The Master Of The KnuckedPosted: Updated:
YAKIMA, Wash - The knuckle is made up of two finger joints coming together, and the knuckleball is made up of a rare pitcher who can make a baseball dance. Houston Summers of the Yakima Bears is that rare pitcher.
"I use my fingernails and let it fly," said Summers.
There are only a couple knuckleballers in the major leagues right now, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. Summers didn't even start out as a pitcher. He was a catcher, then a second basemen, then a third basemen before his big break. He was playing catch in the outfield and threw the knuckleball for fun. When coaches saw him throw it, he began his journey to becoming a knuckleball pitcher.
"Being a catcher actually helps a lot because I'm used to the sequences, I know the hitter, and I can see what hitters are doing," said Summers.
"I want to go out there and give him a strong start every time," said Summers. "I go out there and try to give him six or seven innings every time."
Ryan Babineau, the Bears catcher, has caught Summers a couple times this summer.
"You really got to concentrate every pitch for sure because the ball is dancing all over the place,"said Babineau. "Your pretty much getting 'knucked' almost every pitch. Its not difficult calling a game, its just completely different."