What makes a knuckleball knuckle? Drew Shepard over at Fangraphs gave the question some study, and came up with a pretty interesting piece. Included is this trippy GIF, showing a bunch of different deliveries by Blue Jays’ knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Ever have one of those dreams when seven knuckleball pitchers are all throwing at you at once? It’s like being attacked by bees. Yikes.
The ideal knuckleball makes just 1 to 1.5 rotations (~150 RPM) between release and home plate, causing the drag on the ball to shift significantly mid-flight as the leading seam of the ball rotates slightly, resulting in unpredictable and uniquely sudden movement.
Fun facts: Dickey is a born-again Christian who loves Star Wars, names his bats after swords from fantasy movies, chose the theme to Game of Thrones as his at-bat walk-up music.