Archive | Longevity

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Waiting for the Knuckleball

Fun fact: two of the longest-lived MLB pitchers were knuckleball pitchers Hoyt Wilhelm (pictured with Wilbur Wood) and Phil Niekro. We’re reminded of the advantage in career longevity that knuckleballers enjoy by John Carter’s article, “In Honor of Jamie Moyer: The Oldest Pitchers Ever” over at BillJamesOnline. Knuckleball artist Hoyt Wilhelm’s last game in 1972 […]

The Physiology and Psychology of the Knuckleballer

Nobody on his team knows yet whether Steven Wright, still recovering from a shoulder injury, will be getting back in the game before the season ends. But they know that a knuckleballer like Wright has a better chance of doing so than a regular pitcher. “We’re taking this day to day,” [Boston Red Sox] manager […]

Unfair to So Soon Inflict a Knuckleballer on Batters? Plus: Knee Surgery for Dickey

We think it’s always very fair to have to go up against a knuckleballer! Agreed, it may also be very inconvenient. But Roger Mooney at tbo.com wonders whether letting non-roster invitee Eddie Gamboa pitch “this early in camp” to Tampa Bay Rays batters is “a little unfair.” It’s not, says Rays manager Kevin Cash. “I think […]

Josh Turley’s Quasi-turn to the Knuckleball

How much of a knuckleball pitcher must you be in order to be a knuckleball pitcher—if not for purposes of definition, at least for purposes of making it to the MLB? Knuckleballers like Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey and others used the knuckleball to advance their careers by making it their dominant pitch. But according to Kristen Bentley, with his […]

Did Larry French Extend His Pitching Career By Switching to the Knuckleball?

In our post last July about how “Your Knuckleball May Add Years to Your Career,” we noted that being in possession of a nifty knuckleball can “both revive the career of a struggling baseball player and make it way more durable.” We offered a list of those players who had outdone many of their colleagues […]

Pitcher Mickey Jannis: “With the knuckleball there’s no age limit, so I knew I always had a shot.”

One up-and-coming knuckleballer we’re keeping an eye on is Mickey Jannis, whom we posted about a couple of times in June—first about a near-no-hitter he pitched with the Ducks against York Revolution, then about his 2012 switch to full-time knuckleballer. After Jannis signed with the Mets organization later this summer, he told ESPN’s Adam Rubin […]

Your Knuckleball May Add Years to Your Career

An effective knuckleball can both revive the career of a struggling baseball player and make it way more durable. The best knuckleball players have easily outdone most of their colleagues in the career-longevity department. For examples: Ted Lyons, Phil Niekro, Joe Niekro, Charlie Hough, Tom Candiotti, Tim Wakefield. Or Hoyt Wilhelm, our subject last week, […]

And the Best Knuckleballer in History…“throws like a washer-woman”? Plus: Sixth Annual Knuckle Ball

We would not be confident in making the same sweeping judgment. But the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler (or whoever who wrote his headline), is happy to conclude that “Huntersville’s Hoyt Wilhelm was history’s best knuckleball pitcher.” Huntersville being a suburb near the paper’s base of Charlotte, North Carolina, the coincidence is perhaps a little too […]