In a new reality show series debuting on the MLB Network on Feb. 13, skilled knuckleballer Tim Wakefield — who spent most of his storied MLB career slinging the unique pitch as a member of the Boston Red Sox — will be teaching the art of knuckleball to a bunch of former — some famous, some not so much — college quarterbacks in a show entitled, The Next Knuckler.
The most famous participant in this oddly conceived reality show is without a doubt Doug Flutie, star quarterback from Boston College way back when who later moved on to the professional ranks of the USFL before moving on to stints in the NFL (with stops in the Canadian Football League with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots (twice), San Diego Chargers and perhaps most prominently with the Buffalo Bills and the related cereal success of Flutie Flakes.
As reported by Big League Stew, others taking part on The Next Knuckler are “former major league third baseman Josh Booty of LSU, along with his brother John David Booty of USC…David Greene, who played for Georgia, and Ryan Perrilloux, who played for LSU.”
The winner of the competition will win an invitation to Arizona Diamondbacks spring training with the possible opportunity of pitching in an exhibition game.
Co-hosting the festivities alongside Tim Wakefield will be his former Red Sox teammate Kevin Millar.
Said Wakefield, discussing the show on the premiere episode (via Boston.com): “I’ve dedicated my entire baseball life to the challenging art of throwing the knuckleball. Now, I’ve embarked on this mission to continue the knuckleball legacy. These guys were great athletes on the gridiron so I wanted to try this experiment out. You don’t have to grip the baseball the way I threw it, but if you want to win, you have to lose the spin.”
Sounds like a grand experiment. And perhaps the 50-year-old Flutie can conjure up some magic from his Boston College days and…I don’t know…throw a Hail Mary knuckleball or something and run around the ballpark like a madman.