R.A. Dickey Wins Cy Young Award – A Feel Good Story Just Right for Today
One bright spot in an otherwise anxiety filled November is the news that Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has just won the National League Cy Young Award.
Dickey earned 27 of 32 first-place votes, finishing ahead of Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals. The awards are voted on every year by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
It was a stunning transformation for the former journeyman, who learned the quirky knuckleball as a last-ditch effort to save his wilting career, and it played out with introspective narration each step of the way.
“Growing up, you just want to compete, and then once you have the weaponry to compete, you want to be really good, and then when you’re really good, you want to be supernaturally good,” Dickey said after winning his 20th game in September. “For me, there’s been this steady metamorphosis from just surviving, to being a craftsman, and then, ultimately, the hope is to be an artist in what you do. This year is kind of representative of that for me.”
And it’s the “just surviving” part of the narrative that’s the most inspirational.
In his autobiography “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball”, Dickey tells of the horrors he faced as a child…a survivor of sexual abuse and a dysfunctional childhood, about his eventual entry into the Major Leagues, his less than stellar start; and eventual finding of a home with the hapless Mets where the artistry of mastering the knuckleball became his calling card.
It’s a tale that’s befitting of the times we live in; as so many are suffering losses too unimaginable to even think about.
I don’t know if anyone who’s recently lost their home or livelihood can take solace in his story; but there are certainly parallels to what many of us are going through.
The shock of loss, the grim reality of having to rebuild…but hopefully the eventual surmounting of the challenges we face.
Even if you're not a Met fan, you'll find the book inspirational.