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May 5, 2013

BOOK NOOK: R.A. Dickey's autobiography a must-read

Tonawanda News — On March 29th, 2012, one day after the start of Major League Baseball's 2012 season, famed knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey became a published author. The release of his autobiography, “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball” would spark a national promotional tour, as the pitcher/author showed up for appearances ranging from local book stores to Comedy Central's “The Daily Show.”

Written with the help of New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey, “Wherever I Wind Up” details the overwhelming struggles Dickey faced from childhood up until the start of the 2012 season. An epilogue was later added for the paperback addition, touching on the pitcher's Cy Young award-winning 2012 season (an award signifying the best season-long pitching performance in the league.) 

Dickey's story is gripping, emotional and powerful. Sexually abused by his babysitter at the age of eight, and again later that year by a 17-year-old stranger, Dickey would spend the better part of his life coping with the experiences, as his father grew more and more distant following a divorce and his mother slipped into alcoholism. 

The autobiography details how Dickey used the strict rules and boundaries of the private school he attended, along with the love and care of a select group of teachers and coaches, to stabilize himself as a child. Focusing on sports as an escape from his past, Dickey would go on to become a top five college prospect for the major leagues, before tragedy would strike again.

R.A. Dickey explains in his story how after being drafted in the big leagues, he was quickly released after medical tests unveiled that the pitcher was missing an important ligament in his arm. His life soon spiraled back out of control, and his major league dreams seemed all but lost, until he discovered his redeeming ticket: the knuckleball pitch. 

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