The knuckleball has become a bit of a lost art in the modern game of baseball. Thankfully, there are some people doing what they can to bring back the pitch that has baffled countless batters who’ve faced it, including Minnesota Twins prospect Cory Lewis.
There’s no real consensus when it comes to pinpointing the person who invented the knuckleball, but it started to become increasingly popular in the early 1900s thanks to pitchers like Toad Ramsey and Eddie Cicotte, who had a reputation for being able to perplex opponents who had trouble figuring out where the notoriously unpredictable pitch would end up by the time it reached the plate.
The fact that there’s only so much a pitcher can do to determine the path of a knuckleball has undoubtedly played a role in its relative rarity in the MLB.
With that said, notable names including R.A. Dickey, Phil Niekro, and Tim Wakefield all had lengthy and successful careers on the back of their signature pitch (and definitely helped some of the catchers who specialized in snagging them extend their shelf life in the league).
As things currently stand, Steven Wright (who’s been a free agent since 2021) was the last MLB pitcher to experience extended success on the back of the knuckleball, but the aforementioned Lewis is certainly hoping he’ll be able to become the next with the help of a pitch he recently showed off in an absolutely mesmerizing video.
The 22-year-old was selected by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2022 MLB Draft and is currently honing his skills as a member of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Minnesota’s “High-A” affiliate.
While it’s usually pretty hard for players at that level to attract a ton of attention, Lewis is a very notable exception courtesy of a slow-motion clip that captured his virtually motionless knuckleball making its way toward an awaiting catcher.
— Ethan Chapman (@EthanMChapman) August 28, 2023
Long live the knuckleball.