The Top 3 Knuckleballers of All Time

The Top 3 Knuckleballers of All Time - partycasino

Every pitcher dreams of having a technique that hitters find almost impossible to handle. Unfortunately, in an era where faster, harder balls are in demand, this can take a real toll on the pitcher's arm. 

But it doesn’t always have to be the case: enter knuckleballs. 

Thrown softer but infinitely harder to hit, throwing a knuckleball takes practice and skill. Without any spin, a knuckleball weaves through the air, following an unpredictable trajectory that is very difficult for a hitter to connect with. 

Not every pitcher manages to get the knack of throwing knuckleballs; they’re even hard to throw than they are to hit! But there are some pitchers who put a real curveball in MLB betting by mastering knuckleballs and dominating from the mound.

Here are three of the best.

Phil Niekro

Widely considered to be the best knuckleball pitcher of all time, Phil Niekro pitched for almost a quarter of a century. The slower speed of the knuckleball allowed him to remain in peak condition physically and continue to pitch when other styles of pitcher would have been forced to retire. 

Appearing between 1964 and 1987, Niekro notched up the most wins of any other knuckleball pitcher. With an ERA of 3.35, 318 wins and more than 3000 strikeouts, Niekro’s stats were impressive. 

His standout achievements include a no-hitter, appearing in the All-Stars five times, and winning the Gold Glove five times. 

Interestingly Phil Niekro's brother, Joe, was also a knuckleball pitcher in MLB, but his career wasn't as long or as distinguished as Hall of Famer Phil.

Tim Wakefield

Tim Wakefield played with the Boston Red Sox for almost two decades, being the last successful knuckleball pitcher. Wakefield was at the mount from 1992 to 2011, making him a very well known name within the sport. 

He struck out over 2000 and won 2000 games, but despite these stats won't make it to the Hall of Fame as his ERA is higher than average at 4.41. He has plenty of other accolades that he collected during his playing career, including appearing in the All-Star team in 2009, appearing on two world championship teams and collecting the prestigious Roberto Clement Award. 

Although his playing career is now over, Tim Wakefield still makes regular appearances on TV as a contributor to the broadcasting team for the Boston Red Sox.

Eddie Cicotte

Probably the best knuckleballer that ever lived, Eddie Cicotte isn’t a name that everyone will recognise because he played a very long time ago. Cicotte’s career stretched from 1905 to 1920, including 208 wins, more than 1300 strikeouts and an impressively low ERA of just 2.38.

However, despite an outstanding career as a pitcher, Cicotte can't be found in the Hall of Fame. This is because he deliberately lost the 1919 World Series after being swindled out of money by the team owner. The match-fixing was discovered after the event and led to the very first Commissioner of Baseball being installed.