Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch

Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch

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Overview

Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch by Tim Wakefield

At forty-four years old, Tim Wakefield is the longest-serving member of one of baseball’s most popular franchises. He is close to eclipsing the winning records of two of the greatest pitchers to have played the game, yet few realize the full measure of his success. That his career can be characterized by such words as dependability and consistency defies all odds because he has achieved this with baseball’s most mercurial weapon—the knuckleball.

Knuckler is the story of how a struggling position player bet his future on a fickle pitch that would define his career. The pitch may drive hitters crazy, but how does the pitcher stay sane? The moment Wakefield adopted the knuckleball, his career sought to answer that question. With the Red Sox, Wakefield began to master his pitch only to find himself on the mound in 2003 for one of the worst post-season losses in history, followed the next year by one of the most vindicating of championships. Even now, as Wakefield battles, we see the twists and turns of a major league career pushed to its ultimate extreme.

A remarkable story of one player’s success despite being the exception to every rule, Knuckler is also a lively meditation on the dancing pitch, its history, its mystique, and all the ironies it brings to bear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547517698
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/06/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

TIM WAKEFIELD has pitched for the Red Sox since 1995 and has won two World Series. Noted for his charitable contributions off the field, he has been nominated seven times for the Roberto Clemente Award.

TONY MASSAROTTI is a nationally recognized sports columnist and the author of the New York Times Bestseller Big Papi (with David Ortiz).

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Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Knuckler blah, blah, blah, stats blah, blah, blah, Red-soxs. That's all I got from the book. The Knuckler is a book written by Tim Wakefield about the challenge of the knuckle ball. The knuckle ball is a pitch that is mastered by only a few people like Wakefield. The pitch when thrown correctly, does not spin ad bounces in the air to the point that the batter cannot hit the ball. The book is written to tell the history of the pitch, but majorly focuses on the success of the pitch when Wakefield uses it. Wakefield was not, in my opinion, given enough credit for the many years off his career that he played with the Redsox. He was a consistently good pitcher that the fans and coaches grew to take advantage of. Wakefield, however was not a consistent all-star pitcher but was a predictable pitcher as to how he would do in a game and a season, which was always above average. The book also talked about that history of the Boston Red Sox that lead up to Wakefield's ere and the seasons that he played for them to give a perception as to how he affected the team the way he did. This includes how the teams dynamic changed with the types of players that it had along with how the team affected players like Wakefield. However the book talked as if reading out of a stat book while saying this about the Red Sox and Wakefeild. In order, for me to like this book I would suggest that the book put more of a story line in it rather than it be a over detailed timeline. Overall I would say that the book is a good read if a person likes statistics. Otherwise it is not a book that you can read for fun for it is very boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a relatively new baseball follower and member of Red Sox Nation (since 2004) and this book was an awesome way to get caught up on some Red Sox history, but with a Wakefield focus. Not only did I learn TONS about Wake, but I learned a lot about pitching in general. Knuckler is not your average biography; it takes you on the winding journey of one of baseballs best knuckleballers, visiting the triumphs and defeats. Wake takes you along for the ride of his professional career. Once I started reading, I had a tough time putting it down. Must read for any Red sox fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great behind the scenes story of why and how he threw the knuckleball
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All Red Sox fans need to read this book. As a fairly new member of Red Sox Nation, I found the background on Tim Wakefield and the early years of his career very informative. I didn't know of his early meteoric rise with the Pittsburgh Pirates and subsequent struggle to almost start over with the Red Sox. I never get tired of reading about the 2004 season, and this book brings back the emotional roller coaster ride that was the 2004 ALCS full tilt.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Review: At first I was very happy to see that there was a book written about Tim Wakefield, a player whose career defines perseverance.  Having set many of the team pitching records for the Boston Red Sox, I expected his autobiography to be rich with many stories about his ups and downs, the various roles he has played in his pitching career and maybe even a few personal insights. Alas, it wasn’t to be.  There were two glaring issues I had with the book while reading it.  One was that it wasn’t written in the first person.  While autobiographies of celebrities are almost always written by a ghostwriter, they are at least told in the first person.  This book doesn’t do that – the pitcher is always “Tim” or “Wakefield”, never “I” or “me.”  So that was problem number one.    Problem number two, at least for me, was a trivial mistake, but one big enough that had me wondering where else I would find gaffes like this.  Wakefield was a member of the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates team that lost a heartbreaking game 7 to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.   It is a highlight finish that was memorable for many reasons.  The section describing that winning play is actually well written except for one detail:  the batter who got the game winning hit was not “Fernando” Cabrerra as written in the book, but instead Francisco Cabrerra.  While that may seem small, I had this thought: if the writer couldn’t get a memorable moment like that correct, what else could be wrong in this book?  While I didn’t do a fact check on everything, it still seemed to take away from the book as a whole. This isn’t to say there weren’t good parts to this book.  I enjoyed the sections about the nuances of the pitch, whether it was about how to throw it, how to catch it or how it moves in a crazy fashion.  I also liked some of the information on knuckle ball pitchers of the past such as Phil and Joe Niekro and Wilbur Wood.  However, what would have made those even better would have been more stories about them, not just a recap of their playing days.    That same reporting style of writing was evident in the rest of the book as a large portion of it is devoted to the ups and downs of the Red Sox franchise during Wakefield’s time as a pitcher for them.  While it was somewhat fun to relive the historic comeback the Red Sox made against the New York Yankees in 2004, and uplifting to see Wakefield become such an iconic figure for the franchise, the book felt more like a Red Sox history lesson (and one that skims at that) than it did as a biography for Wakefield.  A disappointing read for me, but Red Sox fans might enjoy it for a brief historical perspective of the recent team history.  Did I skim? No.   Pace of the book:   It moved along fine.  It never really dragged along or seemed too dry despite the lack of insight or personal stories. Do I recommend?   No, unless the reader wants to learn more about the nuances of the knuckleball.  That was the best part of the book.  But if the reader wants to learn about the Red Sox or Wakefield’s career as a whole, those can be found in other sources.
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Farting rules
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Wakefield is a great guy. This book is well written and great for baseball fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Husband thought this was a very interesting book on the history of the knuckle ball. He is interested in most any sports history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its all about the Cardinals ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This player was a great starting pitcher to a very great reliever. Way better than R.A. Dickey!