Throwing a knuckleball

For those of you who don’t know (and for those that care), I play baseball. More specifically, slo-pitch (please don’t call it “lob-ball”…sounds lame). I’ve always played some form of baseball my entire life. I love the game.

One early summer, it was about 15° Celsius (that’s about 59°F) and it was windy…really windy. Our regular pitcher wasn’t there, so I stepped in as I often do. Many of you may say there is no skill involved in pitching slo-pitch. But you’re wrong. And on a night like that, it’s very difficult.

So…there I was throwing the ball well left of the plate and the ball was curving in because of the wind. But it was coming in just right for the batters and they were pounding it. The other team scored quite a few runs in the first 2 innings – we were not as successful at the plate and were falling behind.

A teammate of mine came up to me between innings. He assured me I was doing a great job under tough conditions. I thanked him.

Then he asked if I could throw a knuckle-ball? With the wind, it would be very difficult to hit.

I understand the mechanics of throwing a knuckle-ball, but I had never been that successful at throwing one. In my opinion, I couldn’t throw it correctly. I wasn’t able to minimize the spin enough. But he was right…it would be the perfect pitch.

I agreed to try the very next inning. Much to my surprise, it was working. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to get the job done. The ball was moving erratically and the other team had a harder time hitting the ball. I actually caused 2 guys to strike out swinging (doesn’t happen too often in slo-pitch).

We managed to minimize their runs for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, we were not able to gain enough ground and lost by 4 runs…but that’s not the point.

Here’s what I learned:

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Author: Tim Baker, CHRL

Tim is a Certified Human Resources Leader with a diverse professional background including Operations Management, Customer Service and Human Resources Management.

He leverages his experience to partner with clients offering a range of services and support. He works with organizations to create solutions resulting in a high performance workplace.

Tim is an active member and volunteer with the Human Resources Professionals Association, and the York Region chapter through their Mentoring programs, Social Media Committee and Annual Conference & Trade Show.

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