How to pitch a knuckleball like a MLB pro
Curveball, Splitter, Fastball, Sinker, Cutter, Slider, Change-Up and Knuckleball are all pitches that most batters will face in the game of baseball. However, the one pitch that most batters fear most is the dreaded knuckleball. If you truly study and practice this pitch any major league team would be knocking at your door. The three main things to remember with this pitch are grip on the ball, the delivery, and the origins. First off the knuckleball is a marvel of physics. The ball does not spin at all and the air pushes the ball around at its will. Or the ball may rotate only once or twice, letting the wind resistance push the ball in different directions each time it rotates. Pitchers' knuckleball grips vary, but the general rule is that the index and middle finger are bent almost 90 degrees so that the fingertips dig into the ball while the knuckles never touch it. The thumb is laid against the ball much like with a fastball, and the three fingers provide most of the grip. The ring and pinkie fingers more or less rest on the ball. A way to think this is turn the ball where the seams run the direction of your fingers and the horseshoes (the "U") are close together in your palm. Next is the key to throwing the ball begins with speed and also requires a release that ensures little rotation of the ball. Because the ball is moving slowly generally 55 to 70 mph in the pros, air impacts its flight. The stitches on the ball interact with the air, and the ball hops and jerks erratically. Normally, a late drop is the key to a good knuckleball. When it doesn't dive, knuckleball pitchers generally have a tough time, which means they tend to give up lots of home runs. When the ball does its thing, though, it can be difficult to hit even while the batter has no problem with swing speed. Finally, the identity of the first pitcher to throw a knuckleball is uncertain, but it appears to have been developed in the early 20th century....
Cited: McCuen-Metherell, Jo Ray and Anthony C Winkler. “Chapter 12: Process.” From Idea to Essay: A Rhetoric, Reader, and Handbook. 13th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 292-332. Print.
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