This is Hoyt Wilhelm showing you why the knuckleball is such a beauty pitch. The pure knuckler has no rotation, it just comes at you like a small white moon, with only gravity, wind and the baseball Gods having any impact on its course. Eddie Cicotte got the pitch straight from God right after Moses got the 10 commandments and pitchers have been pissing off hitters with it ever since. I read an article years ago that measured hitter’s BA after facing a knuckleball pitcher and iirc they lost about 30 points for a few days before righting the ship.
Former major league catcher Bob Uecker once said there was no problem catching the knuckler, as you “just wait until it stops rolling and then go pick it up.”
Wilhelm was old as the hills and twice as dusty when I was a kid (Wilhelm died a few years ago and they found out he was older than everyone thought which was kind of impossible but there you go) and his baseball card was easily the least attractive in my complete set (he was just so damn old).
Anyway, knuckleball pitchers hang around forever. Charlie Hough was drafted by the Dodgers as a hitter and then they sent him to the mound when he couldn’t hit a lick. Hough hurt his arm so he was done, except he had the bright idea to try and learn the knuckleball. From what I understand most pitchers never master the pitch because they can’t get it through their thick skulls that when it comes the the knuckleball less is more and that controlling the pitch is a day to day process.
Goalies who can still play at a high level when they’re old are kind of like knuckleball pitchers. We all know they’re going to run out of gas but as to when, well that’s a moving target. Dwayne Roloson was born in 1969, the same year as Damian Rhodes and Garth Snow. Jimmy Waite was born that year and so was Red Light Racicot.
The day he was born the New York Mets beat Baltimore 2-1 to tie the Series at a game apiece. The Mets were in the WS after a stunning romp through the summer to win the NL East and then got by the Braves to punch their ticket. Hoyt Wilhelm was a Brave that summer.
I don’t know that Dwayne Roloson has another three years left in his career, but I don’t know that he doesn’t either.