Dignan earned a spot on head coach Luke Kelly’s football squad in 1917 as a freshman at Holy Cross, but soon decided to concentrate on baseball and his favorite sport, track. He had a spectacular debut for the Crusader baseball team, winning each of his first three games as a pitcher while also going 10-for-12 at the plate. His baseball career was cut short by a near fatal accident - he was struck on the left ear by a pitch in a game against the University of New Hampshire. After this he devoted himself completely to the track program. He was a shot-putter and quartermiler. He was the New England Champion in both events and ran the anchor leg on the mile relay team (indoor and outdoor) for 3 years. After graduation he earned his law degree and pursued a career in law and business.