Throwing the ball vertically will help your muscle memory remember to keep your wrist up as you release. Arch your pointer, middle, ring, and pinky fingers so that the tips are facing down. Arch your pointer, how to make a wiffle ball strike zone middle, and ring fingers so that the tips are facing down. By learning the different knuckleball grips and practicing with the right drills, you can add this unique and effective pitch to your repertoire.
There are only two pitchers who currently throw the knuckleball, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, but due to its control issues, many pitchers tend to stay away. Wakefield says better safe than sorry on this one and highly recommends younger kids wait until their teens to learn curveballs. Safety-wise, your kid can learn this pitch as young as you want to teach it. Skill-wise, good luck; the knuckleball is so difficult to control, there are rarely more than a few pros in the whole league with the cajones to pitch it. The most iconic knuckleball pitcher of the 21st century retired in 2012 after 19 seasons and 200 wins, and Tim Wakefield will forever be a Red Sox fan favorite for good reasons.
Many current pitchers throw a curveball using a grip with the index finger touching the ball with the knuckle or fingertip . To throw a knuckleball, start by choosing a grip, like the two-knuckle grip, which uses the pointer and middle fingers to hold the ball. Next, pitch the ball by keeping a fast arm motion to wind the ball up, and throw the ball with your fingertips, keeping the wrist up as you release it. To perfect your release, loosen your thumb from the grip and allow the ball to slip through your hands, propelling forward. After you’ve thrown a few heaters at your batter, he’ll start to get a sense of your timing. That’s when you want to throw him off with a change-up pitch.
However, Cicotte called the shine ball “a pure freak of the imagination”, claiming that he did this to disconcert hitters and that the pitch was still a knuckleball. The concept is borrowed from baseball where pitchers have been sending down knuckleballs with a view to deceiving batsmen for many years. The issue for the batsman is the subtle change in grip that makes a knuckle ball very difficult to spot so, when delivered correctly, it can be a deceptive delivery. A knuckleball is a slower delivery bowled by a faster bowler. When sending down a knuckleball, the ball is gripped in such a way that it comes out much slower than the bowler’s normal delivery.
More so than any other pitch, if you want to throw a knuckleball, you need to work hard on mastering each step of how to grip and release the ball. While the knuckleball is not a primary part of a pitcher’s arsenal anymore, those brave few pitchers who spent the time perfecting the pitch have gone on to have great major league careers. A knuckleball pitch is gripped with the ball tucked back into the hand and the thumb resting on the bottom of the ball.
With a knuckleball, make sure that your wrist is up as you release the ball from your hand. If you change your motion at all — either with how you move or how fast you move — then you will be tipping off your pitches to hitters. For a grip with two fingers, you start by arching your middle finger and pointer finger both down. Like any pitch really, the key to throwing a good knuckleball starts with your grip.
For a change-up to be effective, you need to sell the batter that you’re throwing him another fastball. To grip a four-seam fastball, place your index and middle fingertips across the perpendicular seams of the baseball. Your thumb tip should rest on smooth leather, not on a seam. The knuckleball is also employed by cricket fast bowlers Zaheer Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Andrew Tye as their slower delivery. In addition, the lack of backspin does shorten the length of the delivery, and also tends to make the ball skid off the pitch—faster than it would come off a normal delivery.