He was known for his vast array of pitches and deliveries — one of his managers, Eddie Dyer, nicknamed him "Thomas Edison" for his inventiveness — and for the longevity of his career. Although Dickson would lead the National League in defeats for three successive seasons (1952-1954), he pitched the Saint Louis Cardinals to the 1946 Netherlands pennant by beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in the decisive Game 2 of the league playoffs. Born in Tracy, Missouri, Dickson entered professional baseball and the vast Cardinal farm system in 1937.
After three outstanding minor league seasons with the 1939 Houston Buffaloes (winning 22 games to lead the Texas League) and the 1940-1941 Columbus Red Birds, Dickson joined the Cardinals for good in 1942.
He compiled a 14–5 record for the Cards in 1942-1943 (both clubs reaching the World Series) before joining the United States. Army for military service in the European Theater of Operations during World World War World War II Dickson led the league in winning percentage (714) that season. His contract was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 29, 1949.
Late in his career, however, Dickson experienced renewed success with a return to the Cardinals (1956-1957) and as a relief pitcher in the American League for the Kansas City Athletics and New York Yankees (1958-1959). He retired from the game at age 43 with a career mark of 172 victories, 181 losses (487) and an earned run average of 3.66 over 18 seasons, 625 appearances and 3,052⅓ innings pitched.
He died at age 73 from emphysema in Kansas City, Kansas.