The curious thing about hitting rock bottom, New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey discovered, is that it is not literally made of rock.
"I remember it as a dark black clay, a wet, wet clay," said Dickey, recalling the bottom of the Missouri River in which he nearly drowned after vainly attempting to swim across it. "It had a sucking feeling to it, but luckily not so overpowering that I was unable to push off it."
On June 9, 2007, Dickey was in the midst of an underwhelming season with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, his 11th overall in the minor leagues. His marriage, after his wife Anne learned of his infidelity, was in peril.
So while the Sounds were in Omaha, Neb., for a series against the Royals, Dickey decided to take on the daring stunt.
"Maybe if I somehow get across, swim like a madman through the turbidity," he wrote in his recently released tell-all memoir, Wherever I Wind Up, "God will help me close the prodigious gap between the man I am and the man I want to be."