Knuckleball is a documentary that mostly focuses on Tim Wakefield’s last season and R.A. Dickey’s first full season as a regular for the Mets (the season before his Cy Young year). For obvious Red Sox fan reasons, I was more interested in the Wakefield stuff than Dickey’s story, but it was interesting all around.
The one thing I didn’t like is that they glossed over the beginning of Wakefield’s career with the Sox. They told the obvious points of his story: washed out first baseman, converted to knuckleballer, had an amazing rookie year with the Pirates, total flop the next year and released, picked up by the Sox, trained with the Niekros, got his career back together, World Series rings. But they went straight from the training with the Niekros to the Aaron Boone homer in the 2003 ALCS, skipping over his first season with the Red Sox. He was so good that year, and actually threatened the all-time winning percentage record for a pitcher. In mid-August he was 14-1 with a 1.65 ERA. Kinda fell apart towards the end (he ended up 16-8, 2.95), but it was an amazing first year for a player recently cut by another team. And of course I and all my friends were trying to throw knuckleballs in our backyards. Unsuccessfully, but it was fun.