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Is the Knuckleball Sorcery?

The late science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once famously suggested that sufficiently advanced technology is “indistinguishable from magic,” presumably if and when the whys and wherefores of the technology are not understood. Perhaps, then, the dictum should instead be that baffling complexity is indistinguishable from magic. In this form, would Clarke’s principle apply to […]

Don’t Throw the Knuckleball Like a Scaredy-Cat

The following reminiscence about the knuckleball, from a piece about “Mound Presence and Confidence” by a certain Pustulio, is tagged with the category of “mental game” at the Let’s Talk Pitching site. (We agree that mental game is important.) Pustulio had not been a pitcher; he had only been fooling around with a knuckleball. Then… When I was […]

Knuckleballer Ted Lyons (1900-1986)

Chicago White Sox pitcher Ted Lyons is the fifth knuckleballer mentioned in IKA’s Knuckleball History, where we observe that his knuckleball “gave him the durability and stamina he needed to throw an impressive 356 complete games. With 260 wins and 4,161 innings pitched, Lyons was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.” His […]

Don’t Knuckle Under to Soccer’s Appropriation of Term “Knuckleball”

Etymologically speaking, the use of the word “knuckleball” to designate the baseball pitch thrown by knuckleballers is fairly earned. Yes, most knuckleballers in fact grip the leather of the baseball with their fingernails, not their knuckles—a not-so-marginal detail which, for the typical knuckleballer, means that the care and paring of nail plate keratin must constitute […]

Number One Knuckleballer Won 121 Games After Age 40

In September of 2012, Kyle Thompson of MLB Fan Cave proposed a ranking of the five best knuckleballers “of all time,” suggesting Phil Niekro (1), Tim Wakefield (2), Dutch Leonard (3), Charlie Hough (4), and R.A. Dickey (5). Dickey had just finished his breakout Cy-Young-Award-winning season. Thompson’s suggestion that Dickey “could end up being the […]

New Knuckleballer Blaine Sims: “I wanted to be different.”

“Velocity is a very overrated thing. With the knuckleball, I just get it up there.” So says lefty pitcher Blaine Sims, “the Next Braves Knuckleballer,” in a 2013 interview with SweetSpot Network’s gondee. He also says: “Your fastball looks so much more alive than what it actually is.” (Ouch!) Gondee writes that although Sims hasn’t […]

What International Knuckleball Academy Links To

A quick look at what the baseball sites we link to (here) have to offer: Baseball Analysts. Described by former contributor Sky Andrecheck as “the go-to place for sabermetric research….” Although the site does not seem to have been updated since early 2012, Andrecheck and a roster of nine other bloggers have built a large […]