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Knuckleball Pitcher and Memoirist Jim Bouton Dies; Knuckleball As Pattern Disrupter

Former Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton, a knuckleballer and the author of Ball Four—a best-selling and controversial account of his life in baseball—died on July 10 at the age of 80. He had suffered a stroke in 2012. The Washington Post’s Matt Schudel reports: Mr. Bouton (pronounced BOUT-un) was a hard-throwing right-hander who won 21 games […]

New Book: The Knuckleball Club; and the Toronto Blue Jays advance

Courtesy of Richard Johnson, we have a new history of knuckleballer exploits this year in The Knuckleball Club: The Extraordinary Men Who Mastered Baseball’s Most Difficult Pitch. It starts about midway in that long history with the story of a beleaguered player who turned his career around by using the pitch. It was in 1968 that […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

A Good Knuckleball Is Hard to Hit

The Detroit Free Press offers an imprecise statement about the trouble a batter may have connecting his bat to a knuckleball. According to the Press’s June 4 story, “Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey hopeful his knuckleball will miss Miguel Cabrera’s bat,” a good knuckleball “can be a tough pitch to hit if you don’t see it […]

The Knuckleball in Literature and Life

Herewith, a few glimpses into first-hand accounts about knuckleballers and the knuckleball. First up is Dave Beckley’s fictional pitcher—fifteen years old as the story opens—in the novel Knuckleball: The Uncertainties of a Life. (Prodigy though the protagonist may be, we confess we distrust the claim that his knuckleball ball rotates not even a fraction.) “Focusing […]