Road to the Knuckleball


Looking for a grip on the knuckleball right now. Still working out on how I should throw this thing. Threw fifteen knuckleballs today. The knuckleball is rotating more than it should as of right now. Researching the knuckleball as much as I can.


My specialty. Let me know if you want some help.


I throw my knuckleball without keeping my wrist stiff. Instead, I push my fingers off as hard as I can. Is this okay?


Later tonight I’ll get back on and explain why you may not want to do that.

But the short answer is, keep your wrist stiff.


Found a grip that I am comfortable with. @Pustulio I stiffened my wrist when I threw it this evening. The results were better than before.


What grip are you using? If you don’t mind my asking.

I’m glad you found more success with a stiff wrist, it’s important to keep it that way so that only your fingertips are following the ball out of your hand.

Is there anything else that you need help with?


@Pustulio I have a three-fingered grip on the knuckleball (no seams). Any videos or players to watch?


The three finger isn’t as popular nowadays, most people go two finger.

See if there’s any old Early Wynn videos, and I think Jim Bouton may have used a three finger.


Not really finding any videos on these two. Do you by any chance have a YouTube channel?


Another thing about my knuckleball is that I don’t let go with my thumb first, then extend my fingers. Is it crucial to let go with the thumb?


I don’t have my old youtube with knuckleball stuff anymore, I deleted a lot of it.

It’s fine that you throw it that way, if anything it should be simultaneous, try to guide it out with your fingertips more than anything.

If you want to chat knuckleball, feel free to send me a PM and I’ll let you add me on facebook.


Knuckleball has improved. No rotation on the ball, and more movement. Power behind the pitch has improved as well. So happy I could have success at an early stage! I know I still have to work on it though in terms of movement and other things.


Do you recommend using a nail file to help throwing the knuckleball?


Are you asking about a nail file for your nails or for the ball? Lol

Yes, absolutely use on on your nails, as for the ball, just don’t get caught lol. Look up Joe Niekro getting caught with one.

I’m glad it has improved, what I’ve found is, when you’re first learning, you will have a couple of days where it is great followed by a couple of days where you consider giving up on it. You want to get where you’re having more good days than bad, when you get to where you’ve gotten the release of the ball down, start playing with putting more zip on it, and then with slowing it down. It’s important to mix speeds with knuckleballs too. When you feel ready you can try to learn the corkscrew, but that one is really tough to get good at.


How long does it take to learn the knuckleball?


Knuckleball grip (front)

Knuckeball grip (side)


Takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.


That long huh? lol


Being able to dig in seemed to help me throw a knuckler. I never used it in a game because I could only get it to work about 10% of the time with a game density ball. The reason why I say digging in must help is that I can throw a very good one with a RIF ball. In Pustulio’s thread he states that a harder ball is easier to throw. I was wondering if the majority of knuckle ballers would agree, just due to my limited experience.

I believe that if I were serious about getting a knuckler or had a student who wanted to learn it, I would use a series of different RIF balls. Go from the softest to the hardest then eventually to a real ball. As the student became able to throw with the softest ball with high consistency, I would mix in the next harder ball until he was throwing well with that one, etc. Eventually, with a lot of work, he’d be throwing it with a game ball.

The manicure definitely has to be right and finger position on the seams definitely seems to help with success level. I seem to get the best results from the crook of the horseshoe. Not the bottom and not the sides, but that curve leading into the base of the horseshoe. For whatever reason, it works best for me.


Yeah, the majority of knuckleballers agree that a harder ball makes it easier to throw than a softer ball. It is extremely frustrating to throw a knuckleball with a soft ball.