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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 […]

Tim Wakefield

Hitting Knuckleball Not Enough, Sandoval Swipe Confirms; Plus: Dickey’s Early Knuckleball Tutorials

“Pablo Sandoval Swings at Knuckleball Above His Head, Makes Contact” is a story about giving in to temptation in a way that doesn’t pay: It’s not very difficult to tempt Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval to swing at a high pitch. And when you’re a knuckleball pitcher, it’s even easier. Toronto Blue Jays […]

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, […]

Not Unlike World-Class Knuckleball Pitchers, Engineering Students Can’t Duplicate a Single Knuckleball; PLUS: New Knuckleballer Matt Shelton

The inventers weren’t trying to simulate true knuckleball action, but they seem to have succeeded despite themselves. We learn from the Toronto Star that engineering students at the University of Toronto have built “the world’s first knuckleball pitching machine,” the kind of thing that may one day help train batters contend with the Toronto Blue […]

Coaching Career for Wakefield?…Dickey’s Next Move…the Knuckleball Path to Kellogg’s Baseball Cards…Name that “Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nicknamed Knucksie”

NY Sportsday reports that in an interview with David Cone, former Red Sox knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield hinted that he might one day consider a job as a fulltime pitching coach. Asked if he harbored any interest in such a position, Wakefield was quick to shoot down the notion…but with an interesting qualifier. “No, no, […]

With Dickey About to Turn 40, Steven Wright, 30, Is “Just Warming Up”; Kind of Like That 19-Inning Sox-Yankees Game on Friday-Saturday

ESPN Red Sox Report’s Gordon Edes (“Knuckleballer Wright could play key role”) does the math re ratio of wins at 30 to total career wins (or career-so-far wins) for celebrated Phi Beta Knucklers. At 30, they’re just warming up. “I was 28, going on 29, when I first got here,” said Tim Wakefield, the most […]

Late-Blooming Knuckleballers, Part Three

R.A. Dickey, the subject of our previous post on late-blooming knuckleballers, is only the most prominent of today’s knuckleball pitchers, including those who decided to specialize in it only after having already put in a few years of pro ball. (Which is, after all, the typical knuckleballer path. Few start out in pro baseball determined […]

Messed Around with the Knuckleball for Years, and Now…

If you’re a pro knuckleballer who didn’t start out as one, you probably switched to the pitch after reckoning you had no other way to ascend to the next level of play. We’re not sure a full-time knuckleball has to be a pitch “borne of desperation.” (David Lennon’s words, recorded in the documentary “Knuckleball!”) But […]