You don’t necessarily have to be a baseball fan to love KNUCKLEBALL. The movie follows two Major Leaguers who are the only two who throw the baffling pitch. Instead of focusing on their stats, the movie focuses on their dreams. Tim Wakefield was a minor league hitter who couldn’t hit. A coach noticed him messing around with the knuckleball one day and told him it was his only ticket to the big leagues. He went on to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates, then more famously for the Boston Red Sox. R.A. Dickey was a college phenom who’s dreams were dashed because he was born without a ligament in his elbow. That medical anomaly prevented any team from taking a chance on him. He too was told that his only chance at the “bigs” was the knuckleball. The movie follows the pair through the 2011 season. It would be Wakefield’s last and Dickey’s breakthrough (despite injury and struggles) with the New York Mets. The two players talk about the pitch in an almost spiritual way. They have their mentors (Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough) and some of the best scenes are where the four come together to discuss this “circus pitch” as Dickey describes it. The most dramatic scene is between Dickey and Hough. Dickey is struggling with a foot injury and just can’t reproduce the success that got him a 2-year contract in 2010. It’s the student visiting his mentor in search of answers. And they come for Dickey after that. You wind up caring more about these two guys and their bizarre path to success than any wins and losses on the field. You’d have to be a knucklehead to not enjoy KNUCKLEBALL! — Alan Yudman

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