Uncle Gary’s Reviews of Stuff: KnucleBall!
By: Garrett Hickey
I, for one, am not one who enjoys documentaries, Knuckleball! is the exception to the rule. For most baseball nerds (who I assume comprise most of our readers) this documentary is old news, but I’m hoping this piece might turn anyone that has not seen it onto a new movie that could enlighten them about the illustrious history of the knuckleball (totally sarcastic, it is made clear throughout the movie that knuckleballers are almost universally distrusted as pitchers).
This documentary came out in 2012 and follows the 2011 season of R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. It has the stereotypical sports documentary story line of how much both pitchers struggled and how success hasn’t changed them from their family-centric ways. This obviously is not the interesting story of the documentary, the interesting scenes are when the current knucleballers get together with past pitchers who threw the knuckleball and share stories and trade tips. These scenes give the viewer access to a meeting that has presumably been held for years with no one knowing. It gives you insight into something that is secret and private. Seeing how the fraternity of knuckleballers share tips and secrets makes them more likeable than the typical pitcher. Everyone, especially Dickey, seems like a normal guy who discovered the secret to getting major leaguers out without being particularly athletic.
If you enjoy baseball and enjoy movies you will more than likely enjoy this. The one downside was there weren’t any scenes about the science behind a knuckleball. It would have been a neat addition to the movie to have a pitch tracker that showed the minute motions that a knuckleball goes throw on the way to the plate. Considering this is the only complaint I have about the movie that’s pretty damn good.
I’m not going to give this a star ranking or anything, just see the movie if you like baseball.