On April 14, the CBS show 60 Minutes aired an interview between correspondent Lesley Stahl and R. A. Dickey, pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dickey’s story in and of itself is quite interesting – a would-be star pitcher whose upper six-figure starting salary plummeted 90 percent after an x-ray revealed the absence of a key ligament in his right elbow. Following this, his disappointing performance in the majors sent him to the minors, where he excelled.
Throughout his career, Dickey yo-yoed between the two, never quite good enough for the majors, but too talented for the minors. Then, he perfected the knuckleball, a pitch so difficult to master that it had been relegated to archives of baseball. In 2012, he won the Cy Young Award and was recognized as the top pitcher in the National League. A success story for anyone, to be sure, but Dickey’s story goes deeper than the sport of baseball.
Dickey is a survivor of child sexual abuse. At eight years old, he was repeatedly abused by a female babysitter, and that same year was raped by an adult male. It took the threat of his marriage and career falling apart for him to break the silence and confront his past. This is unfortunately a common occurrence: 73 percent of children do not tell anyone about abuse for at least a year, and some never disclose. Luckily, Dickey’s story has a happy ending. Through therapy and faith, he found healing in all sectors of his life. He also became actively involved with a Christian charity based in India that works to liberate women and children who are victims of sex trafficking.
R. A. Dickey is a shining example that there can be life after child sexual abuse. His book, “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball,” details his journey from a troubled childhood to baseball’s number one pitcher.