How to Pitch a Knuckleball Like a Mlb Pro

1 January 2017

How to pitch a knuckleball like a MLB pro Curveball, Splitter, Fastball, Sinker, Cutter, Slider, Change-Up and Knuckleball are all pitches that most batters will face in the game of baseball. However, the one pitch that most batters fear most is the dreaded knuckleball. If you truly study and practice this pitch any major league team would be knocking at your door. The three main things to remember with this pitch are grip on the ball, the delivery, and the origins. First off the knuckleball is a marvel of physics.

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The ball does not spin at all and the air pushes the ball around at its will. Or the ball may rotate only once or twice, letting the wind resistance push the ball in different directions each time it rotates. Pitchers’ knuckleball grips vary, but the general rule is that the index and middle finger are bent almost 90 degrees so that the fingertips dig into the ball while the knuckles never touch it. The thumb is laid against the ball much like with a fastball, and the three fingers provide most of the grip.

The ring and pinkie fingers more or less rest on the ball. A way to think this is turn the ball where the seams run the direction of your fingers and the horseshoes (the “U”) are close together in your palm. Next is the key to throwing the ball begins with speed and also requires a release that ensures little rotation of the ball. Because the ball is moving slowly generally 55 to 70 mph in the pros, air impacts its flight. The stitches on the ball interact with the air, and the ball hops and jerks erratically.

Normally, a late drop is the key to a good knuckleball. When it doesn’t dive, knuckleball pitchers generally have a tough time, which means they tend to give up lots of home runs. When the ball does its thing, though, it can be difficult to hit even while the batter has no problem with swing speed. Finally, the identity of the first pitcher to throw a knuckleball is uncertain, but it appears to have been developed in the early 20th century. Lew “Hicks” Moren of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1906 was credited as its inventor.

However, Eddie Cicotte apparently also came up with the pitch while at Indianapolis, and brought it to the modern major leagues two years later in 1908. Since Cicotte had a much more successful career and also gained later notoriety as one of the players implicated in the Black Sox scandal, his name is the one most often associated with the invention of the pitch today. However, one of the most credited pitchers in MLB history is retired Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox.

Tim has been one of the only full time pitchers to use the knuckleball as his primary pitch during his career. So now that you know a little more about this pitch try using next time around the diamond. Remember make sure you add a few other pitches in your rotation so that batters can’t read them. Practice your grip and delivery. Who knows you may just become the next big star in the majors. Work Cited McCuen-Metherell, Jo Ray and Anthony C Winkler. “Chapter 12: Process. ” From Idea to Essay: A Rhetoric, Reader, and Handbook. 13th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 292-332. Print.

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