MLB’s One-Season Wonders: R.A. Dickey and His 2012 Season
2012 seems to be the year for one-season wonders! We already covered Chase Headley in the last round, and now we’ll take a look at knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and his stand-alone 2012 season for the New York Mets.
Prior to 2012
Like most of these one-season wonders, Dickey was an absolute nobody before his stellar season. He bounced around many organizations and had to almost reinvent his entire pitching repertoire. The knuckleball came into play in 2006 while pitching for Texas, yet many still didn’t really bat an eye.
His stats weren’t anything to write home about. In his first nine Major League seasons, Dickey combined for a lackluster 41-50 record with a 4.34 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.404 WHIP and an ERA+ of 99.
When 2012 rolled along, Dickey was 37 years old and found himself with the New York Mets. By this time, he already played for four professional organizations stemming from 1996. Unlike some of the one-season wonder players, he showed promise in 2010-11 with a 3.08 ERA and an ERA+ of 123.
In 2012, Dickey set career bests for all major pitching categories. He went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, and a league-leading 230 strikeouts. These stellar marks earned him a trip to the All-Star Game as well as the highest season honor for a pitcher, the Cy Young Award.
He also did amazing things like throwing 32 2/3 straight scoreless innings which became a Mets record. R.A. Dickey was also the first knuckleballer to ever win a Cy Young Award.
In the 2012-13 offseason, the Mets traded Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Noah Syndergaard, Travis D’Arnaud, and John Buck. With what became of Syndergaard and D’Arnaud, this trade was a mistake for Toronto.
Toronto was so highly set on Dickey that they gave him a two-year, $25 million extension. You must keep in mind that Dickey was 38 which is incredibly old for a ballplayer.
The numbers were solid but never like his impeccable 2012 campaign. Combined with Toronto and a short last-year stint with the Braves, Dickey went 59-62 with a 4.09 ERA, a 4.60 FIP, a 1.273 WHIP, and an ERA plus of 101 (100 is league average).
He finally hung up the cleats following his 2017 season with Atlanta at the age of 42 years old.
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