You've never really seen a knuckleball ... until now

Float on, you crazy diamond.

March 9th, 2021

Knuckleballs defy, well, everything. Scouts don't like them because they can't predict them. Physicists hate them because they don't follow any of the rules that govern our universe. (Scientists: Don't check me on that.) Moms hate them because they know this one weird trick.

But when a knuckleball takes flight? Oh, there's nothing more beautiful.

Though the Majors have seen a dearth of knucklers in the last few years, former 44th-round pick Mickey Jannis is trying to change that with the Orioles this spring. And on Saturday night, the cameras caught perhaps the greatest video of a flying object in history. Forget that UFO footage in the New York Times -- this is the aerial phenomena you need to see:

Only 23 knuckleballs were thrown in the big leagues last year -- and those came from position players Erik Kratz and Todd Frazier. (Kratz even had to offer a warning for his.) Jannis, who reached Triple-A in the last two Minor League seasons, is hoping to boost that number.

So far, so good: Jannis has pitched two innings this spring while striking out one, walking one, and giving up one run. He'll also get at least a few more shots to impress.

“He’s my first knuckleballer," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "I think you’ll see him on occasion. We’ve been bringing him over as a backup for games. We might schedule him out for another outing or two, but if not, he’ll be used like I have the last couple of times."