The Dancing Pitch

RA DICKEY.jpgThe "Knuckleball" has been confusing hitters ever since it was created by Toad Ramsey who played for the Chicago White Sox in 1908. What makes this pitch so mysterious to hitters is that it is virtually spin-less and its movements are completely sporadic. Hitters have accepted the fact that it is extremely hard to hit, but why? The secret in the knuckleball lies in its grip. The most famous knuckleballer playing in the Major Leagues right now is R.A Dickey. He uses his finger nails to grip the ball and his pinky and pointer finger to stabilize the pitch as it leaves his hands. This gives the ball almost no full rotational spin when it is released. When throwing a knuckleball it is important not to overthrow it. Most pitchers are successful when they use all their energy and put it into their fastball, allowing it to be as fast as possible. When throwing knuckleball, it is all about body control. It is key not to overthrow the knuckleball or it could end up in the first row of stands. Dickey claims that if he is balanced and uses his proper throwing mechanics, the ball usually stays around the strike zone. So if anyone plans on taking up baseball, following a couple of these steps may allow you to become a knuckleballer. Feel free to look deeper into the science of the knuckleball by reading this article about pitcher R.A Dickey!


The science behind a knuckleball is pretty complex and it has been studied for years. Other pitches such as curve balls also have interesting properties cause them to break the way they do. Check out this explanation of a curveball. Physics behind Baseball

I agree Timothy. Some say that Sandy Koufax had the best curveball ever (I personally think that Nolan Ryan had the best one ever) and he used that to dominate baseball. It is interesting to see how pitchers arms can deteriorate over time after throwing junk balls. They usually start throwing it at such an early age. What are your thoughts about regulations for young pitchers throwing curveballs?

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