Throwing the Knuckleball?


#1

I’ve learned one out of many grips when throwing a knuckleball. Is a little spin good? Also, do you throw it or push it? I’ve seen many videos saying to push it and many saying to throw it. Anyone experienced with the knuck?


#2

There’s an expression that states that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. “Skinning the cat” comes from gymnastics and refers to a maneuver on the parallel bars that can be performed correctly in several different ways. The same goes for throwing the knuckler; personally, I like what R. A. Dickey does with it. He throws what most would call a “hard” knuckleball, which gets into the mid-to-high 80s and can be devastating when one has good command of the pitch. I myself never threw one; I threw my curve with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap but later on discovered the knuckle-curve and added it to my arsenal. You might try contacting Pustulio, who’s this website’s expert in all things knuckleball for further information.


#3

Thanks for the information. I heard that becoming a knuckleball prospect is impossible since scouts look for hard fastballs and a sharp curve. Is this true?


#4

For the most part, this is true. Most scouts are, unfortunately, so addicted to sheer speed that they won’t even take a second look at guys who don’t throw 97 MPH or faster, and as a result they will miss out on the finesse pitchers who—in my opinion—can be the deadliest of the lot. Take the case of Eddie Lopat. He hardly broke 90—not even ordinary fast, so he relied on control, command and an ever-expanding arsenal of offspeed and breaking pitches. He was pitching in the minors—the AA Southern Association—and the scouts weren’t even mildly interested, because he didn’t have a fastball worthy of the name, and it took the president of the league—a former major league umpire—to get anyone to consider it. This umpire finally got the Chicago White Sox to take a look at him. The Sox agreed to take him on a 30-day trial basis (most unusual), and when he started winning games—especially against the Cleveland Indians, who were then a very good team—they decided to keep him.
The rest is history. He pitched for the White Sox for four years, and the Yankees got wind of what he was doing to the Tribe (and several other teams) and kept an eye on him. What they noticed was the walks: very few of them. One walk every five innings, if at all, and they decided they just had to have him. So in 1948, just before the start of spring training, they acquired him in a trade—and he went from being a good pitcher with a lousy team to a very, very good pitcher with a great team. He spent 7 1/2 years as a key member of the Bombers’ fabled Big Three rotation and was part of the “October Twelve”, a dozen players who were instrumental in their unprecedented five-year World Championship run.
He was a finesse pitcher who, it seems, threw everything but the kitchen sink—and the Indians called him every bleep in the book because they couldn’t beat him for sour apples. And from time to time he would throw a knuckleball. Just to be cute. And since then there have been some very good finesse pitchers (think Jamie Moyer). It just goes to show you: the scouts don’t know everything. 8) :slight_smile:


#5

Focus on increasing your FB velocity.

As for your question about scouts, prime example a Showcase a few months ago over 100 players (18/17U) hit 90+ Care to guess how many threw a KBall?

Sadly the KBall is viewed as a last ditch effort to stick around regardless of what level the Pitcher is playing at.

If a Scout sees a HS age kid throwing a KBall chances are very strong that the scout wont waste any time on that particular pitcher.


#6

[quote=“Zita Carno”]For the most part, this is true. Most scouts are, unfortunately, so addicted to sheer speed that they won’t even take a second look at guys who don’t throw 97 MPH or faster, and as a result they will miss out on the finesse pitchers who—in my opinion—can be the deadliest of the lot. Take the case of Eddie Lopat. He hardly broke 90—not even ordinary fast, so he relied on control, command and an ever-expanding arsenal of offspeed and breaking pitches. He was pitching in the minors—the AA Southern Association—and the scouts weren’t even mildly interested, because he didn’t have a fastball worthy of the name, and it took the president of the league—a former major league umpire—to get anyone to consider it. This umpire finally got the Chicago White Sox to take a look at him. The Sox agreed to take him on a 30-day trial basis (most unusual), and when he started winning games—especially against the Cleveland Indians, who were then a very good team—they decided to keep him.
The rest is history. He pitched for the White Sox for four years, and the Yankees got wind of what he was doing to the Tribe (and several other teams) and kept an eye on him. What they noticed was the walks: very few of them. One walk every five innings, if at all, and they decided they just had to have him. So in 1948, just before the start of spring training, they acquired him in a trade—and he went from being a good pitcher with a lousy team to a very, very good pitcher with a great team. He spent 7 1/2 years as a key member of the Bombers’ fabled Big Three rotation and was part of the “October Twelve”, a dozen players who were instrumental in their unprecedented five-year World Championship run.
He was a finesse pitcher who, it seems, threw everything but the kitchen sink—and the Indians called him every bleep in the book because they couldn’t beat him for sour apples. And from time to time he would throw a knuckleball. Just to be cute. And since then there have been some very good finesse pitchers (think Jamie Moyer). It just goes to show you: the scouts don’t know everything. 8) :)[/quote]

It’s mostly because you can teach control but not velocity that much. I think that’s why. Did you ever play high school or college ball? I’m sure. What kind of pitcher were you? And in regards to the KB, I’d only use it probably twice a game if I ever got it down. Not like it would be my primary pitch. There is a reason why the fastball is the “1” pitch.