Originally written on Reading Between The Seams  |  Last updated 11/16/14

Man of the people

The art of the knuckleball is almost lost in Major League Baseball, but there is one man keeping that art alive. His name is R.A. Dickey, of the New York Mets. With the recent departure and retirement of Tim Wakefield from MLB, R.A. Dickey is the last remaining “knuckleballer” in the “League.” For those who don’t know, a “knuckleballer” is a pitcher who throws a unique style of pitch. When the knuckleball is released, the ball comes out with very little or no spin. This causes the air to catch the seams of the ball, resulting in unpredictable movement. When this pitch is perfected, the ball floats and darts in unknown directions, making it a very frustrating pitch for a batter to hit.

R.A. Dickey is one of the few that has mastered this craft, but he did not begin his professional career as a “knuckleballer.” Dickey was the 18th overall pick of the 1996 amateur draft. He lived off of his fastball. After arm problems and injuries, it seemed his career in the “Big Leagues” was all but over as a conventional pitcher. Dickey was forced to learn a new way. After mastering the knuckleball, new life was born, and here he is today…The last remaining knuckleballer.

It seems only fitting that R.A. would be the one to hit the streets of New York and explore the world of wiffleball. Simular to a knuckleball, when a Wiffle Ball is thrown, it may go anywhere. Unlike a baseball, a Wiffle Ball is plastic and shouldn’t hurt if it hits you. Let’s take a look as R.A. hits the wiffleball courts.

  MLB Fan Cave Video

There is much more to R.A. Dickey than baseball, knuckleballs, and wiffleball. Dickey is a man of the people who has a story to tell. In his recently released memoir, Dickey reveals being sexually abused as an eight year-old child. While it took years for this man to come to peace with himself and his past, Dickey has shown to be the face of triumph. R.A. has overcome a lot, and it is remarkable and very respectable that he shares his life and times with the people.

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