Given the uncertainty surrounding R.A. Dickey and his continued tenure with the Mets I was feeling in need of some inspiration. It occurred to me that several of us have contributed work to the glory of Dickey's other occupation, that of Sun God and Savior. This work is spread throughout Amazin Avenue and is not conveniently accessible to anyone in full, be they new converts to the Church of Dickey or old hands looking to reconnect.
I want to note first that it is not my intent to offend, or to take credit for the work of others. All work below is cited to its original published source where possible. I apologize for any offense meant. Without further ado, here it is, my poor attempt to codify the liturgy and scripture of the Church of Dickey.
The primary prayers of the Church of Dickey come in many forms and were largely crowd sourced during game threads. As such, credit goes to anyone who has ever uttered an opening prayer or a closing hymnal during a Dickey pitched game. The two most common forms I have seen are below.
Our Dickey, who art on the mound
Floaty be thy balls
Thy knucklers come
The hitters done
In New York, as it is throughout the National League (can change depending on the opponent)
Give us this day our daily win
And forgive us our errors, as you forgive those who err behind you
And lead us not into defeat, but deliver us a victory
For thine is the knuckler, the strikeout, and the win
Forever and ever
Hail Dickey, whiskered face
The Knuckler is with thee
Glorious art thou amongst pitchers, and glorious is the fruit of thy hand, knuckleball
Oh Dickey, Cy Young Winner
Win for us Mets fans
Now, and at the hour of our triumph
The Gospel according to Dickey:
The first sighting of the gospel was this post by deadspy3 in 2010. One comment was this excerpt:
"Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up the knuckler, and follow me. If you try to hang your curve, you will lose. But if you give it up for my sake and for the sake of the ringz, you will win. And what do you benefit if you gain a good FIP, but lose your ringZ? Is anything worth more than the ringz?"
Another excerpt from the Gospel came to us courtesy of Joe Schultz in 2010, "R.A. Dickey Teacheth the Knuckler." It can be found with accompanying image here but it says as follows:
"And Dickey saith: "For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good stuff, or whosoever pitcheth not the balls of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn."
And they were sore amazed in themselves, and wondered.
And Manuel saith unto Ollie: "Thou must not be allowed to reach out thine hand and take also from the bag of balls."
So Manuel banished him from the Majors and putteth him back down on the farm from which he had been taken. And LORD Omar saw that it was good."
- Joe Schultz
One of the most important texts is undoubtedly fxcarden's "The Ten Commandments of The Dickey," which can be found here. It's rather long, so I won't copy paste the whole thing here. However, the commentary provoked several other useful excerpts from the Gospel, which are quoted below:
"And he will strike thee out with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my team mates. And you will know I am Dickey when I lay my vengeance upon you."
"In the beginning was Dickey, and the Knuckler was with Dickey, and the Knuckler was Dickey. The Knuckler was with Dickey in the Beginning. All Knucklers were made through Dickey, and without him was not made any Knuckler that was made. In Dickey was the Knuckler, and the Knuckler was the winz of the Mets. The Knuckler shines in the NL East, and the NL East can never extinguish it."
SuperSantana's contribution to the Church, "R.A. Dickey Lore," explaining further the reasons for our faith in Dickey, is long and can be found here.
The rest of the gospel has been slowly revealed through comments on articles and gamethreads by various of the faithful, particularly the Apostle and noted Dickeyian scholar Steve Sypa. A selection of them are set out below:
And Roy Halladay said unto the masses, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except for Dickey alone." The Gospel of Dickey.
"Let him who is without ulnar ligament cast the first pitch." The Gospel of Dickey.
"‘Give to Wilpon what is Wilpon's, and to Dickey what is Dickey's.'" The Gospel of Dickey.
"It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for Omar Minaya to sign a decent back-up infielder." The Gospel of Dickey.
R.A. Dickey answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the dugout except through me." The Gospel of Dickey.
"Thus it is written, that Dickey shall rise to the occasion every fifth day and scar those batters who dare challenge him."
"He led them on as far as to think they could get on base, then he lifted up his hands, and struck them out with ease."
- Steve Sypa, from "R.A. Dickey and Jason Bay Lead Mets Past Phillies," found here
"And it came to pass while Dickey pitched that the strike zone was pounded and the batters rung up returned to the dugout sad. He led them on as far as to think they could get on base, but then he lifted up his hands, and struck them out with ease. Thus it is written, that Dickey shall rise to the occasion every fifth day and scar those batters who dare challenge him. #GospelofDickey
Dickey said unto all batters, "Because thou hast seen me, thou hast gone 0/3. Many have not hit but yet believed they could". Unto his detractors, Dickey said, "Come and behold my pitch; It floats from my hand into Thole's glove. Be not haters, but believers." #GospelofDickey
After his last start Dickey will show himself again to Mets fans at Citi Field; on this, the wise shall get tickets and go. He said, "Thole, ye shall receive power after the knuckleball is come upon your glove. Ye shall be witness unto the greatness of R.A." When Dickey had spoken these things all beheld the pitch he had taken up, and the Ks that batters received from him. #GospelofDickey
And, my favorite Bible story, the story of Dickexodus:
The child of Nashville grew and Omar brought him to the Wilpons. He became a son of Flushing and they called his name Dickey. And it came to pass when Dickey pitched that he looked at the fans, saw the burdens of Mets fandom and pitched excellently. 50 and 80 MPH he threw them; and blessed them, and called their name ‘knuckleball', in the count when they were thrown. His knuckleball floated this way and that way; when the ump saw there was no swing, he rung the batter up for he was K'ed. Dickey looked upon the faithful of Citi and Dickey had respect unto them, for there are no better fans in baseball. And the Wilpons said, "Dickey has delivered us out of last place, and also drew enough tickets for us to pay our creditors". Dickey has come to deliver Mets fans out last place, and to bring them unto a land flowing with shakes and Keith burgers.
- Steve Sypa, from "Open Thread, Mets vs. Marlins, 4/25/12," found here
"And as he sat beneath the tree, the people came forth and entreated with him. And they said, ‘We are afflicted with losses once more, and we know not how to counteract the bullpen.' And he said unto the people, ‘Shall I then take you upon my shoulders once more? For once you rely upon me, how then shall you better yourselves?'
And Wright stepped forth from the crowd and addressed him.
‘We seek not to use your greatness as our crutch. Let us but stand on thy shoulders, that we may benefit from thy knuckler all 9 innings. Give us but that, O Dickey, and we shall not fail you. Save us from the bullpen, and we shall do the rest.'
And Dickey rose from beneath the tree. As he walked once more towards the stadium, he looked up and said, ‘If thou wilt not bring the losing streak to me, then shall I go forth unto the Stadium and do battle with it there.' "
-blueandorange4life, from "Open Thread, Mets vs. Reds, 8/15/12," found here
The Word of Dickey
May he be Praised Forever More