The Yankees vs Mets game was supposed to begin at one pm Sunday. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to eat a sammy at 2:30 and found the game about to begin. R.A.Dickey was the starting pitcher for the Mets. Most all baseball fans know his story. He was drafted by Texas and about to sign a $800,000 bonus when one of the trainers notice something funny about the way Dickey's arm was hanging on the cover of Baseball America. Upon exaimination, the doctor found R.A. was born without the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He signed for $75,000. Basically, it cost him a zero. He made it to the show by learning to throw a knuckleball.
Phil Kniekro was my favorite Brave for many years. I loved to watch him pitch because he threw the knuckleball. I enjoyed watching the best hitters flail away at Knucksie's flutterball without making contact. Twice he won 20 games for the Braves, and twice he lost 20. In 1979 he won 21 and lost 20! You have got to be real good to win and lose 20 games in one season. Phil is in the Hall of Fame. In 1977 he pitched in 330 innings. The next year he topped that by pitching in 334 innings. In 1979 he pitched in 342 innings. These days it would take two starting pitchers to pitch that many innings. Having met Phil, I liked him so much that I even pulled for him when he signed with the Damn Yankees! I would pull for Phil to pitch 6 or 7 good innings, keeping his team in the game, and then turn it over to the bullpen, when I hoped the relief pitchers would get bombed! Hey, that's the best I can do when it comes to the Damn Yankees...
R.A. met 'Knucksie' a few years ago and Phil gave him some advice, "No matter where it goes, never let the batter know it didn't go where you wanted it to go."
Earlier this year R.A. came down with a case of plantar fasciitis. It is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, which is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. I, too, have it, unfortunately. I purchased some Dr. Scholls inserts which has allowed me to walk with much less pain. Unfortunately, the foot will become painful later after walking.
R.A. got a base-hit in the game, which turned out to be the worst thing that could have happened to him, as he had to leave the game later after running the bases. It would have been better for him if the game had been played in Yankee Stadium, under AL rules with the Dreaded Hitter batting for the pitcher. Although R.A. did not get the win, the Mets did beat the Damn Yankees. Any day the Damn Yankess lose is a good day!