Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Deaf Noise

Eye fly's the blinking sound of stick a stale bread to tears on the sheds that duck to feather,
may the goose pebble a lump of swan to swim the phlegm of Humanities flew,
fish on the breadth of basking Suns on dried beaches died red with light,
the wash of waves that shore to sides an Earth on the planets lathe with sonar to the slide.

Each soaked sand stone touching the ever last ankle stream Talk Mi a brook to soft language,
as the rustle of a salts sleep gathers to the peppering seed will Mustard ketchup to may owe neighs,
creek found on shedding waist know the trembling dollar dice that rush of dancing breath,
trees that timber lumber lines shell the groves forest bored without the line on redwoods sound??

True direction coral base on the settle of the conch is the snail homers trail to simplify the journey's trace,
does deep bare depth of oceans left is the dry sand at swept to razors wall on cutting spice,
is the rain not small to snow method flakes to drops of died in the midst of Earths dead blues,
does the canyon on the raft drift to mountains left in made by skirts of mud clay bathing bones,
saw gnaw of the fossils shelf driven said to cliffs of notes that sit to Wells the sample of life's dead??

Provisions stable quilted cover the bearer of a hot steam store say hello my friend in cried Volcano bloods a dark tread sky,
lifting staff of center globe to water shower of clouds on heard is the thunder light,
a drumming melt booming stretch across the sphere of heavys dust so deaf the drowning mirror,
the quest of a planetary movements wrest.

Subtle Lease

The shuffle of the muse on the string of the instrument is humming the guitar wreath,
tune is a simple sign to that twang that the wind pipes to the breeze,
swinging at the tempo of a gentle swing as that lathe of the sky brings in a scene,
blowing the storm to the waving seas so is that branch on an Oceans reef.

A Core Pour Writ Pear A Chute Touching Bask Kits Off Loop To Ground Ding Of Act Cents As Hear Owes On Loot

The guess jeans of this Ref. ewe gee done is not the fact that Palms got tone,
in understand the Football game and as Baseball is the Pitchers read,
than Watts are the lights to those Knights that scene to X wrist on the application to Screen knees to Pave meant,
the words of rumble to a tack the Java is either Coffin' or creaming the Hut to a stair,
with deck land on growing Farmers on toast,
whom than is Cheers to the driver of roast??

Staggering Haul 'e' would trade to that dressed,
Turkey on playing chicken to key,
putting to Plaque hard the gears of the Tree,
just to get Hi on the operation be Lo.

Dot comma a used to throw in the Card on Jokers Wild to the blackjack on Wares,
games on the Poker to deal the Tablet on taking the Table to settings from Bong,
in arms on the Wrest ole a Crowd just Sings blues,
barge Gin the drink like the Coke gots a sign,
there on the corner of the Rum edge to Stand,
who dare the photo to Mappers on chair??,
is the Map other to buy the Design on that Apply is the situation at Com a Doors jaw,
is language so Sported to ice Skating clear,
that waters become the Dam Structure of clue??

In for structure a jumble to pass word on practice to rehearsal for Filming the jump of the lathe,
roof tiles piled to shingles for rates,
marching the Clogs to the Mountain of lake,
bridge that with birds scent of pore spake,
short Tinned to coin the payphone by rates.

Per Hops to the Hose with a Wine on the Sell or the grape to Vine straights,
propose Awl the stitch to a Picture of crates,
the fire of bowl it tens to reality of rash,
the quantity burning to ash buried cashed.

Check Off to stride the length of a Spook,
add in the Cue to public trash Canned,
sing into the in stirred by Frames,
returns to the venture of the pot in the land.

Floor A Duh Or Is It The Float Uh That Creams Milk To Tee Times Hours Apple Raised Shins

Goods look to the sigh burr Front on the shag of Wools car pet troll,
as the eye lends a blink to the World of Worth to this Thrift tee Store,
club to the bat told to have deep shepherd on sole,
for the Shield did provide a Hedge Fund on Toll!!

Saddle the shaft with a band at the ring,
for in riding the arena has letters to bring,
with that test of Dressage on knowing the Crow,
for dark hour its still feeding the grain as a pole.

Wager the paddle to or on the Roads and tracks of Railroads prose,
in different to Mammoth this Values the bold,
from with that at challenge more the deal a cold,
which makes this errand a Message with seals that clap to the Owe Shin us Mould,
the Hour or Minute timer that bask in Robins gone full,
staggering fact or the resemblance of shoal.

Chew that tow back hoe to working it as an Outsider reason to writing the bull,
tag to the seam a binder of scene,
this is the basis of for better slow.

Laugh Track this Sign to prod for Supply,
tractors ditch Farms with dough nuts gone tongue,
twisted bits that copper touch taste,
rolling the thunder with light knee on sheep,
sleep Ping the Nap pen with spice to sat chill,
all while the sell phone is driving a Told,
that master bay shuns a primer to Math,
adding it route to root of bay Wrap.

Drop the at plate license the Can,
flip to a Channel and tea 'V' it stout,
heavy be stars on the digest of guide,
remainders are stacking to libraries lane`d,
with that crossword puzzle to bubble talk pop,
jazz blues mistaken for summertime Coots.

In The Shadow Of The Hollywood Sign Location Likens Melrose Place

Cents the season is of thanks giving it is the Flag that gifts for the French kissed,
chalk lets outline to Hollywood bowl as of Corn to the Toast in Wag the paw raid,
no Apple requires the description With clique,
for click to the paste Tee and brave just the Script.

Term Life is in sure hints that just a Cheek key to what is on Stage of the groundings of Shirts,
to that hand Sum of print to making the brake burn rubber as to that stagger of squint,
earthquakes to shiver is fog at the gates,
but what is a Bridge with these Channels with Shades??,
dee owe door rent?? at the place Mint to coins for the Trace??

Sigh coil Walkers on Writing a raised,
hounds that Real Time to the paved path on bay,
mark that a bring to rinse wash the lead,
as just in the Company the description reins Feed.

Ask frank Oh that perfection to what Trophy is SWAT,
now is the bot on the leg or the pest,
bee stock of would lop a rabbit foot clear,
lucky go Wall Street on the Tick it to Seer.

Pull^Scene at Operator is the Dial a Zest,
or is the Collar of Crest on Scope smooth In text,
tooth to the gear on Mechanics gone Theme,
gee cue its like magazine that carpets a sting,
all on the Read fact or the enter View leave,
what is the riddle should the POE it Tree seed??,
but a harbor on Levi's to those well Suited jeans.

Mount In Due A Spelling Bee All Sew On The Clip Pers A Reciept Of Registered Is A Move 'V' Called The Blades Of Glory A Beautiful Perfume

Stopwatches wrist on the Wrest for the timing of ride,
it is the fact reality is day,
riding the Mule was Carol's deep side,
for he loved the smooth cadence with a bit on that choose.

I prefer the Horse as that Thoroughbred is fast,
right off the Track its exciting with back,
a rogue on the pasture that has been given a chest,
saddle up easy and ride for the living,
as knowing that can door is as breast is to a Snap,
to that Mart in gale or the Call of a bridles bit sync,
all in showing the grades of grass roots.

Shine to the grooming good brushes with love,
all of those Whisks made from what is a rub,
working it out on the Air of just Breeze,
a wonderful gallop pulling to feeds.

Now increase the impulsion to know of the shift,
posting is a sitting trotting the rose,
over to standing on cross-tied to groom,
these are the Hours of making a Tune.

For grant It a barrel and the Monkeys will pick^ole,
but put to the grain its the Oats for the rein,
the factor on conditions is the compass of Hay,
all while the barn readies Vets for a sleigh!!

Haul A Daze what its the remember a State,
dating the Figures the Life on a crate,
soap Opera's symphony to ballet on the Rye,
wizard that brick to balance on stays.

Harness or Collar or is It both to bring Hames,
oh Yes it is for the Cart carriage Corn,
swinging to level that wheeled sharp turned,
men on the bits to the reins of that Farm.

Ranch with the Cattle coffee is strong,
language for Spoons that stand straight up on that brawn,
the cream added sugar to sweet in the load,
driving the fencing like king got a Kong.

Gnat Troll Language From The Bots On The Fly

The bell Gin is All Sew a sip of Bud Wise or serving it Neet or on the Rocks,
for ice is a method of service to Trains and auto Mow shin to A Glass of Scope,
to that platter of food it is the lighting that strobe to the Sky Hi on a stage to Concert,
shall Waves grant a shore to aim on a floor than what is the Pitch but a butters back door.

Milk Farms in Berkeley a common saying,
yet in the reality its College to skate,
universe sit Tea to the Sew lore of Fact,
as ewe Rein Us is on the diving Boards clued.

Trade Winds to watch fiber as sell phones Cob webbing,
the saddle is made of core material to speak,
weather is just the Outsiders chore,
is it a slicker or the Heat that drops stored.

Now on the Hour of real time base players,
the Host is the paper on the letter deed Set,
as in the rally which ride of the pony club goes,
is not the question for the barn is on lead,
at anytime during that event of the show,
the judges will walk to that stall to see Rows,
horse terms on course of Human at raised.

Yet the spook is so shock King that what is the raced,
well in the three-day eventer its the experience of years,
not just hop on to hop off like Aim did at steer,
yet the process did reflect the same on the Cheers.

However more Over the top of that back,
is the beach rides on shore to see side of More's,
for with a good Trailer the Truck shades the left,
from basic to gear's making cost NER a desk,
of course that is GNU on the wick a pea dee uh ground ding a chest,
create or dee Nigh as the presents is sheds.

Clue Less Peep Pull Heard Its On Len Oh's Frost Tea Ice Cream

Bat Man & Rob in the Host sit Tee of the club On the games of The pitch,
is the switch Hitter on the left of the right Par of a golf Putters sole`d,
walk in the grass so short skip a ball,
that the cleats are a screened to the reset on Kit,
for as the fill in the blank said that a lot of times the horse needs to be Vet`d,
I said to the sit chew A shun that Sum time the gift is a Horse,
now lets take a look at that mouth!!

As the arena of a ride is Noun to a horse that I rode for the quarter thoroughbred course,
touchdown to Feat on a Stable to Zest,
what is the Francis on the track of the book,
a X racehorse that papers to jocks,
tattoo`d by the basis of berth to that hook.

Is the saddle a method on the writing a bit,
bridle the curb to a snaffle on shank that just is fact on the double-rein bank,
training on ground came with many a stood,
surprisingly the barn is varied to branches of interest on Western English And put,
how ever the formal training on education to girth or the cinch,
learning is prime air read to wise on the slack,
as many ankles just a walk a round on the day,
reality of horse back riding is the understanding the clay.

For Jumpers it is very Important for jumpings a Sport,
so in addition is the saddle its a Close Contact core,
 Cross-Country for conditioning is not Shampoo,
its a daily schedule of recording the shoe.

It is very important to know of the day that dressage is of the greatest per stay
as the letters add to the precision On seat,
the saddle has longer Flaps to that length of stirrup to legs on a fax,
the barrel of the horse is important to spur,
first with the calf and than with a care,
whips on the rattle to engage the hind end,
while the hand is of half halt to collection on bend.

The transitions regard to the impulsion at the corners,
circles are practice til the comprehension knows meter,
heels down and heads Up,
for maintaining the foundation is imperative to truck.

 Approach this provision to Who knows What and How.that exacts the score,
for a dressage event is not a Show,
jumpers do not call the arena Stadium jumping,
yet a Three-day Eventer will say its the Standard on Horse Trials board,
making the cross-country a timed stop watches tend,
for that is really why riders like I suffer the dressage at crawl,
for reality is that a Canter is not the exhilaration of a hard Gallop at the pole,
its the wild scene to know that life is living on the like an adrenaline junkie bids..

Montara half Moon bay its the Mountain with steep grades bringing airwaves a purchase,
those run a way volumes of the relaxing days learned sit,
to have listened to the drums was a treat to my grown,
in fact I can still hear the thunder on those bones,
to put to the plates of Real Times raise,
like Jay Ole on the seat of that bravado of a tone.

For the Heat is not A problem Mat tick for the Fog or dry Ice,
that is why the coast is Winter time nice,
for sure the pasture is ready to placed,
a chair IB for record & a Bit sewn to shrugged,
 it is so strong that with only one breath it holds two a bound,

Trailer to would side as Seat duh A Field,
stable with drive while the Weather goes why,
unload Frisco the horse at the time,
make PC a Rally to be a bait on the shoe,
just reality on the hour of mucking the floor,
road apples difference is the grain for its Smore.

Scripts On Blades Of Glory Awe Dish Shins POE Trees Pitchers Or Owe^ill For The Curve Ball Stitches To Ice Tee


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the baseball pitch. For the 2012 documentary film, see Knuckleball!.

Tim Wakefield in his throwing motion, showing his grip of the knuckleball
knuckleball or knuckler is a baseball pitch thrown so as to minimize the spin of the ball in flight, causing an erratic, unpredictable motion. The air flow over a seam of the ball causes the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent flow. This transition adds a deflecting force on the side of the baseball. This makes the pitch difficult for batters to hit, but also difficult for pitchers to control and catchers to catch; umpires are challenged as well, since following the path of the ball makes it difficult to call balls andstrikes.[1]


Eddie Cicotte, who is sometimes credited with inventing the knuckleball
The origins of the knuckleball are unclear. Toad Ramsey of the Louisville Colonels in the old American Association—his pitch likely resembled theknuckle curve—and Eddie Cicotte of the major leaguesChicago White Sox, who in 1908 was nicknamed "Knuckles", are two possible creators of the pitch.[2] Other accounts attribute the pitch's creation to Charles H. Druery, a pitcher for the Blue Ridge League.[3] In 1917 Druery taught the pitch to Eddie Rommel, who became successful with the knuckleball for the Philadelphia Athletics.[4]

Grip and motion[edit]

As used by Cicotte, the knuckleball was originally thrown by holding the ball with the knuckles, hence the name of the pitch. Ed Summers, a Pittsburgh teammate of Cicotte who adopted the pitch and helped develop it, modified this by holding the ball with his fingertips and using thethumb for balance. This grip can also include digging the fingernails into the surface of the ball. The fingertip grip is more commonly used today by knuckleball pitchers, like retired Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, who had a knuckleball with a lot of movement. There are other prominent knuckleball pitchers like Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, who had a very effective knuckler and knuckle curve, and current Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey. However, young pitchers with smaller hands tend to throw the knuckleball with their knuckles. Sometimes young players will throw the knuckleball with their knuckles flat against the ball, giving it less spin but also making it difficult to throw any significant distance.
Regardless of how the ball is gripped, the purpose of the knuckleball is to have the least amount of rotational spin as possible. Created by the act of throwing a ball, the ball's trajectory is significantly affected by variations in airflow caused by differences between the smooth surface of the ball and the stitching of its seams. The asymmetric drag that results tends to deflect the trajectory toward the side with the stitches.
Over the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate, the effect of these forces is that the knuckleball can "flutter", "dance", "jiggle", or curve in two different directions during its flight. A pitch thrown completely without spin is less desirable, however, than one with only a very slight spin (so that the ball completes between one-quarter and one-half a rotation on its way from the pitcher to the batter). This will cause the position of the stitches to change as the ball travels, which changes the drag that gives the ball its motion, thus making its flight even more erratic. Even a ball thrown without rotation will "flutter", due to the "apparent wind" it feels as its trajectory changes throughout its flight path.[5]
Hitting a knuckleball is different enough from other aspects of baseball that players specifically prepare for the pitch during batting practice before games they expect it in.[6]According to physicist Robert Adair, due to the physiological limitation of human reaction time, a breaking knuckleball may be impossible to hit except by luck.[2] If a knuckleball does not change direction in mid-flight, however, then it is easy to hit due to its lack of speed. (A common phrase for hitting a knuckleball is "if it's low, let it go; if it's high, let it fly"; meaning that a batter should attempt to hit a knuckleball only if it crosses the plate high in the strike zone.) Since it typically only travels 60 to 70 miles per hour (97 to 113 km/h),[7] far slower than the average major league fastball 85 to 95 miles per hour (137 to 153 km/h), it can be hit very hard if there is no movement. One 2007 study offered evidence for this conclusion.[8] To reduce the chances of having the knuckleball get hit for a home run, some pitchers will impart a slight topspin so that if no force causes the ball to dance, it will move downward in flight. Another drawback is that runners on base can usually advance more easily than if a conventional pitcher is on the mound. This is due to both the knuckleball's low average speed and its erratic movement, which force the catcher to keep focusing on the ball even after the runners start stealing their next bases. A few knuckleball pitchers, such as Hoyt Wilhelm and Tim Wakefield, had catchers specifically assigned to them to catch their knuckleballs.
A paper presented at the 2012 Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association argues, based on PITCHf/x data, that knuckleballs do not make large and abrupt changes in their trajectories on the way to home plate—or at least, no more abrupt than a normal pitch. It speculates that the appearance of abrupt shifting may be due to theunpredictability of the changes in direction.[9]
The knuckleball is also employed by the Indian cricket fast bowler Zaheer Khan as his slower delivery. The physics of the operation are largely the same. However, the seam on a cricket ball is equatorial, and thus the extent of erratic movement is reduced due to the symmetry (at least in the conventional release position where the planes of the ball's trajectory and the seam are nearly co-planar). In addition, the lack of backspin does shorten the length of the delivery, and also tends to make the ball skid off the pitch—faster than it would come off a normal delivery.[10]

Naming and relationship to other pitches[edit]

Since it developed during a period when the spitball was legal and commonly used, and was similarly surprising in its motion, the knuckleball was sometimes called the "dry spitter". Cicotte was widely reported to throw both the knuckleball and a variant on the spitball known as a "shine ball" (because he would "shine" one side of a dirty ball by rubbing it on his uniform). However, Cicotte called the shine ball "a pure freak of the imagination", claiming that he did this to disconcert hitters but that the pitch was still a knuckleball.
Other names for the knuckleball have generally alluded to its motion and slower speed. These include the flutterball, the floater, the dancer, the butterfly ball, the ghostball, and the bug.
The knuckle curve has a somewhat similar name because of the grip used to throw it (also with the knuckles or fingernails), but it is generally thrown harder and with spin. The resulting motion of the pitch more closely resembles a curveball, which explains the combination name. Toad Ramsey, a pitcher from 1885 to 1890, is credited in some later sources with being the first knuckleballer, apparently based primarily on accounts of how he gripped the ball; however, based on more contemporary descriptions of his pitch as an "immense drop ball", it may be that his pitch was a form of knuckle curve. Two later pitchers, Jesse Haines and Freddie Fitzsimmons, were sometimes characterized as knuckleball pitchers even by their contemporaries, but in their cases this again refers to a harder-thrown, curving pitch that would probably not be called a knuckleball today. Historically, the term "knuckle curve" had a usage that was different from what it has in the game today. Many current pitchers throw a curveball using a grip with the index finger touching the ball with the knuckle or the fingertip (also called a spike curve). This modern pitch type is unrelated to the knuckleball.


As of 2014, R.A. Dickey was the only starting pitcher in Major League Baseball to use the knuckleball as his primary pitch
As of 2004, only about 70 Major League Baseball pitchers have regularly used the knuckleball during their careers, and its use has become more rare over time. This can be attributed to a variety of factors. The first is selection bias in scouting. Because the speed of any prospect's pitch is one of the quickest and easiest metrics in judging the skill of the prospect, the knuckleball, which is thrown slower than any other pitch, gets overlooked. Tim Wakefield argues that "The problem is that [baseball] is so radar gun-oriented." Former knuckleballer and pitching coach Charlie Hough says that the increased rarity of the knuckleball is due to scouts increasingly looking only for the best arm.[11] This effect is increasing over time as the modern game continues to emphasize power in pitching and average pitch speed increases.[12]
Another factor contributing to the rarity of the knuckleball is the difficulty of throwing the pitch. R.A. Dickey estimates that it takes at least a year to grasp the fundamentals of the knuckleball. The knuckleball is radically different than any other pitch in a pitcher's arsenal, and less predictable, thus difficult to control. It is for this reason that the knuckleball is widely regarded as unreliable, and knuckleball pitchers are prone to extended slumps, such as when Tim Wakefield was released from the Pirates in a mid-career slump during spring training, in 1995.[11] Another reason for the difficulty of the knuckleball is due to the network effect. Because there are so few knuckleball pitchers, the resources for learning and improving the knuckleball are few compared to more common pitches. Pitching coaches often struggle with knuckleball pitchers due to a lack of experience with the pitch. "I think the hardest thing for me is just the alone-ness that you feel sometimes because nobody else really does it," said Wakefield.[11]
Coaches have also been seen as a barrier to succeeding with the knuckleball. Jim Bouton said, "coaches don't respect it. You can pitch seven good innings with a knuckleball, and as soon as you walk a guy they go, 'See, there's that damn knuckleball.'" R.A. Dickey argues that, "for most managers, it takes a special manager to be able to really trust it -- the bad and the good of it". Coaches are quick to banish the pitch after one bad outing. This was common due to the amount of practice one must put into the pitch. And traditionally, if you look at Tim Wakefield, Joe and Phil Niekro, Tom Candiotti, Wilbur Wood, Hoyt Wilhelm and all the guys that threw it, through their success they had guys who really believed in what it could do long-term and committed to giving them the ball every fifth day to do it."[11]
In 1991, Hall of Fame catcher Rick Ferrell was quoted as saying, "I think the knuckleball is fading out." Ferrell knows knuckleballs; he had the task of being the Washington Senators' catcher in 1944 and '45, when the Senators had four knuckleball pitchers in their starting rotation. Furthermore, little things, like a dearth of knuckleball teachers and the dramatic increase in the running game (base stealing is often easier against knuckleball pitchers), may be contributing to its demise. Says Bob Humphrey, a former major-league knuckleball pitcher: "you just don't have time to mess with it." A fast-track scheme is developing, eliminating the knuckleballer pitcher's chief ally: time. Tom Candiotti said: "to get signed, you have to be impressive on the radar guns." The knuckleball takes time to master and is not an attractive pitch on the radar guns, both of which may be contributing to its demise.[13][14]
Perhaps as a result, knuckleball pitchers often view themselves as members of an exclusive club, with its own uniform number (49, first worn by Wilhelm) and leader (Phil Niekro, whom The New Yorker in 2004 called "the undisputed Grand Poobah" of the group after Wilhelm's death).[2] Because they cannot discuss pitching with non knuckleball-using teammates, they often share tips and insights even if on competing teams, and believe that they have a responsibility to help younger players develop the pitch.[15] When, in 2012, R. A. Dickey became the first Cy Young Award-winning knuckleball pitcher, he called the award "a victory for … the knuckleball fraternity", and of the dozens of phone calls he received after the announcement, Niekro's was the only one he answered.[16]
When originally developed, the knuckleball was used by a number of pitchers as simply one pitch in their repertoire, usually as part of changing speeds from their fastball. It is almost never used in a mixed repertoire today, however, and some believe that to throw the knuckleball effectively with some semblance of control over the pitch, one must throw it more or less exclusively.[17] At the same time, pitchers rarely focus on the knuckleball if they have reasonable skill with more standard pitches. Unlike conventional pitches, which perform fast results without much exertion, a knuckleball pitcher must train his body and muscle memory to be able to execute a 65 mph pitch with under one rotation.[18]

Use in pitching[edit]

The knuckleball does provide some advantages to its practitioners. It does not need to be thrown hard (in fact, throwing too hard may diminish its effectiveness), and is therefore less taxing on the arm. This means knuckleball pitchers can throw more innings than other pitchers, and, requiring less time to recover after pitching, can pitch more frequently. The lower physical strain also fosters longer careers. Some knuckleballers have continued to pitch professionally well into their forties; examples include Tim WakefieldHoyt WilhelmCharlie HoughTom Candiotti, and the Niekro brothers.[2] Pitchers like Bouton have found success as knuckleballers after their ability to throw hard declined.
Wilhelm, Phil Niekro, and Jesse Haines, three pitchers who primarily relied on the knuckleball, have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Additionally, Ted Lyons, another member of the Hall of Fame, relied heavily on the knuckleball after injuring his arm in 1931.[19] Niekro was given the nickname "Knucksie" during his career. Other prominent knuckleball pitchers have included Joe Niekro (Phil's brother), Charlie HoughDave JollyBen FlowersWilbur WoodBarney SchultzTom CandiottiBob Purkey,Steve SparksEddie RommelTim Wakefield, and Dickey. During the 1945 season, with talent depleted by call-ups to fight in World War II, the Washington Senators had a pitching rotation which included four knuckleball pitchers (Dutch LeonardJohnny NiggelingMickey "Itsy Bitsy" Haefner and Roger Wolff) who combined for 60 complete gamesand 60 wins, carrying the Senators to second place.
Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays[20] is one of only a few knuckleballers in the big leagues, joined by Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox. Dickey routinely throws an unusually fast knuckleball at 80 mph (130 km/h). Minor leaguers Charlie Zink of the Lancaster Barnstormers, Joseph Zeller of the Peoria Chiefs, and Charlie Haeger of the Albuquerque Isotopes also throw the knuckleball. Dickey himself has taken an active involvement in helping younger knuckleballers coming through, and in 2012 he started providing personal coaching lessons to 18-year-old knuckleball pitcher Stephen Orso.[21] [22] In November 2008, it was announced that 16-year-old knuckleballer Eri Yoshida was drafted as the first woman ever to play in Japanese professional baseball for the Kobe 9 Cruise of the Kansai Independent Baseball League. On March 2, 2010, she trained with Tim Wakefield at the Boston Red Sox minor-league training facility.[23] And on April 8, 2010, she signed with the Chico Outlaws, debuting on May 29, 2010.[24] Former Detroit Tigers reliever Eddie Bonine also throws a knuckleball, though he does so infrequently as compared to pitchers who use it as a primary pitch. Lance Niekro, son of Joe Niekro, attempted to convert from a position player to a knuckleball pitcher. He started the 2009 season with the Gulf Coast League Braves, but is currently retired and coaching college baseball at Florida Southern.


As with hitters, the unpredictable motion of the knuckleball makes it one of the most difficult pitches for catchers to handle, and they tend to be charged with a significantly higher number of passed balls. Former catcher Bob Uecker, who caught for Phil Niekro said, "The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and pick it up."[1]Bouton said, "Catchers hate it. Nobody likes to warm up with you." According to Adair, the 150 ms minimum human reaction time may be too slow to adjust to a knuckleball's changing direction.[2]
A team will sometimes employ a catcher solely for games started by a knuckleballer.[25] The "knuckleball catcher" is equipped with an oversized knuckleball catcher's mitt,[26]similar to a first baseman's gloveDoug Mirabelli, formerly of the Red Sox, used a softball catcher's mitt. The Boston Red Sox did this fairly systematically in their 2004 world championship season, with Mirabelli regularly catching in place of Jason Varitek when Tim Wakefield was pitching. This use of a "specialist" catcher continued into the 2008 season following the signing of Kevin Cash, and 2009 saw George Kottaras fulfill this role. On August 26, the first time Victor Martinez caught Wakefield, he used a first baseman's glove, instead of a regular catcher's mitt.[27] Teams often trade knuckleball pitchers and their catchers in the same transaction. For example, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas went with Dickey when the pitcher was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in late 2012, and the team later signed Henry Blanco, who also caught for Dickey.[25]
The record for passed balls in an inning was first set by Ray Katt of the New York Giants in 1954, catching Hoyt Wilhelm.[28] It was tied by Geno Petralli of the Texas Rangers in 1987 while trying to catch knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough, and tied again in 2013 when Ryan Lavarnway of the Boston Red Sox passed four balls in the first inning, catching knuckleballer Steven Wright in Wright's first major league start.[28] Varitek holds the postseason record with three passed balls in the 13th inning of Game 5 of the 2004 American League Championship Series while catching Wakefield.[29] In the 2013 season J.P. Arencibia (then catching for the Toronto Blue Jays) set a franchise record by allowing 4 passed balls in the season opening game (a 4-2 loss) while catching for knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Coincidentally, he never caught for Dickey again.