Winding Up with a Renewed Sense of Self… R.A. Dickey Story

My friend gave me a head’s up about an NPR interview with R.A. Dickey, the knuckleball pitcher for the New York Mets.

More than a baseball story, this is about Dickey’s journey as he worked on his life “trying to become who God had authentically created me to be,” he told Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.

Part of his journey included dip into the Missouri River. Back in 2006, after a particularly horrible stretch where he gave up a record-tying, six runs in his first start which led to a demotion to the minors, he decided after a game to swim across the Missouri River.

>> big, fast moving waterway with lots of undertow <<

He almost drowned, but managed to survive. He emerged determined to “to live in the present well — wanting to enjoy every second — that I think that carried over directly into my pitching, and I just cared about each pitch singularly. … And I decided that that’s how I wanted to live my life.”

He has taken that renewed sense of self to the mound and other endeavors.

> At age 37, Dickey is now in the starting rotation for the New York Mets and is one of the most effective pitchers in the game. In a stretch dating back to last July, he’s had 13 straight quality starts, meaning he’s pitched at least six innings, allowing three or fewer earned runs.

Note: Last night, he won against the Miami Marlins after having a very poor previous start due to weather issues impacting his grip

> He is featured in a new documentary, “Knuckleball,” that premiered at the Tribeca film festival on April 21.

Knuckleball the Movie Trailer

> He has a new book — memoir — “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.”

> And, in the off season, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization that rescues and cares for women and girls in Mumbai who are at risk of being abused and exploited.

The NPR interview covers a lot of ground. You learn about how to throw a knuckleball (see below) and tons more.

“A knuckleball is like trying to hit a butterfly in a typhoon. It shakes side to side; it may go straight left on one pitch. It might go straight down to a right-hander on another pitch. It may stay on the very same plane on one pitch. The thing that makes a knuckleball effective is that you cannot predict which way the ball is going to move, which makes it an extremely hard pitch to hit.”

This is a YouTube of him explaining the Knuckleball

You can listen to the interview or read the transcript of it by going here.

Thanks, Tiff!!


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