7 Steps to Hold and Throw a Knuckleball
The knuckleball is one of the most difficult pitches to throw in baseball. But if thrown right, it’s even harder to hit. Imagine those old cartoons where Bugs Bunny or some character pitches a ball and it circles, loops, stops in mid-air, then speeds up and zooms off again, leaving Porky Pig baffled. A great knuckleball looks like that to a batter – it leaves them baffled.
Few pitchers throw the knuckleball because it is so tough to control. Most major league pitchers need pinpoint accuracy, which is why they tend to stay away from the knuckleball. This is why you will hear an announcer refer to a pitcher who regular throws this pitch as a “knuckleballer.”
The goal of throwing a knuckleball is to put little or no spin on the ball. This has two results. First, it’s tough for batters to get a good read on how the ball is moving. Usually, they can watch the spin of the ball to predict what pitch they are seeing, and hence, where it should end up. Second, the knuckleball moves much more erratically than a typical pitch.
Here’s the steps you need to follow to hold and throw a knuckleball:
HOW TO HOLD A KNUCKLEBALL
- Hold the ball with the seams running sideways. Put your index and middle fingers on top of the ball with just the tips of your fingers touching it. The rest of your index and middle finger should extend up and off the ball – it should look like you giving the ball bunny ears.
- Place your ring finger along the side of the ball and rest it there, pointing downward.
- Put your thumb on the seam opposite your ring finger.
- Leave you pinkie hanging off the ball.
HOW TO THROW A KNUCKLEBALL
- Wind up as if you were throwing a normal pitch.
- When you release the ball, try to keep your wrist as firm as possible. Don’t snap it like you would on a normal pitch.
- Make sure you fully follow through.
If you throw a knuckleball correctly, it will slowly bob and weave it’s way to home plate. You’ll leave your batter looking at it like a confused Porky Pig.
It take years and years to learn how to throw a good knuckleball. But if you’re able to control it you’ll have one of the most wicked pitches in your arsenal. Good luck!