The knuckleball has always been a bit of oddball — the butt of jokes, the object of endless curiosity, a talismanic pitch understood by only a few.
It could soon be extinct in the big leagues.
What a shame that would be.
As the regular season ends and we begin the road to the World Series, it’s worth noting that knuckleballer extraordinaire R.A. Dickey — the guy who largely carried on the legacy of this most unusual of pitches — might’ve taken the mound for the final time.
He’ll be 43 in another month and has talked openly about the prospect of retirement, even though he had a decent enough season for the lowly Atlanta Braves (10-10 with a 4.26 ERA).
The only other knuckleballer in the majors this season was Boston’s Steven Wright, but a knee injury sidelined him after just five April starts. While he was an All-Star in 2016, going 13-6 with four complete games, who knows what the future holds for a 33-year-old journeyman whose career record outside of that one magical season is 8-8 with a 5.22 ERA?