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Knuckleballers Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Here are the best knuckleballers of all time

2) Hoyt Wilhelm (1952-72)
143-122; 228 SV; 2.52 ERA; 1,610 K; 2,254 1/3 IP

Wilhelm is another Hall of Fame knuckleballer. After serving in World War II and earning a Purple Heart, Wilhelm didn’t make his Major League debut until he was 29 years old. But he pitched until he was nearly 50, becoming one of baseball’s first great relievers. Wilhelm was the first player to pitch 1,000 games, and the first to reach 200 career saves. He was the all-time leader in both categories when he retired, and he’s still the all-time leader in wins by a reliever, with 124. Wilhelm was an eight-time All-Star, won two ERA titles, won the 1954 World Series with the Giants and pitched a no-hitter against the Yankees in 1958. He finished his career with 143 wins, 228 saves and a 2.52 ERA.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2022 at 01:04 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: knuckleballers

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Will the knuckleball ever make a comeback?

“No front office has the patience for someone who’s just going to go out there and walk the house and hit people,” says Dickey. “When a knuckleball outing goes south, it can look like you’re in the Little Leagues. It is ugly. So, as a player, you have to constantly be proving that you can be a trustworthy piece on the chessboard. You’re not only battling yourself and the mechanics and mental hurdles that come with trying to throw an unpredictable pitch in the strike zone consistently. You’re also having to push back against the stigmas and perceptions that front offices have around this pitch. Perception is reality, and if these GMs think that this is some kind of sideshow circus gimmick, you’re not going to get a lot of leash. That’s why it’s very difficult nowadays for someone to break in as a knuckleball guy.”....

If everything Dickey says is true, it seems like it would take nothing short of a miracle for a knuckleballer to develop in today’s MLB. In Dickey’s eyes though, there is an ideal scenario to see a knuckleballer work his way up into the majors.

“I’ve told this to a couple people in front offices. I always tell them, ‘Identify the guy in your organization that’s an incredible teammate that you want as part of what your organization is doing and the culture that you’re building. You’re going to end up releasing him because he doesn’t have the skillset that projects to being a usable Major League pitcher and try to develop him as a knuckleballer. Pick one guy. Stick him somewhere on a backfield and extend his Spring Training and let him grind on it for a couple years, and see if he can do it.’ If you’re going to release him anyway, you might as well try.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 18, 2021 at 11:30 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: knuckleballers



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