Totally R. A. D. Pitcher To Get Totally Rad Award!

An article by posted on April 4, 2011

The New York Mets announced they will hold their annual Welcome Home Dinner to benefit the Mets Foundation this Sunday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the New York Hilton Hotel, located at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue. For more information visit mets.com or call (718) 803-4074.

Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, coaches, and all 25 Mets players will be in attendance.

Pitcher R.A. Dickey will receive the Ya Gotta Believe award, named for former Mets pitcher Tug McGraw. After being the first player cut during spring training in 2010, Dickey finished the season with an 11-9 record and a 2.84 ERA, seventh-best in the National League.

“It’s been a long journey for me,” said Dickey, Sunday’s winning pitcher who is scheduled to start the Mets’ 4:10 p.m. home opener against the Washington Nationals this Friday, April 8. “My wife Anne always wanted me to continue to play. She didn’t want me to have any regrets.”

The Ya Gotta Believe award is given annually to a Met who has shown an exceptional commitment to the community, fortitude in overcoming adversity, and the spirit to believe that anything is possible.

Original Post 3/3 8:00 PM

R A Dickey 20 game winner? Okay, I’ll calm down now. I know it was only one game and after 6 IP it’s way too soon to claim Dickey will become the Mets first 20 game winner since Frank Viola in 1990. But how can one not be impressed by his performance today?

Pitching in the middle of our rotation, Dickey will usually face mid-line starters from other teams, avoiding the Cliff Lee’s and Tim Lincecum’s of the world. This could work in his favor.

Although 5 of the 9 runs we scored today were unearned, Dickey quieted the Marlins bats, allowing just 5 hits and fanning 7 while allowing 0 earned runs. 69 of his 106 pitches were strikes.

One thing we all love about the Mets is that it’s always the little guys, the ones you don’t expect, who seem to emerge from the shadows. In 2006, it was utility outfielder Endy Chavez who defined an entire season with one catch. In 1986, in spite of having guys like Gary and Keith and Darryl, it was an outfielder who had less than 400 AB’s that hit the most famous ‘slow roller’ in baseball history. It was not rookie phenom Doc Gooden who dominated in 86, but rather a crafty lefty acquired from Boston named Bobby Ojeda. Ojeda, who at age 29 was the oldest starter on the team, was 18-5 and team leader in ERA. In 1973, we had ‘The Big Three.’ Seaver, Koosman and Matlack were perhaps the most feared trio in Baseball at the time. But it was George Stone (who???), a career 500 pitcher, who went 12-3 to post the best winning percentage on the team. As the Mets prevailed in one of the closest pennant races ever and won just 82 games, Stone won his last 8 decisions.

Could Dickey be the next unsuspecting star to rise to the occasion?

In 1906, Lew Hicks became the first pitcher to throw a baseball by gripping it with his knuckles. It was 2 years later when a rookie named Eddie Cicotte mastered the pitch. And for over 100 years the knuckleball has baffled and bewildered hitters. From Babe Ruth to Hank Aaron to Albert Pujols, the knuckler has sent batters walking back to the dugout shaking their head. Of approximately 300 pitchers in the majors today, only two are classified as knuckleballers.

Hitting guru Charlie Lau, the man who taught George Brett to hit and one of the greatest minds in baseball history, stated, ‘There are two theories on hitting a knuckleball. Unfortunately neither of them works.’

After floundering in both the majors and minors for well over a decade, in January 2010 the Mets signed the aging star with a career 5.43 ERA. The transaction received very little attention. What followed was Dickey becoming the Mets top pitcher last season. His 2.84 ERA was 7th lowest in the NL, 10th overall in Baseball.

It was Dickey himself who once said, ‘Charlie Hough told me he learned to throw the pitch in one day and spent a lifetime learning to throw it for strikes.’

Congratulations to R A for giving the Mets our first series win of the new season and on his first victory of the year. Here’s to 19 more…and a summer of surprises in Flushing.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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