The Quest To Be An All-Star Continues

R.A.Dickey’s is likely to be the NL’s starting pitcher for the midsummer classic.

Amazing, phenomenal and inspirational are just three of the many words used to describe the journey of R.A. Dickey’s life. It’s amazing that he can pitch at the big league level after it was discovered early in his career that he was born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his right pitching elbow. This is something that should cause him great pain should he turn a door knob. Phenomenal best describes the season he’s having in Queens pitching for the Mets. Never has a knuckleball pitcher had this much single season success thus far and in the kind of fashion with witch he’s doing so. I’ll get into the statistics a little later. Most importantly Dickey’s life story has been nothing short of inspirational which he chronicled in his book Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball along with New York Daily News beat writer Wayne Coffey.

R.A. Dickey’s story is one that baseball fans, regardless of team affiliation, can root for. It’s a real feel good story. The kind that starts out murky, sees a bright light that gets dimmed by some dark clouds and is then blossoms in the bright sunshine for the whole world to see. Dickey’s tale involves the revelation of sexual abuse as a child that caused him to endure suicidal thoughts as an adult. This coupled with being the 18th overall draft pick in 1996 that had an $810,000 signing bonus reduced to $75,000 after his condition was discovered would cause some to plain give up. But to his credit and a testament to his faith he never did.

He would eventually reinvent himself and learn to master one of the most difficult and baffling pitches in the history of our nation’s great pastime. Knuckleball throwers are a small fraternity in baseball’s past and present. They do include some all-stars and hall of famers such has Hoyt Wilhelm and the Niekro brother’s. But none of them have experienced what some have been calling a magic carpet ride that is season R.A. Dickey is having. Nor have they compiled the stats he has to start a season. Thus, he has been making a strong case for him to be the starting pitcher for the National League at this year’s midsummer classic scheduled to play out in Kansas City, Missouri.

No one in their right mind can argue against this case. Dickey has so far gone 11-1, is second in the NL in ERA, broke Jerry Koosman’s club record for consecutive scoreless innings with 32.2 of his own and in his last five outings has struck out 50 batters while walking only three. He also managed to do something that hadn’t been done in twenty-four years when he threw two consecutive one-hitters the last being Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays to do so. Even more impressive is the fact that he became the first NL pitcher since Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves, sixty-eight years earlier, to accomplish the feat.

To say that R.A. has pitched lights out is an extreme understatement given the fact that he does not do it with an over powering fastball and devastating breaking pitch like Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone before him. But Dickey is a bit of a pitching anomaly in how he manages to control his knuckleball and changes the speed of it throughout the strike zone. And like those men before him he is now becoming a reason for fans to flock to Flushing.

Not bad for a man who told the press he’s not going to explain why things are falling into place and just “enjoy the ride” for the time being. Dickey is yet another good story in the world of sports and yes I like many who watch baseball on the world’s biggest stage could not be more thrilled that it is happening here. How can you not root for a guy who is persevering the way he is? How can one not root for a man who is not afraid to show his literary knowledge and geeky side by naming his bats Orcist and Hrunting? Even my high school English teacher Mr. Kenney would get a kick out of rooting for him.

But with all this written I pose one final question. Is there anyone out there who is bold enough to attempt to make a case against Robert Allen Dickey being the National League’s starting pitcher come this July?

I am patiently waiting for a logical response to this one.

If you have any questions, comments, or story suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on Twitter @DanielRivera24 and I will do the very same.

About Daniel Rivera
Daniel Rivera may very well be a credible and influential storyteller who excels in writing for film, television and online journalism. But what should also be known is that he is a tried and media geek. This is not only due to his all-out hustle in the media world as a jack of all trades but also because of his immeasurable knowledge of pop culture. This includes his awareness and understanding of current events that are local, national and overseas. Over the course of his career he has been able demonstrate familiarity with the information he comes across on an hourly basis and integrates it in his works – whether it be for an online periodical or as rich video content. It can also be seen in the preparation of questions and scripts for the content he produces. If you don’t believe this you can check not only check the content on his blog but also reference the online print articles he constructed while at Being Latino Online Magazine and On top of being a man’s man of today you can say he’s a geek’s geek too. He’s covered such venues as New York Comic Con, the Latin Alternative Music Conference and The New York Film Festival. He’s interviewed such hip hop luminaries as Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. In addition, he has had sit-down interviews with Orlando Jones, Tom Mison, Jordan Hembrough, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. Some may say his ability to get the job done with limited resources at the start of his career may have made him known as the MacGyver of the media world. Others might be quick to deem him the Latino answer to Chris Hardwick for his geeky nature. Most in the music world he’s covered have most certainly called him the Fred Rogers of his field due because of his appearance and fundamental knowledge of the this industry. When looking at the overall body of work all can say these are the many parts that sum up the man. Daniel has demonstrated a keen ability to secure and produce his own stories in addition to the ones assigned to him. He thrives in pressure situations, press conferences (large or small) and when it comes to providing a solid comfort level with interview subjects. His passion for various news formats plus arts and entertainment are evident in the material he has constructed because he dedicates his time to them equally. However, this may all may not prove to have been enough of a challenge for him. In the spirit of entrepreneurship Daniel founded his own full service media company in 2014. He established Blue Hope Media as a means to produce content clear across the board for print media, broadcast and the internet just to name a few sectors. This “blue chip” he created may just prove to be an entity that can truly break some barriers. Daniel’s specialties include: Interviewing and establishing firm relationships with PR departments at countless networks. . He is deeply infatuated with media related things such as film, music, geek culture and television.

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