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Saturday, March 19, 2011

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

Released April 2011

Reviewed by Dave Farnsworth

Red Sox are my team. I've been cheering them on since childhood, which comes down to more than 40 years. Throughout those decades, I've seen many amazing players -- Yaz, Jim Rice, and Wade Boggs to mention a few. Tim Wakefield is another player that's impressed me, though I admit I've also been known to question some of his pitches.

Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch puts it all into perspective. Games where I questioned why he wasn't pitching as well finally made sense. Fans tend to see only the baseball aspect and not always take personal matters into consideration. From the start of the book, Wakefield talks about how he started pitching the knuckleball. He wanted to play baseball. He wanted to bat, run the bases, and such. It was a pitch he toyed with for fun, yet it's become one of his notable achievements. That one pitch turned him into an exciting pitcher and major contributor of the team.

During one of the seasons when I did spend time yelling at the television because of his pitching, there was so much more to the story. His wife was having issues during her pregnancy. They couldn't hear the heartbeat. I've been there. It definitely weighs on your mind and disrupts everything else. I feel like a bit of a jerk now for all my frustration because I know how hard it is to focus on your work when the doctor says there may be a problem. For me that's what Knuckler came down to, it puts perspective on more than just the game and pitching. It paints a side of Tim Wakefield that I failed to stop and consider. I really respect him for getting out there and doing his best job no matter what.

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