Best Knuckleball Pitchers of All Time
Today was one of the most fun days that I have had in the MLB Fan Cave this entire season. Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield, and R.A. Dickey, three of the best knuckleball pitchers of all time came by the Cave to do media for the release of “Knuckleball!” the movie. Knuckleball! is a documentary that highlights the game’s most unpredictable pitch and the pitchers that have perfected it. Today is the premiere of the documentary in NYC, and it was great to get the chance to meet these three men.
With the release of this film and the knuckleball buzz in the Cave right now, it got me thinking:
Who are the best knuckleball pitchers of all time?
5. R.A. Dickey
His 2012 season is really his only dominant year of his career, but he could end up being the first knuckleball pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. That alone would make him one of the best ever. I wonder if his visit to the MLB Fan Cave had anything to do with him getting a performance bump...
4. Charlie Hough
He managed to win over 200 games and have over 100 complete games in his 25-year career. He was an incredibly durable pitcher. Hough even led the league in games started twice in his career.
3. Dutch Leonard
He finished his incredible career with a 2.76 ERA. In only 11 seasons, Leonard won 139 games. His best season was his sophomore campaign in 1914 where he went 19-5 with an astounding 0.96 ERA.
2. Tim Wakefield
This two-time World Series champion is one of the most admired and endeared figures in modern Red Sox history. Over his 17 years with the Red Sox, he became the franchise leader in innings pitched. In addition, he won 186 games (second in franchise history), which was due in large part to his 11 seasons with 10+ wins.
1. Phil Niekro
Niekro is the only knuckleballer to eclipse the 300 wins mark, and he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. His durability helped him to win 121 games after the age of 40. However, he was not just a master of the game’s most unpredictable pitch. He added five Gold Gloves to go along with all of his other accolades. He is easily the greatest knuckleballer ever.
Be sure to check out Knuckleball! on iTunes now. Also, make sure to tweet to @MLBFanCave and @KyleOKC to let us know who you think is the greatest knuckleball pitcher in MLB history.