Mets knuckleballer RA Dickey has been inducted into the Tennessee Vol Baseball Hall Of Fame. Dickey is one of 18 members of the Vol Hall of Fame.
Said the Mets starter:
"I have mixed emotions about (being inducted) because it's real nice to be recognized as a great player at Tennessee, but at the same time, I'm certainly aware that I'm no more than the product of people that poured into me well and loved on me well while I was here, two of them being Bill Mosiello and Dave Serrano. I think whatever level of talent I brought into UT from high school, they cultivated it into this honor. It's as much their award as it is mine."
Dickey, who recently returned from reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and raising over $100,000 for his charity, Bombay Teen Challenge, reminisced about his time at Tennessee and learning how to throw the knuckleball after losing much velocity of his once blazing fastball:
"I think one of the things that I learned (at Tennessee) is that there are more ways to skin a cat than just one, and that has helped me," Dickey said. "Having the aptitude to own the things you don't do well and try to recognize that and get better from them has been a big deal in my career. Self-awareness has been a part in that, being able to realize that being a conventional pitcher no longer was going to work for me, so I really had to embrace the knuckleball completely. To that end, I went and worked with Charlie Hough, Phil Neikro and Tim Wakefield, three of the best knuckleballers to ever walk the planet, and tried to gain any wisdom I could from those guys and they were very generous with it. It's another situation where guys leveraged themselves to help me, and I'm incredibly grateful for that."
While at Tennessee Dickey was the all time leader in wins, innings pitched, appearances and games started. New York’s knuckleballer also holds single season records in wins, innings pitched, and ranks third in strikeouts.
Upon his enshrinement Dickey was presented with a granite plaque, as well as a unique piece of art, created by current Tennessee junior pitcher Samuel Davis, entitled "Through the Years." The drawing featured Dickey's various journeys in baseball, including his time at UT, with Team USA and in professional baseball.
Let’s hope Dickey’s productive off-season will translate in to productive 2012.