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Flash Movie Review: Knuckleball!

For some people when they hear these words they expect to have a fun time; others do not share the same feelings. “Start picking sides for your team,” are words I have always found to be twinged with cruelness. Let me show why I think this way. You have a group of people let us say who want to play a game of basketball. Two individuals have been picked as the team captains and they start taking turns picking people for their team. They are certainly going to pick those individuals they think can play well. So as player after player gets picked, imagine how the ones left standing must feel. It is not a real confidence booster, let me tell you. I know how it feels and it takes all the fun out of playing the game, knowing you really were not wanted for the team. There was one PE teacher I had in school who never had teams chosen in this fashion. He would have everyone line up side by side and starting at one end he would assign a number to each student. Usually it was in a series like 1, 2, 3 and 4; other times he would keep assigning numbers in numerical order. Once done he would say all the 1s and 4s will be one team and the 2s and 3s will be the other team. I always found this to be a fairer and kinder way in choosing sides. Ironically, I rose in the pecking order when the other students discovered I threw a hard, fast ball with bull’s-eye accuracy. Little did I know I would have more in common with this sports documentary.    CONFUSION and frustration would be felt by both players and coaches who had or faced pitchers who threw knuckleball pitches. It was a baseball pitch that seemed to have a mind of its own. I was utterly surprised by this documentary DVD. The movie played more like a drama as it showed the highs and lows in a knuckleball pitcher’s life. The main focus of the story centered on Tim Wakefield from the Boston Red Sox and R. A. Dickey of the New York Mets. Each of their stories was so compelling to me; especially Tim who was one of the oldest pitchers in the league. As for the pitch itself, I had no idea what it took to throw such an unpredictable ball; I felt like I was getting a mini-class in physics. There were so many touching parts in this film, aided by the interviews of former pitchers Phil Niekro and Jim Bouton. I am not a team sports fan per se, but I have to tell you I thought this documentary was extra special as it focused on what some consider the underdogs of the baseball world.


3 1/3 stars – DVD







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