Thursday, June 21, 2012

R.A. Dickey, The Heart Of A Winner.

R.A. Dickey, The Heart Of A Winner.

R.A. Dickey is a winner, and when I say this it has nothing to do with the spectacular season the man is having with the New York Mets. You see, inside the mind of R.A. Dickey, there is a winning attitude, a perseverance, and a determination that prevents R.A. Dickey from being anything BUT a winner. The man is just a winner.
No, the career of R.A. Dickey hasn't been filled with accolades associated with stellar performance between the lines of a Major League Baseball diamond, but R.A. Dickey was always a winner because the fundamental part of his mind said that he was, demanded that he be a winner, and now he is one. R.A. Dickey wouldn't and won't take "no," for an answer, therefore R.A. Dickey is forever a winner.

R.A. Dickey And The Knuckleball Grip.

R.A. Dickey, currently the only man in the major leagues throwing the tenacious knuckleball.
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R.A. Dickey, currently the only man in the major leagues throwing the tenacious knuckleball.

The Unlikely Career Of R.A. Dickey.

Now it might seem insignificant to the average New Yorker, but I feel as though I know R.A. Dickey a bit better than most, you see, I was here in Texas as an adoring Texas Rangers fan when R.A. was drafted, and I well recall how he was drafted high, and offered a large signing bonus of nearly one million dollars, only to see it vanish away upon closer examination by a physician of his right arm, the arm the bonus was based upon. If you don't know, then this is the article for you, but R.A. Dickey is the most unlikely of Major League pitchers, he was born without an ulnar collateral ligament of elbow joint, and according to doctors, he shouldn't even be able to turn a doorknob with his right hand without feeling quite a lot of pain.
Upon the discovery of the abnormality in his right arm, the signing bonus contract for R.A. Dickey was reduced from $810,000. cash, all the way down to $75,000. dollars. Did R.A. Dickey quite in depression? NO, R.A. Dickey is a winner.
R.A. played with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2004, he had mediocre stuff for the Major Leagues, an average at best fastball, and a nice hard forkball like Roger Clemens had, but everyone liked R.A. Dickey here, and it's tough to dislike a man with the mind of a winner, despite his lack of performance. The Rangers had even brought in Charlie Hough, the former Texas knuckleball legend to mentor Dickey as he developed his new pitch and pitching style.
Pitching in Major League Baseball is something that generally only happens for persons with the peculiar physical talent to throw a baseball at a very high rate of speed, the knuckleball, friends, is nothing but the polar opposite of this, it is a pitch that is successful only under the most extreme circumstances, it is not a pitch that requires the rocked arm of a Nolan Ryan, and it isn't a pitch that requires the pure physical talents of such an odd physical specimen.
The facts of the whole matter are rather simple: There is nothing more odd or peculiar or anathema to a Major League Baseball scout than a knuckleball pitcher, in fact, there is exactly ONE knuckleball pitcher working in the Major Leagues today, and that man, is the winner known as R.A. Dickey.
The transition from pitcher with a plain Jane assortment of passable MLB pitches to full time knuckleball king wasn't easy, but R.A. Dickey was once and forever a winner. He failed in Texas, moved on to Milwaukee, and in 2007 that is where he played, in the Brewer's minor league system, and he only posted a twelve win and six loss record there, winning Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year, and with a stellar 3.80 earned run average, on top of the twice over winning percentage.
The knuckleball is inherently a beast, and only the heart of a winner like R.A. Dickey can tame it, On August 17, 2008, Dickey tied the record for most wild pitches in an inning, with 4. This came against the Minnesota Twins in the 5th inning. He joins four others including Hall of Famers Walter Johnson and Phil Niekro, another career knuckleballer, among others who have accomplished this dubious feat. He became a free agent after the season after refusing a minor league assignment Despite any negativity in the feats, R.A. Dickey finished the 2008 season as the man the led all major league pitchers in starts made on fewer than five days of rest, with six.
In 2009 R.A. Dickey would appear in 35 games for the Minnesota Twins, but he'd be a relief pitcher, and though there is certainly no shame in that, the heart of the winner known as R.A. Dickey was intent on being a prime time starting pitcher, and soon he would be.

R.A. Dickey With The New York Mets - The Winner.

An Interview With R.A. Dickey, Modern Master Of The Knuckleball.

R.A. Dickey, The Winner.

On January 5, 2010, Dickey signed with the New York Mets to a minor league contract with an invitation tospring training. He was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons to begin the season. While playing for the Bisons, Dickey threw a one-hitter on April 29. He gave up a single to the first batter, and then retired the next twenty-seven in a row, so far as one is able to master a pitch so capricious as a knuckleball, R.A. Dickey seemed well on his way towards doing it.
On May 19, 2010, the New York Metspurchased Dickey's contract from the Buffalo Bisons, and made his first appearance as a Met against the Washington Nationals on the same day. In his debut for the Mets, Dickey pitched well, going a full 6 innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, and striking out two, but received a no-decision. His next start, May 25 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he went 6 innings again, giving up 9 hits, walking 3 and striking out 7 in an 8-0 shutout for his first victory as a Met. On August 13, 2010, Dickey threw a complete game one-hit shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies — the only hit being a single surrendered to Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. On September 8, 2010, Dickey recorded his tenth win, marking the first time that he has reached double digit wins in his major league career. He finished the 2010 season with a very strong ERA of 2.84, which was 7th best in the National League and 10th in all of baseball, and served as a rare bright spot on an otherwise disappointing season
. In 2010, Dickey had a career year and recorded career highs in Games Started (26), Wins (11), Complete Games (2), Innings Pitched (174.1), Strikeouts (104), ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.19), and BAA (.252)- altogether a good season for a man who medical doctors had thought shouldn't be able to turn a doorknob without being in great pain. R.A. Dickey, with the heart of a winner, was determined to show us all how perseverance and dedication are able to overcome physical abnormalities.
The 2011 season was a success for R.A. Dickey despite the man's loosing record as a pitcher, a winner counts his success from the inside, and during the 2011 season Dickey saw himself cemented as a solid front line starter on a major marked MLB team.
So far in the 2012 season R.A. Dickey has thrown a one hit game that should have been ruled a no hitter, and still might be ruled so, depending on deliberations by MLB official scorers. R.A. Dickey has also broke the Mets single season record for consecutive scoreless innings, with a streak of thirty two and two thirds consecutive innings without giving up an opponent's run. R.A. is throwing mostly knuckleballs, and is proving again and again how effective the pitch can be, and because he was a conventional fastball/breaking ball pitcher in the not too distant past, he throws his knuckleballs at a greater velocity than perhaps they've ever been thrown before, the effects are proving to be devastating most often to most MLB hitters.
At thirty seven years old, R.A. Dickey could legitimately just now be entering the prime of his Major League Baseball career, and should his already miraculous right arm remain healthy, a potentially long career is still ahead of him, a career that seemed unlikely from the start, but R.A. Dickey is a winner from the inside out, and he's steadily demonstrating how perseverance and the refusal to take "no" for an answer pays off. Truly, he is an inspiration.
Currently, R.A. Dickey holds a record of ten wins and one loss, and is on a pace to finish with the outstanding record of twenty six wins and three losses. R.A. Dickey, with the heart of a winner, sees no such limitations.

R.A. Dickey, The Knuckleballer, The Winner.

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