R.A. Dickey Knuckles the New York Mets to an Unexpected Start
The knuckleball flutters in all directions. It's slow, yet gives hitters and catchers fits. Many people attempt to fiddle around with it, but few master it.
Currently, there is only one pitcher in Major League Baseball who throws this pitch, and he has become a master knuckleballer.
Throwing a knuckleball is a lost art. In this era of baseball, when speed and power dominate, nobody believed a knuckleballer would be turning heads and be at the top of the league in ERA and wins, but that is exactly what is happening.
New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey began throwing the knuckleball in 2005 after a suggestion from his former team, the Texas Rangers. Though he initially struggled with the pitch, he soon learned how to control it and use it to his advantage.
He landed a spot in the Mets starting rotation in 2010.
Learning a new pitch and rebuilding his career was not the toughest thing Dickey has had to face.
As he revealed in his book, Wherever I Wind Up, he was repeatedly sexually abused by his babysitter when he was eight. ESPN's Adam Rubin writes that Dickey dealt with the pain for 23 years before he revealed what happened to him as a child.
Rubin also said that, up until the release of the book, Dickey had told only 10-12 people in his inner-circle.
Fighting an internal battle, as well as battling to save his once-promising career, Dickey began to journal his thoughts and feelings in 2005, according to Rubin. This coincided with Dickey learning to become a knuckleballer.
Dickey told Rubin that he needed to stop writing because it was too painful at that point in his life. Finally, he was able to reveal what happened to him during his childhood.
Dickey told Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim that he was concerned about how his teammates and bosses would react to the book. He also told Wertheim he was concerned that, if he got off to a slow start, some may accuse him of putting his literary career before his baseball career.
Lucky for Dickey, he has nothing to worry about.
Dickey has pitched back-to-back one-hitters this year while compiling an 11-1 record and a 2.31 ERA so far this season. He is primed to be in contention to start this year's All-Star Game.
For many, this is a surprise. Who would expect that a man who can barely throw a ball over 85 MPH would be in contention for the starting nod in the All-Star Game and, possibly, the Cy Young award? All this with a pitch Dickey described to Wertheim as "inherently untrustworthy."
Dickey is not your typical baseball player.
He decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise awareness for international human sex trafficking, which is not something many players would do. He explained to Rubin in the ESPN article why he decided to climb Kilimanjaro:
"You're always drawn to things that are personal to you. Not only do I have two daughters myself, but I've been through some things that can help me to empathize with not necessarily the intensity of someone who has been human trafficked into a brothel, but I certainly know the feelings of being taken advantage of in that way."
Dickey also told Rubin that he hopes his revelation and the Penn State scandal will allow more people to be comfortable with coming forward to report their abuse:
"Thankfully, I think it's done a lot. I hope sexual abuse is never looked at in the same way as something that is taboo to talk about or something that's tough to openly discuss. We all have our issues. We all have had our adversities in our lives."
As Dickey's knuckleball floats and flutters toward home plate, the Mets and their fans hope it continues to baffle hitters as it has this entire year, and that he continues his reign as the knuckleball master.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?