Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa Is Almost a Major-League Pitcher

Eddie Gamboa was as close as you could get without actually being on the mound.

Gamboa on knuckleball grip

Earlier this month we noted how the Long (19-Inning) Game between the Yankees and the Sox presented an opportunity for a Wakefield-tutored knuckleballer who has been getting some MLB action from the Boston Red Sox: Steven Wright. At that time, IKA’s Ezra Wise reminded us that Eddie Gamboa is also on the cusp of an MLB breakthrough.

A recent Virginia-Pilot story by David Gamboa (“For Tides’ Gamboa, a dream delayed—not denied”) recounts Gamboa’s near-miss two weeks ago, when, “after 183 games pitched in seven minor-league seasons, Eddie Gamboa achieved his lifelong dream.”

And then he didn’t.

The Norfolk Tides right-hander received the long-awaited call to join the parent Baltimore Orioles as a just-in-case bullpen arm on April 11 after an injury to left-hander Wesley Wright….

A day later, the Orioles sent him to the suburbs of Atlanta to rejoin the Tides and make his scheduled start—his major-league debut still a thing of the future….

Gamboa with mittGamboa says he is happy to have been with the Orioles even on a contingency basis that didn’t lead to actual play. It means he is being considered seriously and will most likely be back and get his shot.

“Just to be a part of it for a couple of days was definitely eye-opening, and it’s something that makes you want to work harder,” Gamboa said. “Even though you know already, you really do realize how close you are to living your dream and fulfilling your lifetime goals.”…

It was a dream simultaneously achieved and deferred.

“I guess officially, technically, I had attained my goal—but not,” Gamboa said. “I didn’t pitch. I don’t have any outings up there. But I was able to, for a couple of days, say that I was a big leaguer. That’s what you work for. Since I was 3 years old, that’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”

So we’ll keep our eye on Steven Wright, Eddie Gamboa—subject of IKA’s very first post, by Ezra, “Will Gamboa Be the Next Major League Knuckleballer?”—and…who else?

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