I was getting ready to make a professional start here in Northern California when I noticed something different — media guys were setting up cameras all around the ballpark. I noticed that they set a camera up right behind the plate and got excited — I get to see my knuckleball from a fan’s perspective. I asked around and they told me the game would be broadcast in the San Francisco area.
So, I ordered a DVD from the TV station. I edited together a good chunk of the early part of the game, where you can see the ball best in natural light. We put a pitcher in the stands with a radar gun. So, everything you see in this video is a knuckleball ranging in velocity from 57 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour.
The funny thing was that the announcer struggled the knuckleball. In fact, he didn’t even know it was a knuckle ball until the 3rd inning. He likened me to a character in the movie Major League: Back to the Minors; a pitcher that threw so slow, his pitches didn’t register on the radar gun. He kept calling my pitches curveballs and floating change-ups, saying that my style was like that of a knuckleballer.
Then someone informs him, “Hey, dude, that’s a knuckleball!” He then starts saying how lucky he is to see one in real life. Telling the audience that he is ashamed of not recognizing the knuckleball while being a baseball announcer, life-long baseball fan and self-proclaimed knuckleball fanatic. Saying it is so rare that it even fooled him.
Of course, the compliments start pouring out of him. All of a sudden, I wasn’t a weak-armed pitcher, but a knuckleball expert that floats nasty pitches up to the plate, “carving” through their best hitters.
It is funny how a little perspective changes everything. The knuckle ball: so rare, it fools baseball television announcers.