Two short years ago Robert Allen Dickey was designated for assignment by the New York Mets, he could have asked to be released, but he had nowhere else to go… Instead, Dickey looked at the demotion as an opportunity, an opportunity to refine his craft. He would do just that and then some. After he returned to the Mets in 2011 he was a “quality start guy,” you know, 3 runs or less while pitching 6+ innings. Since then he has transformed himself into a bonafide number one starter (yes, we know Johan pitches for the Mets). In 2012 Dickey came to spring training equipped with a Knuckler that dives, dances, changes speeds, rises?, and basically flabbergasts opposing hitters. R.A. had figured “it” out.
As a stud “conventional” pitcher coming out of the University of Tennessee he was robbed of first round draft pick money because he was found, through a physical, to be missing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his pitching arm. Dickey has been quoted saying, “Doctors looked at me and said I shouldn’t be able to turn a doorknob without feeling pain, let alone pitch in the major leagues.” In 2012, pitching pain-free, Dickey has gone on to pitch back to back 1-hitters while amassing a 42 1/2 inning scoreless streak, second only in Mets history to Dwight Gooden’s 49 inning streak. Not only is Dickey preventing the opposition from scoring, he’s striking out hitters at an alarming rate. He has seven straight starts with at least 8 strikeouts and has only issued 2 walks over that span. This string of games matches the modern record, accomplished three times previously by Sandy Koufax (1965), Curt Schilling (1997) and Randy Johnson (2001), some pretty good company as far as I’m concerned.
R.A. has hitters consistently shaking their heads as they slowly walk back to the dugout after striking out. But more importantly he has transformed his every start into a “must watch” for Mets fans and baseball fans alike. Even Terry Collins has said, “Every time he takes the mound he has a chance for a no-hitter.” There isn’t a more humble, likable, down to earth player in the major leagues than R.A. Dickey. This only fuels his popularity as he Knuckles his way into stardom.
Kudos Mr. Dickey! Can’t wait for Sunday night…
Mets fans enjoy the show.
Follow us on Twitter @jbiz2033 @peteverdorn @nleastchatter