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View Full Version : Dickey and the best Knuckleballers all time



oakland2002
06-16-2012, 11:00 AM
All of these knuckleball pitchers were good, but who do you think was the best?

Stress
06-16-2012, 11:06 AM
Dr. Phil.

metswon69
06-16-2012, 11:07 AM
You are missing guys in that "other" category like Hoyt Wilhelm and Wilbur Wood (who was the only left knuckler) but if you are going all time knuckler its got to be Phil Niekro.

Single season knuckler still goes to Phil too, but Dickey could change that this year if he wins the Cy Young this year.

Zaunnie
06-16-2012, 11:46 AM
Phillip. Henry. Niekro.

quade36
06-16-2012, 01:58 PM
I can't understand why someone would make a list of best knuckleballers and not include Hoyt Wilhelm or Wilbur Wood!!!!! I think if I were to make a list, I'd start with both of them and Phil Neikro. Everyone else to this point is secondary.

Jeffy25
06-16-2012, 02:01 PM
Dickey throws a very different knuckelball.

Before he is knighted anything, I want to see him do what he is doing right now for longer.

But the way he is pitching this year, he might go down as the best, especially because his career can last a long time even though he is 37, he could pitch another 10 years.

Jeffy25
06-16-2012, 02:02 PM
I added Wilhelm and Wood to the poll *

gmanthree15
06-16-2012, 06:02 PM
The people who voted for Wakefield should be embarrassed. He was mediocre at best throughout his career. It's Niekro or Dickey. None of these guys were as good of pitchers as Dickey, because most of them were just knuckleball throwers, not pitchers. Dickey changes speed, location, and pitch type while knowing exactly where his ball will go and where it will break.

Most of those guys just threw the knuckle and hoped it would go where they wanted.

LASportsFan1996
06-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Niekro... If Dickey Keeps It Up For Say 10 Years Maybe I'll Rethink This...

quade36
06-16-2012, 06:46 PM
It's Niekro or Dickey. None of these guys were as good of pitchers as Dickey, because most of them were just knuckleball throwers, not pitchers. Dickey changes speed, location, and pitch type while knowing exactly where his ball will go and where it will break.



Huh??? Including this year Dickey has a career WAR of 9.5. Its hard to believe someone thinks Dickey is a better pitcher than Wilbur Wood or Hoyt Wilhelm. This would be equivalent to saying Melky Cabrera is better than Jim Rice because he is having a great season this year.

Angry Norwegian
06-16-2012, 06:51 PM
Seems like a compound question.

Best knuckleballer ever- Phil Niekro

Best knuckleball ever- Dickey. Guy throws it from 65-80 at a ridiculous strike %.

freedas
06-16-2012, 07:07 PM
voted for PHIL niekro. W-L 318–274 ERA 3.35 Strikeouts 3,342

Giannis94
06-16-2012, 07:45 PM
easily phil. Whats the chances dickey can keep this up? Didnt wakefield do great and then he fell apart and got hammerd after the all star break?

metswon69
06-16-2012, 08:14 PM
easily phil. Whats the chances dickey can keep this up? Didnt wakefield do great and then he fell apart and got hammerd after the all star break?

It' not Wakefield's knuckleball...

Dickey is throwing it harder, with more movement, and much better control.

Knuckleballers are usually better in the summer too, because the pitch gets better movement and the pitcher has better control over it.

He is 10-1 with 2.20 era, his whip is under 1, and he has an incredible 4.74 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Wakefield's best strikeout to walk ratio was 2.63 to 1.

MotownWebGuy
06-16-2012, 09:49 PM
All of these knuckleball pitchers were good, but who do you think was the best?

Assuming you mean non-banned knuckleball pitchers......

Phil Niekro
Hoyt Wilhelm
Ted Lyons (missing from your list)

Most amazing thing about Hall Of Fame Ted Lyons was his starts completion rate.
Started 484 --- Completed 356

MetsFanatic19
06-17-2012, 01:55 AM
Phil, but I still love the savior, Robert Alan Dickey

todu82
06-17-2012, 09:00 AM
Phil Niekro

metsfanssince05
06-17-2012, 09:33 AM
Question asks who has the best knuckleball so I vote Dickey. The man has been striking out 10+ every game, his location and speed differences are just insane.. I feel bad for the catchers (Tholes has been great with him) and the batters.

yougo1000
06-17-2012, 12:49 PM
Easily Phil Niekro. 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts plus a no-hitter as a knuckleballer is very impressive.

Greet
06-17-2012, 01:27 PM
Phil was obviously the best knuckle baller, but I've never seen a knuckleball like Dickey's.

mark1125
06-17-2012, 02:07 PM
Based off of the poll results, I am amazed (not really) how many posters don't realize that there WAS baseball before 1999.

ManRam
06-17-2012, 02:20 PM
Based off of the poll results, I am amazed (not really) how many posters don't realize that there WAS baseball before 1999.

Seriously...

I love Tim Wakefield, but he's not better than Wilhelm, either Niekro, Lyons or Cicotte. Not even close...


Speaking of Cicotte...he basically is the inventor of the knuckleball, and he was very successful too...and hasn't been mentioned nor is he on the poll.

MotownWebGuy
06-17-2012, 05:03 PM
Seriously...

Speaking of Cicotte...he basically is the inventor of the knuckleball, and he was very successful too...and hasn't been mentioned nor is he on the poll.

If you re-read my post, I mentioned "non-banned"
Cicotte was made permanently ineligible for MLB by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's commissioner, recently hired back then to restore the integrity of the game in the wake of the 1919 World Series scandal.

That's why I didn't mention him. Could be why the thread-starter didn;t include him.

sportscrazy34
06-17-2012, 05:13 PM
Not the best ever but i have to mention him as I loved watching him with the dodgers. Tom Candotti . ok now to the question i voted for Phil.

Jeffy25
06-17-2012, 10:08 PM
fwiw, Dickey's knuckleball is a very different knuckleball than the others listed. He has an original pitch that he throws.

SportsNY
06-17-2012, 10:48 PM
I haven't seen many knuckleball pitchers in my lifetime. I only actually heard of Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough other than Wakefield and Dickey on this list. I won't say who is the best, because I simply haven't see them all. Dickey is having a great season, but it's one season. He hasn't shown to be like this his whole career.

Pinstripe pride
06-18-2012, 08:35 AM
R.A. DIckey is not only the best knuckleballer ever, he is the greatest pitche rto ever step foot on a mound......................

NYMetropolitans
06-18-2012, 12:37 PM
I haven't seen many knuckleball pitchers in my lifetime. I only actually heard of Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough other than Wakefield and Dickey on this list. I won't say who is the best, because I simply haven't see them all. Dickey is having a great season, but it's one season. He hasn't shown to be like this his whole career.

That's because he's only now mastering his craft. Remember he's only been a knuckler for six years and he had a great 2010 and 2011 with the Mets as well. I didn't see Phil Niekro pitch, but he's a HOF and 300 game winner so I'd assume he's the best.

Muttman73
06-18-2012, 01:14 PM
Wilbur was the man!

******2017
06-18-2012, 04:12 PM
Phil for sure. I wish there were more knuckleball pitchers but it's such a tough pitch to master.

stipe1280
06-18-2012, 05:14 PM
Voted Niekro.

It's still amazing to me what Dickey has been able to accomplish, though. He didn't start off as a knuckleballer and I can remember watching him chuck his mid-80's fastball over the plate and watching it sail 400 feet over the fence when he came up with the Rangers. Even after trying to make the transition to the knuckle, I remember him giving up 6 HR's on a particular evening. When he was sent down to AAA, I thought he was done, but somehow he's found a career in New York. I think it's a cool story.

Beltrans Mole
06-18-2012, 09:00 PM
I think Dos Equis just found their new man.

Wrigheyes4MVP
06-18-2012, 09:11 PM
Robert Allen Dickey

This guy is unreal right now.

gmanthree15
06-18-2012, 09:14 PM
Dickey's full season numbers don't even explain how dominant he has been. His only bad start was against ATL in a start he shouldn't have made because the weather was not conducive to the knuckleball.

Jeffy25
06-18-2012, 09:19 PM
Back to back one hitters

$KnicksAndKobe$
06-18-2012, 09:20 PM
R.A Dickey
Second consecutive One hitter

13 K's

Sick Of It All
06-18-2012, 09:20 PM
13 strike outs after getting 12 last start.

I have not seen this in a while, the dominance that Dickey is showing is just simply amazing.

VCU4LIFEGOVIKS
06-18-2012, 09:24 PM
Phil Niekro

waveycrockett
06-18-2012, 09:25 PM
ra dickey

Wrigheyes4MVP
06-18-2012, 09:29 PM
I have never seen anything like this.

Even the best pitchers in the game can't match what he has been doing his last 5 starts. Its just not realistic...yet its happening in front of our very eyes.

Its hard to explain, but its fun as hell to watch as a Mets fan.

Crush15
06-18-2012, 09:37 PM
just unreal performance by dickey just down right dominance

lvlheaded
06-18-2012, 09:38 PM
RA Dickey is the best pitcher in the league right now. What he's doing is insane

mattz1212
06-18-2012, 09:41 PM
43 straight innings without giving up an earned run, not bad for a knuckleballer I guess...

Jeffy25
06-18-2012, 09:45 PM
He is at 43 straight innings, Orel's was what, 59?

sexicano31
06-18-2012, 09:49 PM
RA Dickey for Allstar Starter

Sick Of It All
06-18-2012, 09:58 PM
He is at 43 straight innings, Orel's was what, 59?

Yeah, but Orel was not allowing a run right? or was it earn run?

...because Dickey did allowed an unearn run last start.

Jeffy25
06-18-2012, 10:03 PM
Yeah, but Orel was not allowing a run right? or was it earn run?

...because Dickey did allowed an unearn run last start.

Technically...scoreless innings, but he could still top Orel's no earned run streak.

ESaady
06-18-2012, 10:14 PM
Another 1 hit gem by Dickey..that can only mean another perfect game from Matt Cain 0.o

Sick Of It All
06-18-2012, 10:19 PM
New York Mets ‏@Mets
R.A. Dickey: Has 5 straight starts of 0 ER and 8 or more strikeouts -- the longest streak in MLB history. #Elias #WOW.

metsfanssince05
06-18-2012, 10:20 PM
I wish RA was 25 :( he can still go for many years.

Without a doubt top 3 pitcher this season. Guy is unhittable its unbelievable..

metswon69
06-18-2012, 10:38 PM
This is seriously unbelievable, i mean this stretch aside from Orel's stretch in 88' has to be the most dominant i think most of us have ever seen.

Some stats from Elias

First time a pitcher has thrown back to back starts giving one hit or less in the NL in 68 years.

Bill James Game Score is a metric that rates starts on a 0-100 scoring scale, based on a pitchers innings pitched, runs, hits, strikeouts, and walks (49 is MLB Average, 100+ is extremely rare). R.A. Dickey had a Game Score of 95 last Wednesday with his 12-K, 1-hit CG, and had a Game Score of 96 tonight with his 13-K, 1-hit CG. He is the first pitcher in the Live Ball Era with consecutive starts with a Game Score of 95+ in a single season.

R.A. Dickey threw 35 knuckleballs at 80 MPH or higher, the third straight start in which he's thrown at least 30 knuckleballs at that speed. Before those three starts, his previous high in a start was 17 such pitches. Dickey has thrown 106 knuckleballs at 80 MPH or higher in his last three starts; he threw 100 over his first
11.

R.A. Dickey's current streak of innings without an earned run at 42 2/3 - second longest in Mets history. The franchise record for consecutive innings without allowing an earned run is 49.0 by Dwight Gooden in 1985 (August 31 to October 2).

From Elias: R.A. Dickey had a 12-inning hitless streak spanning the end of his last start and the beginning of this one. That is a Mets record. The previous mark was 11.0 by Jack Hamilton in 1966 (May 4 - 8).
R.A. Dickey is 11-1 this season. No pitcher in Mets history has ever been 10 games above .500 this early (in terms of team games played) in a season. The franchise record in that category was held by Tom Seaver, who in 1969 defeated the Pirates on July 4th to improve to 13-3 in what was the Mets' 77th game that season. Dickey got to 10 over in 68 team games.

R.A. Dickey: won 9 straight decisions (longest win streak by Mets pitcher since Johan Santana won 10 straight, 2008-2009); 5 straight starts of 0 ER and 8+ K, -- longest streak in MLB history (previous mark was 4-- Gaylord Perry (1967), Ray Culp (1968) and Pedro Martinez (2002)

If he continues like this, we might be laying our eyes on something historic.

WOwolfOL
06-19-2012, 12:19 AM
RA Dickey for Allstar Starter

Absolutely. I'd like to see him get the first 3 innings and see if anybody can get a hit off him.

ManRam
06-19-2012, 12:20 AM
If you re-read my post, I mentioned "non-banned"
Cicotte was made permanently ineligible for MLB by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's commissioner, recently hired back then to restore the integrity of the game in the wake of the 1919 World Series scandal.

That's why I didn't mention him. Could be why the thread-starter didn;t include him.

Sorry :(

Makes sense.

He's still one of the absolute best knuckleballers ever...banned or not.

utl768
06-19-2012, 12:37 AM
http://www.the7line.bigcartel.com/product/darth-dickey

metsrock229
06-19-2012, 12:38 AM
Phil Niekro. The question is who has the better knuckleball though so I voted for Dickey in the poll.

ciaban
06-19-2012, 12:47 AM
Dickey is only the best knuckle baller because he plays in New York

YoungStuna
06-19-2012, 12:53 AM
Dickey is the best hands down. No one has dominated like this, he's been unhittable, and his K/BB ratio is crazy.

WrightStuff82
06-19-2012, 03:41 AM
Remove Dickey's one start in lousy weather at Atlanta where he gave up 8 ER in 4 1/3.. and his season numbers are 1.33 ERA, 0.78 WHIP.

Jeffy25
06-19-2012, 05:03 AM
Dickey has been good thus far this year through 2.5 months....sure

Niekro from 68-71 four year span is down right very impressive

3.06 ERA
3.24 FIP
1039.2 IP
2.81 K/BB

Dickey has been great sure, but that's a four year span of very solid pitching performance from a pitcher and Dickey doesn't even have that many big league innings in his career yet. Pretty hard to rank Dickey ahead of Niekro who had over 5000 innings of solid performance and throughout his career, even including this season, is no where close to what Niekro did throughout his career.

Wrigheyes4MVP
06-19-2012, 05:05 AM
I don't know how he is doing what he is doing, but he is doing it.

Wrigheyes4MVP
06-19-2012, 05:07 AM
Dickey has been good thus far this year through 2.5 months....sure

Niekro from 68-71 four year span is down right very impressive

3.06 ERA
3.24 FIP
1039.2 IP
2.81 K/BB

Dickey has been great sure, but that's a four year span of very solid pitching performance from a pitcher and Dickey doesn't even have that many big league innings in his career yet. Pretty hard to rank Dickey ahead of Niekro who had over 5000 innings of solid performance and throughout his career, even including this season, is no where close to what Niekro did throughout his career.

I don't think you could say that Dickey is better, but isn't this an unfair question?

I mean, Niekro established himself over a very long career. Dickey hasn't had that opportunity yet.

I will say this though...Dickey's knuckleball is better. Only time well tell if he will go down as the better pitcher, but his knuckleball is better than Niekro's.

I think thats very noteworthy.

Jeffy25
06-19-2012, 05:23 AM
I don't think you could say that Dickey is better, but isn't this an unfair question?

I mean, Niekro established himself over a very long career. Dickey hasn't had that opportunity yet.

I will say this though...Dickey's knuckleball is better. Only time well tell if he will go down as the better pitcher, but his knuckleball is better than Niekro's.

I think thats very noteworthy.

I didn't ask the question, the OP did when he made this thread.

It's impossible to objectively say Dickey when at the age of 37, he hasn't even come close to the accomplishments of Niekro in over 5000 innings. 2+ months does not a career make.

If Dickey can give us 5+ years at his rate of service like he is doing now, then I would think he would begin to surpass Niekro (and the others available). But there is no way anyone can objectively say Dickey has been better than Niekro.

But I agree, the knuckleball pitch that Dickey throws is better than anyone elses ever was. But that wasn't the question asked in this thread. Or at least not how I viewed the question.

Twinke Masta
06-19-2012, 05:25 AM
Dickey has been good thus far this year through 2.5 months....sure

Niekro from 68-71 four year span is down right very impressive

3.06 ERA
3.24 FIP
1039.2 IP
2.81 K/BB

Dickey has been great sure, but that's a four year span of very solid pitching performance from a pitcher and Dickey doesn't even have that many big league innings in his career yet. Pretty hard to rank Dickey ahead of Niekro who had over 5000 innings of solid performance and throughout his career, even including this season, is no where close to what Niekro did throughout his career.

I don't think this is a fluke season as many would say. You are right, he has not had many big league innings yet but hes closing on 500 IP with the Mets (2010 to now) and here are his stats:

IP = 481.3
K = 341
WHIP = 1.14
ERA = 2.86
K/9 = 6.38
BB/9 = 2.19

Over time:

WHIP SO/9 BB/9
1.19 5.38 2.17 - 2010
1.23 5.79 2.33 - 2011
0.89 9.36 1.91 - 2012

He has been improving steadily and has had 2 years of true workhorse IP in 2010 and 2011. I guess what I am trying to say is, he has not been consistent for merely 2 months. Dickey has been at a level of good for a few years and now that he has found the right mechanics, the good has evolved into great.

Jeffy25
06-19-2012, 05:30 AM
I don't think this is a fluke season as many would say. You are right, he has not had many big league innings yet but hes closing on 500 IP with the Mets (2010 to now) and here are his stats:

IP = 481.3
K = 341
WHIP = 1.14
ERA = 2.86
K/9 = 6.38
BB/9 = 2.19

Over time:

WHIP SO/9 BB/9
1.19 5.38 2.17 - 2010
1.23 5.79 2.33 - 2011
0.89 9.36 1.91 - 2012

He has been improving steadily and has had 2 years of true workhorse IP in 2010 and 2011. I guess what I am trying to say is, he has not been consistent for merely 2 months. Dickey has been at a level of good for a few years and now that he has found the right mechanics, the good has evolved into great.

He is def getting there. And with his pitch, he can probably throw another 10 years.....and I'm not joking.

But to catch the all time great knuckleballers (mainly Niekro) he is going to have to seriously log some high innings to be in that conversation.

Twinke Masta
06-19-2012, 05:40 AM
He is def getting there. And with his pitch, he can probably throw another 10 years.....and I'm not joking.

But to catch the all time great knuckleballers (mainly Niekro) he is going to have to seriously log some high innings to be in that conversation.

Yes, I think he needs to log alot more innings to be in the conversation. However, I don't think he needs to log the amount Niekro logged to be considered great due to the fact that Dickey's KB is thrown at a higher velocity, which may strain his arm more and that Niekro started throwing the KB dominantly in the bigs since he was about 28, 9 years younger than Dickey. I don't think Dickey should be penalized for discovering the KB so late and having a really late start as a SP.

Jeffy25
06-19-2012, 05:43 AM
Yes, I think he needs to log alot more innings to be in the conversation. However, I don't think he needs to log the amount Niekro logged to be considered great due to the fact that Dickey's KB is thrown at a higher velocity, which may strain his arm more and that Niekro started throwing the KB dominantly in the bigs since he was about 28, 9 years younger than Dickey.

Well no. And for Dickey to reach 5400 innings, averaging 180 per year, he would have to pitch until he is 62 and basically never get hurt or slow down....that ain't happening ;)


But I think if he can reach 2000 innings pitched, we can have a fair discussion, as long as Dickey's performance is better than Niekro's to that point. Obviously if they are equal or Dickey is behind then the discussion would be pointless.

WrightStuff82
06-19-2012, 06:45 AM
nm

thawv
06-19-2012, 07:51 AM
Assuming you mean non-banned knuckleball pitchers......

Phil Niekro
Hoyt Wilhelm
Ted Lyons (missing from your list)

Most amazing thing about Hall Of Fame Ted Lyons was his starts completion rate.
Started 484 --- Completed 356

Ted also has the second highest ERA in the hall. And if I'm not mistaken, he's the only player in the hall with more walks than K's.

thawv
06-19-2012, 07:55 AM
I didn't ask the question, the OP did when he made this thread.

It's impossible to objectively say Dickey when at the age of 37, he hasn't even come close to the accomplishments of Niekro in over 5000 innings. 2+ months does not a career make.

If Dickey can give us 5+ years at his rate of service like he is doing now, then I would think he would begin to surpass Niekro (and the others available). But there is no way anyone can objectively say Dickey has been better than Niekro.

But I agree, the knuckleball pitch that Dickey throws is better than anyone elses ever was. But that wasn't the question asked in this thread. Or at least not how I viewed the question.

Exactly!!

Pinstripe pride
06-19-2012, 07:56 AM
http://cdn1.sbnation.com/fan_shot_images/143611/sdickeycopy.jpg

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/529/bestofthejoy.png/sr=1

ritz
06-19-2012, 02:00 PM
It's impossible to not root for R.A. Dickey. He's an incredible human being.

Jeffy25
06-20-2012, 05:58 PM
Something beautiful about baseball, a relatively unknown guy can come out of nowhere and after a few seasons, at the age of 37 become arguably the best pitcher at that time.

Twinke Masta
06-20-2012, 06:04 PM
Something beautiful about baseball, a relatively unknown guy can come out of nowhere and after a few seasons, at the age of 37 become arguably the best pitcher at that time.

We should have a thread: Only in Baseball!

Jeffy25
06-20-2012, 06:07 PM
We should have a thread: Only in Baseball!

I won't stop you :)

Bostondiehard
06-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Am I missing something? He's been great for 3 years in the NL, but got shelled in the AL.. And suddenly he can be compared to Phil Niekro? The guy has 52 career wins and is 37, relax people. Good story nonetheless.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/4695/ra-dickey

Knuckleball Rob
06-20-2012, 06:51 PM
If Hawk Harrelson can be believed the best he ever saw was Wilhelm. He had several variations that he threw depending on the count. I did grow up a big Wilbur Wood fan and that guy was incredible before his career was basically ended by a Ron LaFlore line shot that busted his knee cap.

bagwell368
06-20-2012, 10:43 PM
Let's see what Dickey looks like when his career is over. He's got a long way to go to be being #1 IMO.

metswon69
06-20-2012, 11:08 PM
Dickey won't be the best knuckleball pitcher of all time.

He was too old when he discovered it and even if he pitched 10 more years in the majors he would never accumulate the stats Niekro did.

Niekro was the best and probably always will be but Dickey might have the most dominant single season knuckleball we have ever seen.

Wrigheyes4MVP
06-21-2012, 12:22 AM
Something beautiful about baseball, a relatively unknown guy can come out of nowhere and after a few seasons, at the age of 37 become arguably the best pitcher at that time.

It really is only in baseball. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen in other sports.

Super.
06-21-2012, 01:21 PM
are people seriously voting for Dickey? :pity:

This season is eerily similar to Wakefields '92, '95 and '98 seasons

metswon69
06-21-2012, 01:30 PM
are people seriously voting for Dickey? :pity:

This season is eerily similar to Wakefields '92, '95 and '98 seasons

Much different knuckleballer, Wakefield never threw 80mph knuckleballs and was never this dominant.

Wakefield's best year was in 1995, but he didn't never had a SO/BB ratio of almost 5 to 1 and a WHIP of .889.

And Wakefield had only 119 K's in 195 innings that year, Dickey has 103 k's in 99 innings.

Unless Dickey slumps completely, he will blow all those numbers away even his SO/BB ratio (best was 2.63 to 1 in 2002)

It's not at all even close....

WrightStuff82
06-21-2012, 04:32 PM
Wakefield had zero control with his knuckleball. Wakefield was probably one of the worst knuckleballers of all time if u stack up his peripherals against the others. Mediocre longevity with a knuckleball doesn't impress me.