Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
The MLB Network’s inaugural “Next Knuckler” competition concluded tonight with the final elimination show of the series. The competition was comprised of five former division one quarterbacks, and was designed to see which one could be taught to throw a knuckleball best in a short period of time. The former QB who would be able to master the knuckler better than his counterparts would receive a spring training invite to Arizona Diamondbacks camp. Former LSU quarterback Josh Booty outlasted former Georgia quarterback David Greene to win the competition and, as promised, a spring training invite.
Josh Booty, though a quarterback at LSU (and briefly in the NFL as well), was no stranger to the baseball diamond. Before playing football for LSU, Booty played baseball in the Florida Marlins organization, eventually spending a brief period of time in the big leagues. However, Booty was a postion player during that stint, and the stint itself ended in 1998.
With very limited pitching experience under his belt, it will be very interesting to follow Booty’s journey through camp this Spring. He has been there before, but in a completely different capacity. In order to be successful this time around, he is going to have to progress an immense amount as a pitcher in an extremely brief period of time. Though it is very likely the “Josh Booty the Knuckler” experiment will ultimately fail, it should still be a whole lot of fun to watch. I know I’ll be rooting for him.