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R.A. Dickey managed to go from a first-round pick to a washout. However, he was eventually able to turn things around all because of one pitch.
Despite being an elite talent, Dickey did not get big money after being drafted because he did not have a UCL in his pitching elbow. Dickey had some decent numbers in the minor leagues, but he was not living up to the billing of a first-round pick.
After struggling with the Texas Rangers organization, he bounced around with the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners as he began to learn to throw the knuckleball.
Dickey finally figured things out once he joined the New York Mets, and at age 35, he put together his first solid major league season. Just two years later, Dickey would go on to be the National League Cy Young Award winner.
In addition to his life on the baseball field, Dickey is a very interesting character off of it. Dickey has given his bats names such as Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which should give you a good idea of his personality (h/t Tyler Kepner of The New York Times).
In his book Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, Dickey details some of the personal issues that he had growing up.
Considering everything, Dickey's story is outstanding and is one that would make for a great film.