RA Dickey and the knuckleball
Here is an interview with former knuckle-ball pitcher Tim Wakefield in Time Magazine. Thanks to my Uncle Paul for the link. Even though Dickey is on the despised Mets ballclub, he is a likeable guy. He has overcome a lot to be where he is now. He is having a great year, obviously; throwing back-to-back one-hitters is pretty crazy. Although I must say when the Mets tried to get his first changed to a no-hitter was pretty weak. That would have made two non no-hitters for them. The first would be Santana’s who allowed a hit which was wrongly called foul by the umpire. But I digress. I see the knuckleballer as a grand tradition in baseball, and I hope it continues. When I was in Little League I actually threw a knuckleball at times, further proof I have always been an old soul. I didn’t quite throw it right, but I could get good movement on it. Now this has me thinking about who invented the knuckleball. Here is an article about those who threw no or one-hit games. According to Wikipedia (not as bad a source as you think when there are citations) Rob Neyer researched and wrote about this topic and did not find one particular player (which many times is the case for lack of evidence), but has a group of four. Included is Eddie Cicotte of the infamous 1919 Chicago Black Sox who had the nickname “knuckles” for that reason. Of course, you may also remember “Knuckles” as the pitcher who knocked down a young “Moonlight” Graham in the classic film “Field of Dreams”. (“Hey Knuckles, why are you throwing at the kid for?”….”He winked at me!”) I suppose he wasn’t throwing a knuckleball in that instance.