Knuckleballers Gamboa, Worth, Wright in Mexico, Michigan, Ohio

12534521_216167002062618_717014601_nWhat has knuckleball pitcher Eddie Gamboa been up to lately? According to a photo caption at jeanfruthimages.com, last week he delivered a fifth-inning pitch

in the late afternoon sunlight…and earned the win, as Mexico cruised to a 9-3 victory over Cuba. Mexico, who lost in the Series finals to Cuba last year, has won its first two games this year. Mexico won the Caribbean Series in 2013 and 2014.

An AP report states that Gamboa “was credited with Mexico’s victory as he gave up three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings” in the game.

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“Tigers writer Anthony Fenech” of the Detroit Free Presscan’t confirm” a reader-reported rumor “that the Tigers are signing premiere knuckleballer Danny Worth to a multi-year bullpen contract.”

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Here’s an interesting story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about homeowners like Marc and Joyce Shack who host minor league baseball players when they’re in town. One of their guests has been knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright, who “returned to Lake County in 2011 to begin his journey as a knuckleballer.”

Players at Class A Lake County receive three days at a hotel free of charge before they must find an apartment or other living arrangement. In 2010, the Shacks spotted a newspaper ad seeking volunteers to host players. The Shacks conveyed their interest to the Captains, but the first year came and went without a call.

Steven Wright had worked his way up the organizational ladder to Triple-A Columbus. The right-hander was fooling around at spring training with a knuckleball when a coach spotted its fluttery tendencies. Following a discussion, Wright was bound for A-ball to pitch as a knuckleballer.

So, Wright called the Shacks. They were caught off guard, but they agreed to meet the hurler at the ballpark to see if he would be a good fit.

It was. The Shacks are easygoing and lenient.

“I have two rules,” Joyce said. “If you find it, you can eat it. And no wet towels on my wood furniture.”

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Honorary knuckleballishness:

Down two points in overtime on Tuesday night and with the time ticking down, the Georgia Northwestern basketball team watched the West Georgia Tech Knights send up a prayer.

And got it answered.

With a hand in his face, Bryan Foster threw up an off-balance knuckle ball of a three-pointer with less than three seconds to play.

But instead of clanking off the rim, the ball caromed off the backboard and miraculously dropped through the hoop to give the Knights a 93-92 lead, and when Darrius Fugh’s half-court heave at the buzzer missed it mark, the visitors from Carrollton had escaped the Rossville Athletic Center with an improbable one-point victory.

We hope that The Chattanoogan’s report of a faux knuckleball in basketball will begin to counterbalance the surfeit of soccer sightings.

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