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Can you throw a knuckleball?

When gripping the knuckleball, pitchers grip the ball with their fingernails – not their knuckles. The exact origin of the knuckleball is unknown, but most baseball historians agree that pitcher Eddie Cicotte was the first pitcher to regularly use the knuckleball. While pitching for the Chicago White Sox, Cicotte earned the name “knuckles” because of the way he gripped his pitches with his knuckles. That’s why you need to focus on gripping the baseball with your fingertips instead of your knuckles — even though the pitch is called a knuckleball and not a fingertip ball.

Dig your four fingernails into the middle of the seams behind the horseshoe. Use enough pressure so that the ball is firmly grasped with injuring your fingertips. Dig your three fingernails into the middle of the seams behind the horseshoe. By learning the different knuckleball grips and practicing with the right drills, you can add this unique and effective pitch to your repertoire. R.A. Dickey transitioned to a knuckleball grip a few years into their MLB career.

If you’re using it as an occasional change-of-pace pitch, try to only use it once per inning or less. Stabilize the ball with your thumb and ring finger on opposite sides of the ball. Other great knucklers include Boston Red Sox Tim Wakefield, all pro passer amazon Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Steven Wright, Charlie Hough, Eddie Cicotte, Tom Candiotti, and Joe Niekro. Varitek holds the postseason record with three in Game 5 of the 2004 American League Championship Series while catching Wakefield.

Sometimes, a pitcher in minor league baseball will work on the knuckleball pitch to get into the majors, while some players will pick them up later in their careers. This shooting technique is frequently used by players for long-range shots and free kicks. A successful knuckleball shot will move, dip, or wobble in the air unpredictably, making it difficult for the goalkeeper to save. This technique has also been described as the “dry leaf” or “dead leaf” (“folha seca” in Portuguese), the “tomahawk”, or even “the accursed” (“maledetta” in Italian). A team will sometimes employ a catcher solely for games started by a knuckleballer. The “knuckleball catcher” is equipped with an oversized knuckleball catcher’s mitt, similar to a first baseman’s glove; Doug Mirabelli, formerly of the Red Sox, used a softball catcher’s mitt.

Since the pitch is slow and the strain on the arm is not bad, some pitchers have made a career out of the tricky throw. While the pitch has many advantages, there are also disadvantages of the pitch. The one current player throwing a knuckleball as their primary pitch in 2021 is Minor Leaguer, Steven Wright. Steven Writer is a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league roster. However, Danny Mendick of the Chicago White Sox, an infielder, did throw a few knucklers this year via their 1st career pitching appearance during a blowout game. The knuckleball has been a game-changer in all leagues – whether it’s major or minor league baseball.

To perfect your release, loosen your thumb from the grip and allow the ball to slip through your hands, propelling forward. No one knows how a knuckleball pitch will move once it is released. The pitcher will do their best to throw it at the strike zone, but with no spin on the ball, the ball’s path is affected by wind and gravity pushing it in any direction.

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