Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

An Obscure Resurgence: RA Dickey

The New York Mets have been arguably the biggest surprise in baseball this year, and while I’m not a New York fan at all, it brightens my heart to see the resurgence of one of my all-time favorite Major Leaguers is partly responsible for the surprising performance of the team. Of course I’m referring to Nashville native and former longtime pro baseball journeyman Robert Allen Dickey.

Dickey, pre-revolution, throwing a two-seamer that probably got whacked.

RA Dickey was drafted by the Rangers in 1996, and made his debut in the majors in 2001. Dickey spent the next season at varying levels of the Rangers’ farm system, but became a full-time major leaguer in ’03, making 38 appearances, 13 of them starts. Dickey put up an unimpressive 9-8 with a 5.09 ERA in 116.2 innings.

Dickey bounced around at different levels of the Texas organization for the next few seasons, the highlight of which was in 2006, when on April 6, Dickey, debuting his knuckleball in the majors, tied the record for most home runs surrendered in a single game. He was then optioned back to triple-A.                                                  

The knuckler dances WAY better in the NL. Take note Wakefield.

Dickey then had a yearlong stint with the Brewers’ organization, pitching well in triple-A ball, enough to earn him a major league spot with the Mariners for ’08. In Seattle, he put up more of the lackluster numbers that kept him on the fringes of major league rosters. A stop in Minnesota in 2009 saw Dickey come out of the bullpen marginally effectively for the Twins.

On January 5, Dickey signed a minor league deal with the Mets, who figured to be a weak major league team at the start of the season. Things began looking up for Dickey once the season started–he pitched remarkably in triple-A Buffalo, highlighted by a complete game 1-hit performance on April 29.

Meanwhile the Mets quietly had a solid April and ended the season’s opening month atop the NL East. May 19, the Mets summoned Dickey to their major league roster. Dickey grabbed his first win as a Met a week later against the Phillies, pitching six shutout innings in an 8-0 New York win.

Dickey is a career 26-28 Major League pitcher, with a 5.25 ERA. Hilariously mediocre numbers. However, since being inserted into the Mets’ starting rotation, in six starts Dickey is 5-0, becoming the first pitcher in the history of the team to win his first five decisions. In 38 1/3 innings, he has a 2.82 ERA, and has cut his walks per nine innings figure drastically for the first place Mets–a team that continues to win despite rocking guys like Chris Carter in the starting lineup. I root for RA Dickey fiercely, and I can’t say enough about this obscure athlete’s resurgence in the NL East. Attaboy  to my boy RA Dickey.

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