National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey received considerable extra attention in 2012 due to the fact he experienced his breakout season at age 37. Yet Dickey’s success, in his 10th year as a major leaguer, had much to do with his late-career adoption and mastery of the knuckleball.
Like Dickey, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse had a tremendous season on the mound in 2012. Like Dickey, Lohse received his first-ever Cy Young Award votes, but in his case, it took even longer. 2012 was Lohse’s 12th season as a major leaguer.
Like Dickey, Lohse underwent a successful mound transformation while in the majors, through less dramatic than adopting the knuckler. 2012 represented the culmination of his having earlier embraced the ground ball philosophy of long-time coach Dave Duncan. That helped enable Lohse to win 55 games while posting a .611 winning percentage in five seasons as a Cardinal.
The California native put together his best year as a professional this pa...