New Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey may not be on the same level as Ross Ohlendorf when it comes to matters of pure academic brilliance but he's written his own masterpiece. Ross who, did you say? Ohlendorf established himself in 2009 with a 95 m.p.h. sinker for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that was just the tip of his incredible athlete-scholar package. Ohlendorf penned a thesis in 2006, while he was studying at Princeton, on the overall financial return that teams got on signing bonuses from the players they took in the annual amateur draft. Widely lauded for its brilliance, the thesis amazed mathematicians, sabermetricians, scientists and academics alike. It helped earn him the No. 3 spot in the Sporting News smartest athletes in pro sports for 2010. Dickey, who became a Blue Jay in a trade with the Mets this month, didn't make that smartest athletes list but it's most likely because his intellect appears to gravitate toward disciplines like writing, reading and philosophy, rather than stunning SAT scores. Dickey has his own masterpiece, an autobiography entitled "Wherever I Wind Up," and it's the unmistakable English professor quality in his makeup that makes him entirely interesting beyond just knuckleballs and baseball. His book holds nothing back in its exploration of the dark sides of his personal life. The latest example of Dickey's writing appeared in Saturday's New York Daily News. The knuckleballer wrote a farewell letter to Mets fans which underlines not only his writing skills, but a person of obvious compassion and intellect. "I am not going to lie to you . . . " Dickey writes. "The trade was hard for me at first. "This (New York) is where my heart was, where I wanted to be, where I lived out a story of redemption and felt that every one of you shared it with me in some form or fashion. I loved pitching for you. I loved your passion, the way you embraced me from the start, and the way you seemed to appreciate the effort I was putting forth. Every time I'd walk off the mound after an outing, I'd look in your faces, the people behind the dugout, and felt as if all your energy and support was pouring right into me — even when I was lousy. It gives me chill bumps thinking about it even now.
Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey brings his knuckleball, and intellect, to Toronto
Toronto Star | Dec 27