Robert Allen Dickey (born October 29, 1974) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves.
After limited success in the majors as a conventional starting pitcher, Dickey learned to throw a knuckleball. In 2012, Dickey was selected to his first All-Star Game, won the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, and became the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award after posting a 20–6 record with a league-leading 230 strikeouts. From 2013 to 2017, Dickey and Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright were the only two active knuckleballers in the Majors.
Dickey with the Blue Jays in 2016
|Born: October 29, 1974|
|April 22, 2001, for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 26, 2017, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Earned run average||4.04|
|Career highlights and awards|
Dickey attended the University of Tennessee, where he played college baseball for the Tennessee Volunteers baseball team in the Southeastern Conference. He majored in English literature at Tennessee, where he had a 3.35 GPA and was named Academic All-American. He was also named Academic All-SEC.
Dickey was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round (18th overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft. After being drafted by the Rangers, Dickey was initially offered a signing bonus of $825,000, before a Rangers team physician saw Dickey's throwing (right) arm hanging oddly in a picture of him with other Team USA players in Baseball America. The Rangers subsequently did further evaluation of Dickey, leading to the discovery of a missing ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow joint, and reduced their offer to $75,000. Dickey has been quoted as saying, "Doctors look at me and say I shouldn't be able to turn a doorknob without feeling pain," making his ability to pitch somewhat remarkable.
Dickey debuted with the Rangers in 2001. "His stuff was dime-a-dozen, though: a high-80's fastball, an occasional fringy breaking ball, and a forkball he dubbed 'The Thing.'" The start of the 2004 season was thought to be a turning point in Dickey's career, as he managed to compile a 4–1 record through his first five starts. This hot streak was short-lived, however, and he ended up finishing the season a disappointing 6–7 with a 5.61 ERA.
Throughout his career, Dickey did not know that his "forkball" pitch was actually a hard knuckleball, but by 2005, Dickey had realized that the best way to extend his career was to perfect the pitch. At the beginning of the 2006 season, the Rangers gave Dickey a chance to try out his knuckleball at the major league level by naming him the 5th starter. However, after giving up 6 home runs in his first start on April 6, tying the modern era baseball record with another knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, he was demoted to the Rangers' Triple-A minor league affiliate, the Oklahoma RedHawks.
On January 13, 2007, he signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and spent the 2007 season with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. After finishing the season with a 12–6 record and a 3.80 ERA, Dickey was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year.
Dickey became a minor league free agent after the season. On November 28, 2007, he signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins that included an invitation to spring training, but was claimed in the Rule 5 draft by the Seattle Mariners on December 6, 2007.
On March 29, 2008, the Mariners traded minor league catcher Jair Fernandez to the Twins to retain the rights for Dickey and initially optioned him to Triple-A Tacoma, recalling him to the major league club on April 14.
On August 17, 2008, Dickey tied the record for most wild pitches in an inning, with four. This came against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning. He joins four others, including Hall of Famers Walter Johnson and Phil Niekro, who have accomplished this feat.
In 2008, he led the majors in games started with fewer than four days of rest, with six.
He became a free agent after the season after refusing a minor league assignment. On December 23, 2008, Dickey signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Minnesota Twins. He would go on to pitch in 35 games for the Twins in 2009.
On January 5, 2010, Dickey signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets, receiving an invitation to spring training. He was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons to begin the season. While playing for the Bisons, Dickey threw a one-hitter on April 29. He gave up a single to the first batter, and then retired the next twenty-seven in a row.
On May 19, 2010, the New York Mets purchased Dickey's contract from the Buffalo Bisons, and he made his first appearance as a Met against the Washington Nationals on the same day. In his debut for the Mets, Dickey pitched well, going six innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, and striking out two, but received a no-decision. His next start, May 25 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he went six innings again, giving up 9 hits, walking 3 and striking out 7 in an 8–0 shutout for his first victory as a Met. On August 13, 2010, Dickey threw a complete game one-hit shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies — the only hit being a single surrendered to Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Dickey finished the 2010 season with a very strong ERA of 2.84, which was 7th best in the National League and 10th in all of baseball, and served as a rare bright spot on an otherwise disappointing season for the Mets. In 2010, Dickey posted career highs in Games Started (26), wins (11), complete games (2), innings pitched (174.1), strikeouts (104), ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.19), and BAA (.252).
On January 29, 2011, Dickey agreed to a two-year contract with the Mets. Under the agreement, Dickey received a $1 million signing bonus, $2.25 million in 2011, and $4.25 million in 2012. In addition, the Mets had a $5 million option for 2013 with a $300,000 buyout. During the 2011 season, Dickey posted career bests in game starts (32), innings pitched (208 2⁄3) and strikeouts (134). He finished the year with a record of only 8–13, despite a 3.28 ERA that was 12th best in the National League.
Dickey's performance in the first half of 2012 drew comparisons to some of the most dominant pitching streaks of the last 50 years. Mets Manager Terry Collins remarked, "I've never seen anything like this. Never. I've seen some dominant pitching, but nothing like what he's going through right now." Hall of Fame Pitcher and fellow knuckleballer Phil Niekro commented on Dickey, "I had a few streaks, but nothing like he's going through. I don't know if any other knuckleballer has ever been on a hot streak like he has been. He is just dynamite right now."
Dickey recorded double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back games in May, becoming the first Mets pitcher to do so since Pedro Martínez in 2006. Over the two games, Dickey allowed one run in 14 1⁄3 innings for an ERA of 0.63, and he was named National League Player of the Week for the week ending May 27, 2012.
In Dickey's next two starts, he pitched 16 1⁄3 innings, allowing no runs. During his next outing on June 13, Dickey allowed only one hit, struck out a career-high 12 batters, and walked none, facing only 29 total batters to lead the Mets to a 9–1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The only hit was an infield single by B.J. Upton on a play where third baseman David Wright tried to barehand the ball but failed to field it cleanly. The Mets formally appealed the official scorekeeping of the only hit allowed to be changed to an error on Wright, but MLB denied the appeal. Dickey was the first pitcher in the major leagues to reach 10 wins in 2012.
In his next start, Dickey pitched a complete game one-hit shutout against the Orioles, becoming the first pitcher since Dave Stieb in 1988 to throw two consecutive one-hitters. He also became only the third pitcher, after Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan, to have two complete game one-hitters with 12 or more strikeouts in one season, and the only pitcher to do it in back-to-back starts.
During this streak, Dickey set a new Mets franchise record of 32 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings, besting Jerry Koosman's 31 2⁄3 in 1973. On July 1, 2012, Dickey was named to the National League All-Star team. He was also honored with being the National League Pitcher of the Month after going 5–0 with a 0.93 ERA for the month of June. On August 31, Dickey pitched his third complete game shutout of the year. The win marked the first time a Met pitcher had reached 17 wins since Al Leiter in 1998. Dickey won his 20th game of the season on September 27, 2012, tying his career high with 13 strikeouts. For the 2012 season, Dickey set new career bests in games started (33), wins (20), complete games (5), shutouts (3), innings pitched (233 2⁄3), strikeouts (230), ERA (2.73), WHIP (1.05), and BAA (.226).
Dickey won the NL Cy Young Award, beating out Gio González of the Nationals and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. He became the first knuckleballer in MLB history to win the award. He also became the third Met pitcher to win the award, joining Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, and 1975) and Dwight Gooden (1985).
On December 16, 2012, the Mets agreed to trade Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays (along with Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas) in exchange for Travis d'Arnaud, John Buck, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra, contingent upon his agreeing to a contract extension with the Blue Jays. The two sides agreed on December 17 to a two-year, $25-million extension with a club option for a third year in 2016 at $12 million; the deal became official once he passed his physical. On February 5, 2013, manager John Gibbons said Dickey would be the opening day starter for the Blue Jays. Dickey lost his first start for his new team, giving up four runs and five hits in six innings in a loss to the Cleveland Indians. Dickey pitched his first complete game and shutout as a Blue Jay in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 26. Dickey would finish his first season as a Blue Jay with a record of 14–13, an ERA of 4.21, and 177 strikeouts over 2242⁄3 innings pitched.
On October 25, Dickey was announced as a finalist for the AL Pitcher's Gold Glove, along with teammate Mark Buehrle and Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister. He was awarded the 2013 Pitcher's Fielding Bible on October 28, 2013, and was announced as the AL Pitcher's Gold Glove Award winner on October 29. Dickey led all American League pitchers with 40 assists and 7 defensive runs saved, and yielded only 8 stolen bases.
Dickey began the 2014 season with a 4–4 record and a 4.20 ERA through his first 10 starts. On May 24, he won his fifth game of the season, 5–2 over the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics. In doing so, he lowered his ERA to 3.95, the first time in his tenure as a Blue Jay in which his ERA has been below 4. On June 27, Dickey recorded his 1,000th career strikeout, coming against Tyler Flowers of the Chicago White Sox. He would start the final game of the Blue Jays season on September 28, against the Baltimore Orioles, and would pitch 6 innings and yield only 1 run, but Toronto would lose 1–0. Dickey finished the season with a 14–13 record, 3.71 ERA, 173 strikeouts, and a 1.23 WHIP in 34 starts totaling 2152⁄3 innings.
Dickey opened the 2015 season as the number two starter in the Jays rotation. On June 18, he made his first start against the Mets since being traded in 2012, and pitched 71⁄3 innings in a 7–1 win. Dickey was placed on the bereavement list the following day after it was revealed that his father, Harry Lee Dickey, had died on June 16. At the All-Star break, Dickey had a 3–10 record and a 4.87 ERA. He would turn his season around after the break, and earned his 100th career win on September 25. Dickey pitched a little over ninety-nine innings after the All-Star break, fourth most in the American League, resulting in eight wins with only one loss, 6th best in the AL. His ERA was a meagre 2.80 over that period, which would have tied him for the best in the American League with Justin Verlander (50 inning minimum), had it not been for two other Jays starters, Marco Estrada, with a 2.78 ERA, and David Price, at 2.55. Overall Dickey finished the season with an 11–11 record, 3.91 ERA, and 126 strikeouts in 2141⁄3 innings pitched. He made his postseason debut on October 12, starting game 4 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers. At 40 years of age, Dickey became the oldest player in MLB history to make his postseason debut, pitching 42⁄3 innings before he was relieved by David Price, who would go on to earn the win. On November 3, Dickey's $12 million option for 2016 was exercised by the Blue Jays. During the offseason, he underwent surgery to repair a tear in his right meniscus.
Dickey had an up-and-down 2016 campaign, closing the regular season with a 10–15 record, 4.46 ERA, and 126 strikeouts over 1692⁄3 innings. Due to the acquisition of Francisco Liriano at the trade deadline, Dickey made only three pitching appearances in September. With the Blue Jays only needing four starters for the playoffs, Dickey was left off of the postseason roster in favor of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, and J. A. Happ. Dickey became a free agent at the conclusion of the 2016 season. On October 27, Dickey was named a finalist for the pitchers Gold Glove Award, along with Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.
In 31 starts for the Atlanta Braves in the 2017 season, Dickey had a 10–10 record with an ERA of 4.26. The Braves declined the 2018 option on Dickey, leaving him a free agent. He retired in 2018 after not being signed in free agency.
Dickey relied primarily on the knuckleball, using the pitch around 80% of the time. His repertoire was rounded out by two-seam and four-seam fastballs (82–85 mph) and a rare changeup (76–78 mph). Dickey's knuckleball came in two forms — a "slow" knuckler in the low-to-mid 70s that has been clocked as low as 54 mph, and a "fast" one in the upper 70s, sometimes reaching as fast as 83 mph. Dickey tended to use the slow knuckleball when he was behind in the count, and used the fast one when he was ahead. However, he resorted to a fastball in most 3–0 and 3–1 counts.
Dickey was a member of the 1996 US Olympic Baseball team that won a bronze medal in Atlanta. Dickey started two games, recording wins in both. 17 years later, Dickey once again pitched for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He started two games, going 0–1 with a 5.00 ERA.
Dickey is married and has two daughters and two sons. A born-again Christian, he helps operate the Ocala, Florida-based Honoring the Father Ministries which provides medical supplies, powdered milk, and baseball equipment to the impoverished in Latin America.
A 2010 New York Times article reported that Dickey is an avid reader and that at the time, the stack of books in his locker included Life of Pi by Yann Martel and a collection of works by C. S. Lewis. Dickey has said that if he had not become a professional athlete, he would have become an English professor. Dickey named his bats for literary swords--Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver (from The Hobbit) and Hrunting (from Beowulf). Dickey mixed up Orcrist and Sting when explaining the origin of the name. Dickey's at-bat introduction song is the theme from Game of Thrones.
In November 2011, Dickey announced that he would risk his 2012 season salary ($4,250,000) to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; he credits this aspiration to his boyhood reading of Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro. While climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, he set out to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking in India. His climb was in support of an organization called "Bombay Teen Challenge" that ministers to victims of human trafficking and their children in the heart of the red-light districts. Dickey returned from this trip in January 2012 with Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello and the Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Kevin Slowey, and together raised over $100,000.
His autobiography, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, written along with New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey, was released in 2012. In the book, Dickey reports suffering sexual abuse as an 8-year-old child by a 13-year-old female babysitter, and later by a teenage male, and discusses his struggles with suicidal thoughts as an adult. In September 2012, Dial Press announced a deal with Dickey to publish three books, including a children's version of his memoir.
On June 20, 2012, it was reported that Dickey was helping coach an 18-year-old knuckleball pitcher from Long Island, helping him become a walk-on pitcher for the University of Maryland Terrapins.
| Opening Day starting pitcher
for the Toronto Blue Jays
| National League Cy Young Award
The 1993 Major League Baseball draft began with first round selections on June 3, 1993. Alex Rodriguez was selected first overall by the Seattle Mariners. Other notable draftees included Chris Carpenter, Torii Hunter, Jason Varitek, Scott Rolen, future NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, and Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.1994 College Baseball All-America Team
An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889. In 1950, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) selected its first All-American baseball team. It has since chosen All-American teams and a player of the year for each division (National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, Division II, Division III, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, junior college, and high school). Collegiate Baseball selects All-American, Freshman All-American, and High School All-American teams. Baseball America magazine selects pre-season and post-season All-American teams and College Player of the Year honorees.Various organizations selected All-American lists of the best players for the 1994 NCAA Division I college baseball season. The ABCA, the magazine Baseball America, and Collegiate Baseball were the NCAA-sanctioned selectors. This list only includes players selected to the post-season All-American first team for each selector. However, many All-American selections choose second, third, etc. teams from the remaining eligible candidates.2008 Seattle Mariners season
The 2008 Seattle Mariners season was the 32nd Major League Baseball season in the team's history. Coming off the heels of the previous 2007 season, in which the M's finished with their first winning record since 2003, the team was widely expected to once again compete for the American League West division championship. The team was bolstered by some major roster additions during the previous offseason, most notably starting pitchers Érik Bédard and Carlos Silva. However, by the end of May, it became apparent that the team had gone back to its losing ways of the 2004–06 seasons. Despite their losing ways, they won their first and last game of the season. Their longest winning-streak of the season is 4 games after a Cleveland sweep at the end of August and a 12-6 win against the Texas Rangers on the first day of September. However, standing at 57-87, their longest losing-streak of the season is 12 games, 11 on the road, 1 at home, after being swept by the L.A. Angels, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, and suffering a loss at the last homestand opener against the L.A. Angels. On September 23, the Mariners became the first club to spend $100 million in payroll and lose 100 games. The team finished the season with a 61–101 (.377) record, last in the West for the 4th time in 5 years, and second worst in the majors.
With the team underperforming and underachieving, a number of people who had become scapegoats for the team's underperformance were dismissed during the season, most notably general manager Bill Bavasi, field manager John McLaren, first baseman Richie Sexson, and designated hitter José Vidro.2010 New York Mets season
The New York Mets' 2010 season was the franchise's 49th season and their second at Citi Field. The team was attempting to rebound from the injury plagued 2009 season as they sought their first postseason appearance since 2006. However, they failed in their goal, earning a 79-83 record and second consecutive fourth-place finish in the NL East, leading to the firing of manager Jerry Manuel and the dismissal of general manager Omar Minaya at the conclusion of the season.2012 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 2012 throughout the world.2015 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 2015 Toronto Blue Jays season was the 39th season for the franchise, and the 26th full season of play (27th overall) at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays clinched a playoff berth on September 25, their first since 1993, ending what was the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports at the time. On September 30, the team clinched the American League East Division and opened the playoffs by defeating the Texas Rangers in five games, in the American League Division Series. The Blue Jays were eliminated in a playoff series for the first time since 1991, losing to the Kansas City Royals in six games, in the American League Championship Series.2016 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 2016 Toronto Blue Jays season was the 40th season of the franchise in the American League East division of Major League Baseball, and the 27th full season of play (28th overall) at Rogers Centre. They advanced to the playoffs where they defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card Game and the Texas Rangers in the Division Series, before losing to the Cleveland Indians in five games in the American League Championship Series.Bo McKinnis
Bo McKinnis is a Major League Baseball sports agent. He was a student manager of the baseball team at Mississippi State University. While attending graduate business school at Vanderbilt University, he was asked by a Mississippi State teammate, Pete Young (who pitched in the Major Leagues with the Montreal Expos), to serve as his sports agent. He has gone on to represent over 100 Major League players, including Paul Byrd, R.A. Dickey, Sonny Gray, and Rusty Greer. He has represented over 20 first round draft picks, including Dewon Brazelton (third overall in 2001) and David Price (first overall in 2007).Branch Rickey Award
The Branch Rickey Award was given annually to an individual in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recognition of his exceptional community service from 1992 to 2014. The award was named in honor of former player and executive Branch Rickey, who broke the major league color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, while president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey also created the Knothole Gang, a charity that allowed children to attend MLB games.The award, created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, was first awarded to Dave Winfield in 1992 at their annual banquet. Each MLB team nominates one individual who best exemplifies the Rotary Club motto: "Service Above Self". A vote is then conducted by the national selection committee, which consists of members of the sports media, previous winners of the award, and Rotary district governors in major league cities. Proceeds of the banquet benefit Denver Kids, Inc., a charity for at-risk students who attend Denver Public Schools. Each winner receives a bronze sculpture of a baseball player measuring 24 inches (610 mm), named "The Player", designed by sculptor George Lundeen. A larger version of "The Player", standing 13 feet (4.0 m) tall, was erected at Coors Field in Denver.Winners of the Branch Rickey Award have undertaken different causes. Many winners, including Todd Stottlemyre, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, and Shane Victorino, worked with children in need. Stottlemyre visited and raised money for a nine-year-old girl who suffered from aplastic anemia and required a bone marrow transplant, while Moyer's foundation raised US$6 million to support underprivileged children. Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Curt Schilling, who raised money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Trevor Hoffman, who lost a kidney as an infant and devoted himself to working with individuals with nephropathy. Also, some winners devoted themselves to work with major disasters and tragedies. Bobby Valentine donated money to charities benefiting victims of the September 11 attacks, while Luis Gonzalez worked with survivors of Hurricane Katrina.Cy Young Award
The Cy Young Award is given annually to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB), one each for the American League (AL) and National League (NL). The award was first introduced in 1956 by Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who died in 1955. The award was originally given to the single best pitcher in the major leagues, but in 1967, after the retirement of Frick, the award was given to one pitcher in each league.Each league's award is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with one representative from each team. As of the 2010 season, each voter places a vote for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place among the pitchers of each league. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes. The pitcher with the highest score in each league wins the award. If two pitchers receive the same number of votes, the award is shared. The current formula started in the 2010 season. Before that, dating back to 1970, writers voted for three pitchers, with the formula of 5 points for a first place vote, 3 for a second place vote and 1 for a third place vote. Prior to 1970, writers only voted for the best pitcher and used a formula of one point per vote.Hilo Stars
The Hilo Stars were a minor league baseball team in the Hawaii Winter Baseball league. They were based in Hilo, Hawaii. They played their home games at Vulcan Field and Wong Stadium. Former players include Ichiro Suzuki, Bill Mueller, Adam Kenedy, Shane Spencer, Preston Wilson, R.A. Dickey, Tsuyoshi ShinjoKnuckleball
A knuckleball or knuckler is a baseball pitch thrown to minimize the spin of the ball in flight, causing an erratic, unpredictable motion. The air flow over a seam of the ball causes the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent flow. This transition adds a deflecting force on the side of the baseball. This makes the pitch difficult for batters to hit, but also difficult for pitchers to control and catchers to catch; umpires are challenged as well, as the ball's irregular motion through the air makes it harder to call balls and strikes. A pitcher who throws knuckleballs is known as a knuckleballer.Knuckleball!
Knuckleball! is a 2012 documentary film that follows the 2011 seasons of Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, Major League Baseball's only knuckleball pitchers that year. It was released in theaters on September 20, 2012 and on DVD on April 2, 2013. Wakefield won his 200th game in 2011 and Dickey won the 2012 Cy Young Award.List of Nashville Sounds awards, All-Stars, and league leaders
The Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball team has played in Nashville, Tennessee, since its inaugural 1978 season. It was created as an expansion team of the Double-A Southern League (SL), in which it competed through 1984. The franchise moved to the Triple-A American Association (AA) in 1985 and then to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 1998. This list documents players and personnel who have won league awards, were selected for midseason or postseason All-Star teams, or led the league in various statistical areas in a single season.
Three Sounds have won league Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards (Steve Balboni, Brian Dayett, and Magglio Ordóñez), and ten have won Pitcher of the Year awards (Bruce Berenyi, Geoff Combe, Andy McGaffigan, Jamie Werly, Stefan Wever, Chris Hammond, Scott Ruffcorn, R.A. Dickey, Johnny Hellweg, and Jimmy Nelson). Four team managers have won Manager of the Year honors: Stump Merrill, Rick Renick, Frank Kremblas, and Steve Scarsone. Manager Mike Guerrero was the recipient of Minor League Baseball's Mike Coolbaugh Award in 2013. Ordóñez won the 1997 American Association Most Valuable Player Award as well as the Rookie of the Year Award, making him the only Nashville player to win two year-end awards for the same season. The only other team personnel to win multiple awards, though in separate seasons, are Renick, who won the American Association Manager of the Year Award in 1993 and 1996, President Larry Schmittou, who won the Southern League Executive of the Year Award in 1978 and the American Association Executive of the Year Award in 1987 and 1989, and radio broadcaster Bob Jamison, who was named Southern League Broadcaster of the Year in 1980 and 1982. The franchise won the Larry MacPhail Award for Outstanding Minor League Promotions in 1978, 1980, and 1981.
Three Sounds have been selected to participate in the All-Star Futures Game. Seventy-six players and seven managers and coaches have been selected for midseason All-Star teams. Of those players, Drew Denson, Vinny Rottino, Scott Ruffcorn, Joey Vierra, and Jamie Werly are the only players to have been selected twice while playing for Nashville. Four players have been chosen as the MVP for their contributions in All-Star games: Duane Walker, Ray Durham, Magglio Ordóñez, and Renato Núñez. Of the 50 players who have been named to postseason All-Star teams, only Duane Walker and Jeff Abbott have been selected twice.
A number of players have led their league in multiple statistical categories during a single season. Steve Balboni led the 1980 Southern League season in five categories: runs (101), runs batted in (122), total bases (288), home runs (30), and fielding percentage among first basemen (.990). Chris Hammond also led the American Association in five areas in 1990: wins (15), winning percentage (.938 (15–1)), earned run average (2.17), strikeouts (149), and shutouts (3). Skeeter Barnes (1990), Norberto Martin (1993), Drew Denson (1994), Magglio Ordóñez (1997), and Joey Wendle (2015) have led single seasons in four areas each. The 1980 Sounds led the Southern League in 22 categories, the most among all other Sounds teams.List of knuckleball pitchers
Knuckleball pitchers are baseball players who rely on the knuckleball as their primary pitch, or pitch primarily based on their ability to throw a knuckleball. The inventor of the knuckleball has never been established, although several pitchers from the early 20th century have been credited. Baseball statistician and historian Rob Neyer named four individuals in an article he wrote in the 2004 book The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers as potentially deserving credit, any of whom may have originated the pitch in either the 1907 or 1908 seasons. Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn Dodgers came up to the majors in 1907, initially throwing hard stuff but later switching to the knuckleball. A 1908 article credited Lew Moren as the inventor of the pitch. Ed Cicotte earned a full-time spot with the Detroit Tigers in 1908, earning the nickname "Knuckles" for his signature pitch. A picture of Ed Summers showed him gripping what he called a "dry spitter" using a variation of the knuckleball grip using the knuckles of his index and middle fingers.Unlike almost every other pitch in baseball, the knuckleball's erratic trajectory has often required teams to use dedicated catchers, often using specialized mitts, to field the deliveries. Clint Courtney used a specially constructed catcher's mitt, about 50% larger than the conventional mitts used at the time, to catch knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm during a game in May 1960. Umpire Al Smith credited the use of the glove with preventing three or four passed balls in that one game. The lower velocity of the knuckleball is credited with giving some who use it the ability to pitch more often and to sustain pitching careers far longer than those who rely on their fastball to get outs. Tim Wakefield pitched on consecutive days, when most starting pitchers in the 21st century throw after four days of rest. Hoyt Wilhelm pitched until he was almost 50 and Phil Niekro used the pitch until he was 48. Wakefield retired at 45.
The prevalence of the knuckleballer has varied over time. The 1945 Washington Senators finished 1½ games out of first place with a starting pitching staff that almost exclusively used the pitch, with four knuckleballers in the rotation. That season, the team's three catchers — regular catcher Rick Ferrell and backups Al Evans and Mike Guerra — combined for 40 passed balls, more than double that of any other team in the league.Baseball funnyman Bob Uecker, who was Phil Niekro's personal catcher with the Braves in 1967, has been quoted as saying "The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling, then go pick it up."Wilbur Wood, Joe Niekro, and R.A. Dickey have won The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. In 2012, Dickey became the only knuckleballer to have won the Cy Young Award. Phil Niekro is the only knuckleball pitcher to win 300 games.Shagging (baseball)
In baseball, shagging is the act of catching fly balls in the outfield outside the context of an actual baseball game. This is most commonly done by pitchers during batting practice before a game, where they assist their hitting teammates by catching or picking up their batted baseballs and throwing them back to the pitching area in the infield. Batboys also help shagging, and it is reportedly considered a great honor among batboys to be asked to do this. This pre-game activity is widely disliked by pitchers, who argue that it does not benefit them at all, since it drains their energy and actually increases the risk of stiffness in the lower back and leg as a result of prolonged standing. In response to these claims, several teams have exempted pitchers from having to shag. In the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, teams pay groups specifically assembled to shag fly balls in place of pitchers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recruit local firefighters in Arizona to do the job when the team plays in the Cactus League during spring training.Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
Sporting News established the Pitcher of the Year Award in 1944. Until the award was replaced by two separate awards in 2013, it was given annually to the pitcher in each league having the most outstanding season. No awards were given in 1946 or 1947. This award was established before there was a Cy Young Award. The Cy Young Award is voted by baseball writers from each city, and critics claim the writers who follow a particular team or player throughout a season are naturally disposed to vote for him. Starting in 2013, the Starting Pitcher of the Year Award and Relief Pitcher of the Year Award are given annually to the starting and relief pitchers in each league judged by Sporting News baseball experts as having had the most outstanding season, and is one of the oldest and most prestigious pitching awards in Major League Baseball.Tennessee Volunteers baseball
The Tennessee Volunteers baseball team represents the University of Tennessee in NCAA Division I college baseball. Along with most other Tennessee athletic teams, the baseball team participates in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. The Volunteers play all on-campus home games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.Tony Conigliaro Award
The Tony Conigliaro Award is a national recognition instituted in 1990 by the Boston Red Sox to honor the memory of Tony Conigliaro. It is given annually to a Major League Baseball (MLB) player who best "overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Conigliaro."
Conigliaro debuted with the Red Sox in 1964, and was selected to the MLB All-Star Game in the 1967 season. Subsequently, he was hit in the face by a pitch at Fenway Park on August 18, 1967. After missing the rest of the year and all of 1968, he made a comeback in 1969, homering on opening day. He then hit 20 home runs in that season, winning The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award. In 1970, he posted career highs in home runs with 36 and RBIs with 116, but vision problems continued to persist; his performance fell off, and he was never the same player. After a final comeback attempt in 1975, Conigliaro retired at age 30.Conigliaro died in 1990, and the Red Sox instituted the award in his honor. A panel is composed of the media, representatives of the commissioner, and the two leagues' offices. The selection is made by a panel of voters and the award is presented at the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, held in January, by members of the Conigliaro family.
1994 College Baseball All-America Team consensus selections