Ever wonder what it would be like to catch a knuckleball? Thanks to GoPro’s video you can experience the beauty and the dismays of catching R.A Dickey’s knuckleball. The camera is attached to J.P. Arencibia’s mask, giving the vantage point of the catcher each time the pitch crosses the plate. It features Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind and third baseman Brett Lawrie at the plate and shows just how disorientating Dickey’s pitches can be.
Lind is first to square off against the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. The mix between Dickey’s knuckleball and fastball has Lind’s timing off so badly, he loses his bat at around the 0:50 second mark. When Brett Lawrie follows and misses consecutive pitches, Arencibia laughs and proclaims, “… Man, he is nasty today!”
Nasty, however, is an understatement as the 38-year-old has become a master of the knuckleball due to the uniqueness of his pitch. Not only is Dickey one of the few pitchers who has ever been able to throw the knuckleball consistently for strikes, but his knuckleball is also thrown much faster than most, hitting, on average, 74 miles per hour while frequently hitting 80 miles per hour or higher.
What also makes his pitch effective is that not the batter, the catcher, or Dickey himself can predict which way the ball is going to move. This can not only be seen through the movement and trajectory of the ball as seen in the video, but also through the number of times Arencibia allows the ball to sail pass him.
When Lawrie stands back into the cage for a second time, he is able to make a few good cuts, but at many times would either be way behind or way ahead of the pitch. His bafflement at the plate enabled the young Canadian to respond to Arencibia’s proclamation of, “His [knuckleball] is really good today,” with the only accurate answer – “yeah, it is!”
After watching this video, it is evident that Blue Jays fans should be excited to have ace R.A. Dickey on their team. Not only because he is a great pitcher with a unique and exciting pitch, but because this way the Blue Jays never have to face him!