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Not one knuckleballer.. Not two knuckleballers...


BlueClue

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Let me preface with in the near decade I have umpired, I have never encountered a single knuckleball pitcher until recently.

I was working a fairly competitive men's league- a lot of ex-college and several current semi-pro guys. I go behind to take a couple warmup pitches and notice the ball isn't spinning at all. Out of disbelief, I ask the catcher "was that a knuckleball?", which he confirms, and I think to myself "sweet! I've never actually called a knuckleballer!".

Fast forward two days, I'm back on the field for a men's 30+ tripleheader (2 Plate, 1 Base), I go take a couple warmup pitches and notice it's another knuckleballer. At this point, I'm thinking "two knuckleballers in a row? cool!" and go on with the game.

Final game of the day, I, yet again, take a couple warmup pitches, and notice that, yet again, it's a knuckleballer. At this point, I'm sick of calling knuckleballs this week and just want to see a "normal" pitcher.

Best part? They all went CG's (7 innings). So, I called 21 straight innings of knuckleballs, and I would love it if I don't have to see another for a LONG time.

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Heh at my level I am happy to see a slider a curve ball and a 2 seam fastball along with a 4 seam and the 3 o'clock curveball. Which looks like it will hurt that kids arm and the coaches are yelling at him to "stop that and throw over the top"

Heh have not seen an actual working knuckle ball in LL used to see a lot in BabeRuth and Legion but not in LL..  I bet its cause the ball needs just that much more velocity to really work well.

 

 

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First time I encountered a real knucleballer was in a summer league game. It was later in the game and they brought in this reliever he started pitching typical stuff. Then with 2 strikes and 2 outs he surprises me with the knucleball. He also surprised the batter. I froze up and balled it for some unknown reason. The pitcher yells at me, "Just because you don't know what it is doesn't mean it's not a strike." And he was right... and I let him have his say

The catcher tried to help me out and tell me he should have let me know a knuckle was in his arsenal. 

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Worst game of my umpiring career was with a knuckleballer. I have no idea what happened, but to say I was bad would be an insult to bad umpires. I tried everything I knew to reset, refocus, and refine what I was doing and the end result would have probably been better if I had flipped a coin on every pitch. If there had been an excavator on site I would have dug a hole, climbed in, and asked someone to cover me.

@Richvee was witness to it, yet he still is willing to work games with me and occasionally share a beverage or two. 

I haven't had that problem since, but its lasting memory makes me a more humble umpire.

 

 

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On 7/25/2023 at 11:00 PM, Kevin_K said:

Worst game of my umpiring career was with a knuckleballer. I have no idea what happened, but to say I was bad would be an insult to bad umpires. I tried everything I knew to reset, refocus, and refine what I was doing and the end result would have probably been better if I had flipped a coin on every pitch. If there had been an excavator on site I would have dug a hole, climbed in, and asked someone to cover me.

@Richvee was witness to it, yet he still is willing to work games with me and occasionally share a beverage or two. 

I haven't had that problem since, but its lasting memory makes me a more humble umpire.

 

 

If they just would've swung at everything you would have been fine. :D

By far the strangest night ever on a ballfield with you. 

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On 7/25/2023 at 8:00 PM, Kevin_K said:

Worst game of my umpiring career was with a knuckleballer. I have no idea what happened, but to say I was bad would be an insult to bad umpires. I tried everything I knew to reset, refocus, and refine what I was doing and the end result would have probably been better if I had flipped a coin on every pitch. If there had been an excavator on site I would have dug a hole, climbed in, and asked someone to cover me.

@Richvee was witness to it, yet he still is willing to work games with me and occasionally share a beverage or two. 

I haven't had that problem since, but its lasting memory makes me a more humble umpire.

 

 

Bob Uecker used to say his vast longevity in pro baseball was his ability to be the only one who could catch Phil Neikro!  Basically, he just knocked it down and picked it up when it stopped rolling!

Mike

Las Vegas

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