Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/16/12
What if former MLB knuckleballer Joe Niekro taught a 7-year-old how to throw a knuckleball for strikes? And what if that seven year-old stuck with the game and the knuckleball — threw two perfect games in Little League and got named to five consecutive all-star teams heading into a high school career? In general, there is no such thing as a knuckleball prospect. The fingernail special is the go-to pitch for normal prospects or pitchers who have to reinvent their careers. That is what makes predicting the next great knuckleballer a near impossibility. Last night, R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer in history to earn a Cy Young award, but Dickey himself pitched several seasons with the Rangers before adding his deadly knuckler, and even then, it took years to get to a Cy Young level. There is a reason Dickey was the first Cy Young knuckleballer, though. The man has in some ways reinvented the knuckleball, throwing two versions of it — fast and slow versions — which allow for a 10-mph
PLAYERS: RA Dickey
TEAMS: New York Mets
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