Essential Pittsburgh
5:40 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

R.A. Dickey Pitches Memoirs and the Knuckleball

Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays in a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit Keith Allison / Wikipedia Commons

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher,R.A. Dickey is a religious man, a family man and the only pitcher in the major leagues that still throws a unique pitch known as the knuckleball.  He addresses all of this in his book, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball

Last year, after pitching for the New York Mets, Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win the prestigious National League Cy Young Award

Dickey describes the knuckleball as a pitch that "upon release rotates about half of a revolution from the time it leaves the pitchers fingertips to the time it reaches the catcher’s mitt.” This type of pitch takes the spin off of a baseball, causing it to create a chaotic sort of movement that's hard for a batter to track to the plate. 

As a father and husband, Dickey went through a faith journey in which he became more comfortable with himself and confident that he did indeed serve a purpose in this world.  He decided to divulge to his loved ones that he was sexually abused as a child and began to take steps to overcome this past scar.  His book highlights his path from minor league pitcher that often used “toxic mechanisms” to deal with life to his role as advocate, philanthropist and family man.  Currently Dickey has a charity in Mumbai, India, one of the largest hubs of sex trafficking and human slavery.  The charity has a clinic for girls who have been trafficked and now receive the message that they have a worth and there is an alternate life to the one they were once forced to live. 

Dickey continues to pitch with the Toronto Blue Jays where he says he’s happy “living the next five minutes, trying to be dedicated to each moment.”