Former Vol flamethrower R.A. Dickey's transformation into a knuckleball pitcher has reached new heights as he was named to the National League All-Star Team on Sunday.
"It's not an honor just for me," Dickey said. "It's an honor for every person that's ever supported me and helped me along the way. For every fan that believed special things could happen, if you apply yourself."
Dickey becomes the fifth Tennessee player to earn a spot on an All-Star Game roster, joining Ed Bailey (1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1963), former teammate Todd Helton (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), Phil Garner (1976, 1980, 1981) and Rick Honeycutt (1980, 1983).
The New York Mets starting pitcher leads all Major League hurlers with a 12-1 record and 0.88 WHIP, ranks second with an opposing batting average of .190, third with an ERA of 2.15 and fourth with 116 strikeouts.
With Dickey as a prime candidate, starting pitchers for the Midsummer Classic will be announced later this week.
Inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame in February, Dickey is the only three-time First Team All-American in UT baseball history, claiming the honors each year from 1994-96. The Nashville native was also a two-time first team All-SEC selection and an academic All-American following his junior year. In addition, he was a member of the bronze-medal winning 1996 Team USA Olympic team in Atlanta.
During his time at Rocky Top, Dickey wrote his name in the UT record book as the career leader in wins, appearances, games started, innings pitched and strikeouts. He also holds the school single-season records for wins and innings pitched and ranks third for strikeouts.
Since being selected as with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers, Dickey has embarked on a 10-year career in the big leagues. In addition to the Rangers, he has also spent time with the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins before joining his current team, the New York Mets in 2010.