Min Hur delivering a professional knuckleball
Longtime Korean knuckleball pitcher Min Hur scored his first professional win in the United States on Memorial Day Monday, but it wasn’t easy. Hur gave up three loud runs in the first inning. But the pitcher, who has been throwing the knuckleball for more than 10 years, stuck to the game plan, never wavering from throwing his butterfly over the plate. And it earned him the win.
Hur’s team, the Rockland Boulders, faced off against the Quebec Capitales at home. Quebec is the most prolific team in the double-A level league, winning the last five CanAm League championships. The reigning champs attract some of the best bats the minor league game has to offer and Min Hur’s mental toughness ground them down.
Rockland responded to the three-run first inning with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Hur returned to the mound with the lead and never looked back.
Quebec’s hitters seemingly came out of their game plan. They stopped taking balls and looking for the walk. They stopped trusting the guy batting behind them. They stopped grinding out at-bats and they started to flail at the knuckleball. And on a day when Hur did not have his bat-missing stuff, they got themselves out. They repeatedly swung for the fences, only to fly out in the cavernous confines of Provident Bank Park.
And this serves as a lesson for all aspiring knuckleballers. No matter what your knuckleball looks like on game day, stick to the plan. Keep filling up that zone with your best pitch. Mentally bear down and you’ll wear out your opponent. They will lose the mental game, come out of their swing and hit themselves into outs. It is one of the many ways a knuckle ball pitcher can win games.
Mental toughness is of the utmost importance for a knuckleballer. Never waver, never apologize and never give in. it just might earn you a professional job and your first professional win.