Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pitcher R.A. Dickey Reaches The Peak Of His Game

The view was unforgettably magnificent, as incredible as anything I have ever seen. But as I took time to contemplate, I realized that the reason the view was so rich was the overall experience of the trek. We had walked approximately 40 miles and climbed 13,000 feet since the beginning of the journey, overcoming all kinds of adversities. All the while, we were building relationships with everyone from the porters to one another, sharing in our triumphs and helping one another in times of need.  -- R.A. Dickey upon reaching the summit at Mt. Kilimanjaro
R.A. Dickey is not your typical ballplayer.   Only after he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1996, was it discovered that he was missing his ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.  A mediocre pitcher with unconventional stuff, he developed a knuckleball, with which he has gained some modicum of success as a Met the last couple of years. 

Dickey has endeared himself to Met fans with his intensity and his quirkiness (he is an avid reader and keeps a stack of books in the dugout) and by his fairly decent playing for a pretty dismal team (winning 11 games in 2010 and pitching well last year despite an 8-13 losing record.)

This off season Dickey announced his intention to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking in India.  (If injured he could have forfeited his $4 million salary.)  Dickey, a born-again Christian, is supporting an organization called "Bombay Teen Challenge," which ministers to "desperate people living on the streets and in the red light district of Mumbai."  Specifically, Dickey hoped to raise $100,000, for the purchase of a health clinic in the heart of the red light district "to allow thousands of women living in the brothels to become introduced to Bombay Teen Challenge and ultimately, have a chance at freedom."

Dickey reached the summit on January 14, which he writes about here.  He was accompanied by Dave Racaniello, the team’s bullpen catcher; and Kevin Slowey, a former teammate, now with the Colorado Rockies (and 2 guides, 4 assisting porters, 11 regular porters and a cook.)  They arrived back in the States on January 17th, and reportedly surpassed their goal of raising $100,000.

This very well may be the highlight of the Mets' season.


Post a Comment