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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Orioles right-hander Eddie Gamboa is nearly a year into his transition, tinkering with baseball's most temperamental pitch. But when Gamboa entered his first big-league spring training game on Friday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, he didn't initially resort to throwing his newfound knuckleball. Instead, his first pitch was a 91-mph fastball that whizzed past Rays catcher Ali Solis. Last season was an experiment for Gamboa, born when he tried a knuckleball in front of Hall of Famer Phil Niekro at Orioles minor league camp.
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By Alejandro Zúñiga and The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2014
Whatever roster moves the Orioles make this week or next will be independent of what happens with third baseman Manny Machado, since it looks like his situation won't be resolved soon. Machado is appealing the five-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball this week after he threw his bat in Sunday's loss to the Oakland Athletics. The Orioles were considering several roster potential moves in case Machado dropped his appeal or his hearing was held during the upcoming road trip to Tampa Bay and New York.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2013
BOWIE -- Right-hander Zach Clark has never thrown a knuckleball in a game, but the UMBC graduate would often tinker with the pitch while playing catch during his eight years in the minors. And in his brief stint in the majors with the Orioles last week, that fact was brough to the attention of Orioles manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair. On Friday afternoon, Clark - who within a span of 10 days made his major league debut, was designated for assignment and then optioned to Double-A Bowie to begin a transition toward becoming a knuckleball pitcher - threw his first bullpen session using the pitch.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. -- After right-hander Eddie Gamboa closed out the Orioles' 7-6 Grapefruit League win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field on Monday, catcher Johnny Monell gave the knuckleballer a high five and a catcher's mitt. This spring, when he enters games, Gamboa has given his catchers a special mitt designed to help them handle the knuckleball. “I know I'm not the easiest guy to catch,” Gamboa said. “When a guy is coming out there with his own catcher's glove, I wouldn't be too excited about it either.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. -- After right-hander Eddie Gamboa closed out the Orioles' 7-6 Grapefruit League win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field on Monday, catcher Johnny Monell gave the knuckleballer a high five and a catcher's mitt. This spring, when he enters games, Gamboa has given his catchers a special mitt designed to help them handle the knuckleball. “I know I'm not the easiest guy to catch,” Gamboa said. “When a guy is coming out there with his own catcher's glove, I wouldn't be too excited about it either.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
When right-hander Zach Clark was summoned to Orioles manager Buck Showalter's office two weeks ago and told he was being designated for assignment, the conversation suddenly veered off in a peculiar direction. Clark, who at that moment was still digesting the end of his brief four-day stint in the majors after parts of eight years in the minor, said Showalter abruptly began talking about reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and current Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, who turned his career around after transitioning into a knuckleball pitcher.
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By Jon Meoli and Baltimore Sun Media Group | July 9, 2013
In abandoning the traditional arsenal he honed for decades to start throwing a knuckleball this spring, Orioles minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa gave his career over to a fickle and foreign pitch that frustrates both hitters and the pitchers who throw it. Gamboa had been a reliable, strike-throwing right-hander who spent parts of four seasons in Double-A. On Wednesday night, he'll take his knuckleball to Triple-A, one step closer to becoming the latest in a line of major league pitchers including R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield to have that pitch breathe new life into his career.
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By Jake Curtis and Jake Curtis,San Francisco Chronicle | July 7, 1991
That mysterious, inexplicable, vilified and totally unique pitch known as the knuckleball may become baseball's whooping crane: The strange creature is on the verge of extinction.Only two of those odd beasts known as knuckleball pitchers remain in the major leagues -- Tom Candiotti of the Toronto Blue Jays and Charlie Hough of the Chicago White Sox."I think the knuckleball is fading out," said Hall of Fame catcher Rick Ferrell, now an executive consultant for the Detroit Tigers.Ferrell knows knuckleballs; he had the maddening task of being the Washington Senators' catcher in 1944 and '45, when the Senators had four knuckleballers in their starting rotation.
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By Bob Rubin and Bob Rubin,Knight-Ridder News Service | June 16, 1991
Tom Candiotti threw three wicked knuckleballs in a row to Kirby Puckett in a recent game at the Metrodome. The pitches danced, sailed, darted, dived, fluttered -- did everything but go out for franks and a beer -- and a serious game enjoyed a moment of comic relief."
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
In today's Baltimore Sun, I wrote a story on the Orioles' efforts to convert minor league pitchers Zach Clark and Eddie Gamboa into knuckleballers. Clark and Gamboa are working with Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who won 318 games and revolutionized the knuckleball, while both pitchers are at Double-A Bowie. In speaking with the 74-year-old Niekro this week, you can tell he's still very passionate in teaching the knuckleball to young pitchers. He realizes that, in some ways, it can make a difference in helping a pitcher break into the majors.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Orioles right-hander Eddie Gamboa is nearly a year into his transition, tinkering with baseball's most temperamental pitch. But when Gamboa entered his first big-league spring training game on Friday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, he didn't initially resort to throwing his newfound knuckleball. Instead, his first pitch was a 91-mph fastball that whizzed past Rays catcher Ali Solis. Last season was an experiment for Gamboa, born when he tried a knuckleball in front of Hall of Famer Phil Niekro at Orioles minor league camp.
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By Jon Meoli and Baltimore Sun Media Group | July 9, 2013
In abandoning the traditional arsenal he honed for decades to start throwing a knuckleball this spring, Orioles minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa gave his career over to a fickle and foreign pitch that frustrates both hitters and the pitchers who throw it. Gamboa had been a reliable, strike-throwing right-hander who spent parts of four seasons in Double-A. On Wednesday night, he'll take his knuckleball to Triple-A, one step closer to becoming the latest in a line of major league pitchers including R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield to have that pitch breathe new life into his career.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
In today's Baltimore Sun, I wrote a story on the Orioles' efforts to convert minor league pitchers Zach Clark and Eddie Gamboa into knuckleballers. Clark and Gamboa are working with Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who won 318 games and revolutionized the knuckleball, while both pitchers are at Double-A Bowie. In speaking with the 74-year-old Niekro this week, you can tell he's still very passionate in teaching the knuckleball to young pitchers. He realizes that, in some ways, it can make a difference in helping a pitcher break into the majors.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
When right-hander Zach Clark was summoned to Orioles manager Buck Showalter's office two weeks ago and told he was being designated for assignment, the conversation suddenly veered off in a peculiar direction. Clark, who at that moment was still digesting the end of his brief four-day stint in the majors after parts of eight years in the minor, said Showalter abruptly began talking about reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and current Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, who turned his career around after transitioning into a knuckleball pitcher.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2013
BOWIE -- Right-hander Zach Clark has never thrown a knuckleball in a game, but the UMBC graduate would often tinker with the pitch while playing catch during his eight years in the minors. And in his brief stint in the majors with the Orioles last week, that fact was brough to the attention of Orioles manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair. On Friday afternoon, Clark - who within a span of 10 days made his major league debut, was designated for assignment and then optioned to Double-A Bowie to begin a transition toward becoming a knuckleball pitcher - threw his first bullpen session using the pitch.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2013
Right-hander Zach Clark had a crazy week -- he went from being promoted to the majors, to pitching in his first big league game, to being designated for assignment and then finally to clearing waivers on Monday. The 29-year-old UMBC graduate has been sent to Double-A Bowie, where he'll work on throwing a knuckleball. After parts of eight seasons in the minors, Clark made his debut with the Orioles on Wednesday in Seattle and allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings. He was taken off the 40-man roster to make room for Freddy Garcia.
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By Jason LaCanfora and Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF | January 7, 1997
Phil Niekro grasps fully the importance of the knuckleball. It's the pitch that enabled him to win 300 games and become the only player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday.But on the day the knuckleball finally reaped its greatest reward for Niekro, he reminisced about the one occasion he didn't need the pitch.Niekro threw only one knuckleball on Oct. 8, 1985, when he beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-0, pitching a four-hitter for his 300th victory and, at age 46, becoming the oldest pitcher in history to throw a shutout.
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July 22, 2009
Ageless wonders Cubs@Phillies, 1 p.m. [WGN]; Red Sox@Rangers, 8 p.m. [ESPN] A pair of pitchers try to channel Tom Watson's performance at golf's British Open. Former Oriole Jamie Moyer (left), 46, starts for Philadelphia, and Boston's Tim Wakefield, 42, tries to foil the potent Texas lineup with his dancing knuckleball.
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By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2013
Louis Mortimer Sleater, a standout high school athlete who ended his seven-year major league pitching career with the Baltimore Orioles and was later a steel salesman, died of lung disease Monday at his Timonium home. He was 86. A left-handed knuckleballer, he played for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves and Detroit Tigers before joining the Orioles in 1958. "He was the epitome of the journeyman left-hand pitcher in the 1950s," said Phil Wood, an MASN broadcaster who lives in Glyndon.
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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2010
Being constant and unfortunate residents of the American League East, the Orioles are no stranger to the knuckleball, having faced Red Sox right-hander Tim Wakefield, a fixture of Boston's rotation, twice already this season. On Friday, though, in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets, the Orioles witnessed a completely different animal courtesy of R.A. Dickey, whom they previously faced five years ago when his power knuckler was a floating, fluttering experiment. It's big league now, and it created ugly swing after ugly swing, strikeout after strikeout and missed opportunity after missed opportunity.
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