Release Date: 18 September 2012
Director: Ricki Stern & Anne Sundberg
Production Co: Break Thru Films and Major League Baseball Productions
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary | Sports | Baseball
The knuckleball is baseball’s most enigmatic pitch. Despite its name, it is thrown with the finger tips and unlike any other pitch it prevents the ball from rotating. This makes the ball move in unpredictable ways that it make the knuckleball difficult to hit. Yet that unpredictably has a way of coming back to haunt the pitcher, so there are few pitchers who risk using it. This documentary follows the 2011 season of the only two knuckleball pitchers in Major League Baseball at that time: Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox (now retired) and R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets (now with the Toronto Blue Jays). These are also two of my all-time favorite pitchers. The documentary does a good job of explaining the mechanics of the knuckleball and how knuckleball pitchers are treated as an oddity in the baseball community. It also has some excellent archival footage of the lives and careers of Wakefield and Dickey. If there’s one thing that could improve the movie is to not have so many talking heads and clips of baseball commentators repeating the same basic facts about the knuckleball and perhaps delve into the science and history of the pitch a bit more.