Every once in a while you meet a guy, someone out of the ordinary who grabs your attention, this spring, for me, it’s Frank Viola III.
Viola, who turns 30 this year was something of a journeyman, playing with several teams and being affected by Tommy John surgery and a knee injury. By 2007, he was out of baseball.
In 2012, Viola started working with R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield and Phil Niekro on developing a knuckleball. In March, he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, which is where I first encountered him.
I was walking around the Englebert Complex taking pictures (as I always do) and stopped to watch one of the games. I was sitting on the bleachers when one of the Jays, asked about my camera. I was using my wifi adapter to wirelessly send pictures from my Nikon to my iPhone so that I could photoshop them and upload them to my blog.
We got into a conversation about technology and how I’m a self-proclaimed nerd. He replied, “that’s ok, so am I.”
We chatted for a while and when done he introduced himself just as “Frank”.
For a while, that was all I knew except that he was good friends with R.A Dickey. After some research, I found out who he was and was intrigued by his attempt at a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher.
Unfortunately, even with the Extended Spring Training Phillies and Blue Jays playing each other every week, I never managed to catch him pitching…until today.
Baseball Ross always says his favorite thing about baseball is that every day you will see something you’ve never seen before. Today, I finally got my chance.
I was fascinated. Knuckleballers are rather rare and Viola throws his from a 3/4 arm slot. It was something I’ve never seen and I was just amazed.
I took several pictures:
I even took some video:
Click Here to See
So that was my morning. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game, sitting in the sun and seeing something new.
Baseball is the life and a good one.