R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball were featured on 60 Minutes Sports last month and we just got around to watching it off the DVR. If you missed it, the full segment is available online at cbsnews.com via this link.
Now, we’re not talking very in-depth reporting here (Lesley Stahl is the reporter, not exactly known for doing heavy hitting pieces), but the parts about Dickey and the physics of the knuckleball are fun. They talk about Dickey’s “dark past” in the intro but I don’t recall them going into it (you can read his wiki page for a quick summary). They interview a couple of university researchers who specialize in physics and engineering and demonstrate some cool stuff about the knuckler. They interview Phil Neikro. And of course Dickey himself is a good interview, though they don’t really go that deep into his life or his pursuits.
One funny bit that I learned from the piece: Dickey wouldn’t even join the team when they went to Colorado because he knew the thinner air there destroyed his knuckler. Makes sense to me; when you see the knuckler in the wind-tunnel on the piece, its fascinating to see how the air particles move around the ball. Also funny was the time that Dickey had to run across the street from Shea stadium to get a “korean nail salon” to work on his hand after he tore/broke a nail on the mound; he apparently literally ran over there in full uniform straight out of the stadium.
Anyway; good quick watch.