Tag Archives: National League

R. A. Dickey’s Journeys

Today I was able to attend Lipscomb University’s “Forehand & Friends” event. Head baseball coach Jeff Forehand and the University hosts these events during the spring. Major Leaguer R. A. Dickey, a close personal friend of Forehand and 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner was coach Forehand’s special guest to kick off the new baseball season.

R.A.DickeyR. A. is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays after being traded from the New York Mets in the off-season after his magical season. He related the difference in pitching in the American League East which is loaded with hitting, compared to the National League East which is more pitcher-laden.

To further his career when it had stalled, R. A. decided to learn to throw a knuckleball  beginning in 2006, he spent the 2007 season with the Nashville Sounds when he was selected as the Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Year. Moving up to the majors he was with the Mariners and Twins before being signed by the Mets.

His 2012 season was very special, but in 2013 he was given the American League’s Golden Glove Award for Pitching.

But that’s not all. R. A. tells his success stories along with his faith stories. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to bring attention to Bombay Teen Challenge that rescues young girls in Mumbai from abuse and exploitation. He has written a book about his life, “Wherever I Wind Up”, which includes a description of being sexually abused as a youngster.

Today he spoke of consistency in his “walk”, his spiritual journey through life guided by God. R. A. told his audience to “live life”; others are curious about how one goes about daily activities and when he is asked about his faith, he has an opening to nurture their own faith journey and minister to them.

“I had to re-invent myself when I decided to learn to throw a knuckleball”, he said. Mentors Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough, and Tim Wakefield helped guide him, but it was ultimately up to Dickey.

“But I get excited about learning.”

It is evident he gets excited about sharing his faith, too.

© 2014 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biography, Current

Nashville’s Fred Toney: Winner of a Double No-Hitter

Fred Toney, born in Nashville on December 11, 1888, pitched the longest no-hit game in baseball history on May 10, 1907 for Winchester in the Bluegrass State League, but may be best known for pitching for Cincinnati on May 2, 1917 against Hippo Vaughn and the Chicago Cubs in a game that is the only one on record where both hurlers tossed no-hitters through nine innings.

Toney won the game by holding the Cubs hitless after Vaughn gave up two runs to the Reds in the top of the tenth.

FredToneyOn July 1, 1917, Toney pitched complete games in a doubleheader for the Cincinnati Reds against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In both games, he allowed three hits each, setting a National League record that still stands. As one of the outstanding pitchers in the National League from 1915 to 1921, Toney lead the league in saves in 1918 and won 20 games in 1917 and 1920.

In 1923 Toney suffered an injury to the middle finger of his pitching hand in a bunt attempt and was never quite as effective as he could not grip a baseball as before. He finished the season 12-11 with the St. Louis Browns, his last season in the majors.

Toney retired after spending his last professional season with Nashville in 1925. He opened a soda and sandwich shop and at the time of his death he was working for the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. He passed away in his hometown on March 11, 1953 and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery.

In 1971 Toney was elected to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized