luckily that was a deal that the trigger wasn't pulled on.

      Dickson went 10-15 in his first year in Pittsburgh. The '51 season saw him post a career high 20 wins while losing 16. Over the next several years, Dickson led the National League in losses. In January of '54 the Pirates traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies where he continued to fall short of the .500 mark. In May of '56 the Phillies sent him back to St. Louis. At the age of 39, Dickson posted a 13-8 record for the Birds during the '56 season. He suffered the first sore arm of his career in '57 and the Cardinals released him.

     At the age of 40 many might have thought his career was over, but he had a few more years left in the tank. He signed with the Kansas City A's following his release by the Redbirds in 1958. After posting a 9-5 record in K.C. the Yankees made a deal with the Athletics to bring the pitcher to New York as they made a run toward a pennant. AS a member of the Yankees, Dickson won the second World Series title of his career. After that season he returned to the Athletics where he capped off his career.

     Over the course of 18 years in the big leagues, Dickson posted a 172-181 record. He posted a 72-54 record in a Cardinals uniform and was a key cog in helping bring the team the title in '46. I think it would be safe to say the World Series titles were the greatest highlights of his career. However, the day he shut down the Yankees lineup in '48 had to be high on the list as well.

You can look over Dickson's career numbers here:

No comments:

Post a Comment