Thanks for nothing R.A. Dickey. That’s right, my (entirely imaginary) friendship with the 2012 Cy Young winner isn’t off to a very good start.
As you know, Blue Toro likes to look at the more light-hearted side of the Toronto sports scene, including poking a bit of fun at the teams and players. So when I got the inevitable call from my boss to come up with an article on the newest Blue Jay, I started digging.
And digging…………..aaaaaand digging. Nothing! It turns out Robert Allen Dickey is an inspiration and all-around top guy, an underdog who everyone wants to root for.
After initially being drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers in 1996, Dickey had limited success. It was only around 2005 that he worked out his unusual forkball pitch was actually a hard knuckleball.
Eventually, after joining the Mets in 2010, Dickey finally perfected his knuckleball pitch (which he calls “the thing”) and he started to enjoy regular success as a starting pitcher in the majors.
Unfortunately making any jokes about his age is off limits, because I’m also 38. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t got a Cy Young winning campaign just around the corner. Besides, with the knuckleball being his main weapon, Dickey likely has several productive years left in him.
Indeed, with success coming fairly late in his career, Dickey has his feet firmly planted on the ground. He’s happily* married with
two four children, so I can’t even expect to see him roaming around the bars of Toronto, looking for some young lady to use his knuckleball on.
If you do see the former New York Met out on the town, he’s more likely to be found in a coffee shop reading a book. He’s an avid reader who said he would have become an English professor if he hadn’t played baseball. Translation: He’s unlikely to come out with any idiotic comments on Twitter that we can use against him.
He’s also a born-again Christian. However, not in the “I’ve been a bad person who got into loads of trouble and needs to turn my life around” type of way. It is more likely connected to his admitting in his autobiography that he was sexually abused as a youngster and then later dealing with suicidal thoughts.
These struggles and his battle to become a successful pitcher is a powerful motivation for people, showing that it is possible to overcome whatever problems you have and lead a fulfilling life.
Dickey even risked his 2012 salary ($4.25 million) to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and help raise awareness of human trafficking in India. Surprise, surprise, Mr. Perfect managed to reach the summit and raise over $100,000.
And so, with all these accomplishments, I have to give a tip of the hat to Robert Allen Dickey. (Even his initials aren’t hiding some dodgy first name! For the love of……..)
Overall, the best thing I can say about Dickey is that thankfully there aren’t more professional athletes like him, otherwise I’d have nothing to write about.
* I have since discovered that Dickey did actually cheat on his wife once. However, after everything the guy’s been through, I’m not going to hold it against him.