|Barton Silverman/The New York Times|
As the regular baseball season ended, I posted about two good things I thought could be said about the Mets' otherwise miserable run this year. One of these was R.A. Dickey's twenty wins, the first for the team since Frank Viola's 22 years ago. Now Dickey has capped that achievement by winning the National League Cy Young award. He is only the third Met--the others are Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden--to have that honor.
Dickey is my kind of guy. His pitch--the knuckleball--relies on finesse rather than brute strength. He came to the Mets not as a heralded superstar but as a journeyman who might find a place in the rotation. In rare fashion, he improved after donning the blue and orange. He's also an intellectual. Yogi Berra was once asked if there were any intellectuals among his Yankee teammates. He offered one name, saying he once saw this player "reading a book that didn't have any pictures." Dickey was an English literature major at the University of Tennessee, reads avidly, and was inspired by Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro to climb that mountain in order to raise funds for an organization that serves victims of human trafficking in India.