On this date 63 years ago, Cardinals starter Murry Dickson did something that had never been achieved before... And that has never been pulled off since...
He threw a full nine inning no-hitter for St. Louis -- in a spring training game. I guess none of the other St. Louis pitchers needed to get in any work that day...
The no-no came at the expense of the Yankees at St. Petersburg, Fla. which once upon a time served as spring training home to both clubs.
Some credited the accomplishment to a giant orange screen in centerfield that was put up to keep people outside the gates from seeing the action. But, while the home plate umpire and the New York hitters -- including Joe DiMaggio -- complained that they couldn't see the ball, Cardinals batsmen seemed to do alright. They collected seven runs against Big Bill Bevens in the first inning, chasing the Yankees starter from the game.
Dickson was part of three World Series with St. Louis, 1942 (although he didn't get to play), 1943 (when he received a special furlough from the Army to play in the Fall Classic) and the 1946 World Series against the Red Sox.
After the 1943 Series Dickson was sent back to the European theatre where he missed the 1944 season and World Series and 1945 season. Assigned to the Army's 35th Division, he participated in the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhein.)
His best year in the majors came with the Cardinals came in the club's 1946 World Series championship season when he was 15-6 with a 2.88 ERA. He won the clinching playoff game against the Dodgers after the clubs ended the season in a tie, then started the seventh game of the Fall Classic which the Birds eventually won.
Dickson was named to the National League All-Star team for the only time in 1953 as a member of the Pirates despite his 10-19 record for the season with a 4.53 ERA. That year he gave up 240 hits in 200 2/3 innings. He led the NL in losses for three straight seasons with Pittsburgh, 1952-54. But in 1951 he accomplished the impressive feat of winning 20 games for a club that finished with a 64-90 record.
Nicknamed "Thomas Edison" by his manager because of his constant tinkering with new pitches, Dickson threw a fastball, curve, slider, knuckle ball, sinker and screw ball.
After a stint with the Phillies, Dickson returned to the Cardinals in 1956 and 1957 as a reliever. He played for the Yankees in 1958 and appeared in one more World Series as a reliever. Dickson died in 1989 at the age of 73.