Archive | Phil Niekro

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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 […]

Program Director Chris Nowlin training with Hall of Famer Phil Niekro

Chris Nowlin on Finding Your Own Personal Knuckleball

In a recent post at his Knuckleball Nation site, IKA’s Chris Nowlin (bio here) suggests that which of various equally effective knuckleball grips you adopt depends on personal “feel” that can’t be determined by formula—and also depends on how short you cut your fingernails. Once you’ve reduced any variables and put yourself into position to […]

Braves, and Niekro, Anticipate a Season with R. A. Dickey Knuckleball

Veteran knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro—one of the few former pro baseball pitchers able to share firsthand insights about throwing the knuckleball with the few current pro knuckleball pitchers—is especially satisfied by the news that R.A. Dickey has joined the Atlanta Braves. Steve Hummer of the Tribune News Service reports: “It’s kind of special for me. […]

And the Best Knuckleball Pitchers of All Time Are…

A web site that has all the answers, Answers.com, has announced who the best knuckleball pitchers are. We find no surprises. These are top guys: Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield, Hoyt Wilhelm, Dutch Leonard, Wilbur Wood, R.A. Dickey. All are featured in the International Knuckleball Academy’s Knuckleball History. On Dutch Leonard Answers.com: “Leonard was one of the […]

Knuckleball Pitcher R.A. Dickey Pursues a Braves Course; PLUS: Will Ohka Make His Way Back to the Big Leagues?

No, despite a Blue Jay manager’s tantalizing and maybe even a tad patronizing public suggestion that their knuckleballer might not be left off of the team’s 2017 roster after all (“We’re open to R.A. Dickey, even”), Dickey is not returning to the Toronto Blue Jays. And no, despite his own retrospective musing about the ups […]

Rays of Hope for Knuckleballers like Eddie Gamboa, Etc.

The big news has been that Eddie Gamboa, who signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays in January of this year, early this month got promoted to the MLB. The Baltimore Sun reports: Former Orioles farmhand Eddie Gamboa, who extended his career—and his dream of making the majors—by becoming a knuckleball pitcher, […]

Haeger and Niekro Want Eddie Gamboa to Get to the Next Level of Knuckleball

The New York Times has determined that despite its rarity, the knuckleball is not quite on the way out, especially in light of growing interest in the pitch over the last few years since a knuckleballer won the Cy Young Award (“As a Species, the Knuckleball Flutters but Survives”). Players to watch include Eddie Gamboa, […]

K.P. Wee’s New Book: Don’t Blame the Knuckleballer!

We concur! K.P. Wee, the stickler for correct statistics and other baseball details who wrote the book on knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti (yes, literally: Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs), has now come out with Don’t Blame the Knuckleballer! Baseball Legends, Myths, and Stories. The new book discusses Tommy Bridges, Reggie Jackson, Ted Williams, Floyd […]

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 […]