I sat behind the plate at Fenway Park in Boston a few years back and watched Tim Wakefield pitch a game with his knuckleball, and man, the way the ball dove and rose and fluttered and swerved—sometimes, clearly to a distance of feet—it was about the closest thing to magic I've ever seen with my own eyes. The science is hard to understand. (For me at least.) It has to do with air currents and friction created by the seams of the ball and turbulence and vortices. Anyway, Awl pal Christine Schomer helped make what looks to be an excellent documentary about the subject. And here's hoping [...]
"An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey gave one of his bats. Orcrist was not, as Dickey had said, the name of the sword used by Bilbo Baggins in the Misty Mountains in 'The Hobbit'; Orcrist was the sword used by the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the book. (Bilbo Baggins’s sword was called Sting.)"