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Real Principles For Real Change

Throwing the Knuckleball - Jacqueline O'Doherty


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Friday, February 14, 2014

This past week, my husband and I saw the movie Knuckleball. This documentary follows the careers of R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield, both professional baseball players, both knuckleball pitchers.

It occurred to me that the knuckleball just might be another useful metaphor for the inside-out truth we live in.

For those of you who, like me, know very little about baseball, the knuckleball is a pitch in which the ball is thrown in a very counter-intuitive way. The pitcher's knuckles or finger tips grip the ball and release it directly from the hand, minimizing spin, and causing the ball to look like it's pretty much defying the laws of physics.

A properly thrown knuckleball is disorienting to the batter because it flies much slower than other pitches, and can flutter or change direction in mid-flight, even just as it's about to cross the plate.

The science behind this is fascinating! Once it leaves the hand of the pitcher, the lack of spin causes the stitching of the ball to inter-play with the air current around it, making it move very unpredictably, and yet accurately enough to fool a batter into swinging at it. …And it’s the most...

 
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