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Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s Best First-Half Performance; PLUS: Kratz Knuckleball Is Back

A few days ago, R.A. Dickey’s breakout season was recalled in Kirk Meyer’s New York Daily News article “Best first-half performances by Yankees and Mets pitchers.” 2012: R.A. Dickey, Mets (12-1, 2.40 ERA, 123 strikeouts) Dickey caught lightning in a bottle with his knuckleball in 2012. At 38, Dickey peaked in June, when he threw […]

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, […]

Knuckleballer Dan Johnson, Picked Up by Dodgers, Will Play For Class AA Tulsa

Thirty-seven-year-old career-reviver Dan Johnson changed the mind of St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis about the knuckleball. Michael Rand reports in his RandBall Blog that Johnson has been plying his new trade with the local St. Paul Saints, to strong results. In his past three American Association starts, he’s allowed a total of one run in […]

Knuckleball Saves Careers; Examples: Dan Johnson, V.J. Collins

Tim Gray reminds us of how the knuckleball can revive a pro-baseball career: “I expected to play 10 years in the big leagues and ride off into the sunset,” [Dan] Johnson said Friday at Haymarket Park, where he was playing for the St. Paul Saints. “When [Patterson] approached me [about pitching the knuckleball] I took […]

Knuckler R.A. Dickey Is Also on the Ball Lately

Things have gone well recently for the two regular MLB knuckleball pitchers. Steven Wright was our subject in our last couple of posts (here and here). Now back to Dickey. No doubt he is glad to be eliciting reportage like the following about last Friday’s Toronto Blue Jays v. Texas Rangers game, from Mr. RotoWire […]

Stephen Cannella Defends Knuckleball, and Dan Johnson, Against Niggling Negativity

Sports Illustrated commentators Ted Keith and Stephen Cannella recently discussed Dan Johnson’s switch to the knuckleball (our topic last week). “I love these stories about guys trying to come back, trying to learn new positions,” Cannella (pictured) says in the video. But this is no ordinary such attempt, he adds. “This is a guy trying […]

Aspiring Knuckleballer Dan Johnson Returns to Tampa Bay Rays

Position player Dan Johnson—”yes, that Dan Johnson, the one who hit two of the most dramatic homers in Rays history,” as Marc Tompkin of the Tampa Bay Times recalls him to readers—is getting a chance to make waves as a knuckleball pitcher with the Rays organization. Johnson, who spent his career primarily as a first […]

Dan Johnson on the Knuckleball: “Give yourself every chance”; Fifth Annual Knuckle Ball

Another position player has recognized the career-extending potential of the knuckleball. The year 2014 is “the year of the position player pitching,” in Ben Nicholson-Smith’s not-quite-catchy characterization. The SportsNet writer reports this trend—motivated in large part by the desire to spare the arms of the regular pitchers when games are unsalvageable—as background to Dan Johnson’s […]