This is the first year that I have really gone out and traveled the country putting on camps. Knuckleball Nation has been seen in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Arizona and California. And I hope this is just the beginning.
I’ve hit the road for a few very important reasons. This whole small business called Knuckleball Nation serves a few different purposes:
Pay it Forward
Charlie Hough took me under his wing. RA Dickey has helped me through the years. Heck, he even supplies me with knuckleball catcher’s mitts. Tom Candiotti took time out of his life to teach me a thing or two. Phil Niekro took me into a professional stadium during the off-season for some work. Many of the great knuckleballers have helped me through this journey. They’ve been generous with their time and I have taken full advantage of it, gleaning bits of wisdom from all of them.
When I hit the road. I share that wisdom, because without that wisdom, I wouldn’t have made it into the professional ranks. I would have been toiling around with the wrong approach for a long time until I finally gave up. So, when I put on a clinic, I pay forward their kindness and their teachings.
I was pretty alone when I joined pro baseball. I was the oddball, the weirdo, the guy that the pitching coach couldn’t coach. And I think every knuckleballer feels this way at one time or another. But, by putting on regional knuckleball camps, we can come together as a community. You guys can reach out to me with questions and you can form friendships, reaching out to each other through your journey. Because it is always nice to feel like you belong and I want every knuckleballer to feel like they belong to the entire Knuckleball Nation.
At each camp, you get to see me (and maybe Zach Staniewicz) throw a real-life, pro-quality knuckleball. This is going to give you a good idea of exactly what it takes to make it. And watching a pro accelerates your development. You can see how we approach the mound, how we move, where we throw the ball. And when camp begins, you can be armed with thorough questions. And, hopefully, you’ll get the answers that you are looking for.
These camps allow us, as Knuckleball Nation, to come together; to help each other out; and, hopefully, to make the knuckleball a little more mainstream. We will get a knuckleballer drafted, and we will do it together!