Mets pitcher, Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey special guest in chapel Thursday

By Kim Chaudoin on 11/7/2012

   
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The Lipscomb community will have a unique opportunity to hear from one of the best pitchers in major league baseball on Thursday, Nov. 15, in a special chapel program.

New York Mets pitcher and 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey is being recognized by Lipscomb’s College of Business as part of its “Heroes of Business” series. He will be the featured speaker at chapel where he will share his inspiring story of overcoming obstacles on the path to his career in baseball. The program begins at 10:55 a.m. in Collins Alumni Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.

“R.A. is a great example of someone who has implemented good business practices and strategies as he has navigated his career as a professional baseball player and in other business interests. In addition to the personal training and preparation he makes to be a good player, he also uses his business acumen to work with contracts, managing his image as well as that of his employer — the New York Mets, he has to make major career decisions. These are lessons we all can learn from,” said Turney Stevens, Dean of the College of Business.

Dickey became the first knuckleballer to earn the National League Cy Young Award, the highest honor in pitching, on Wed., Nov. 14 when the winner was announced. This season, Dickey won 20 games for a 2.73 E.R.A. and led the National League with 230 strikeouts.

A first-round draft pick for the Texas Rangers in 1996, Dickey made his major league debut for the Rangers on April 22, 2001. In addition to the Rangers, he has played for the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins. In 2010, he joined the New York Mets, where he has been a key asset. Dickey's performance in the first half of 2012 drew comparisons to some of the most dominant pitching streaks of the last 50 years. In July, he was named to the National League All-Star Team.

A 1993 graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Dickey was an academic all-American at the University of Tennessee, where he majored in English. In 1996, Dickey was a member of the United States Olympic baseball team that captured the bronze medal. He went 7-0 in 10 starts during the pre-Olympics and Olympics.

He helped form a nonprofit organization called Honoring the Father Ministries, which provides medical supplies, powdered milk and baseball equipment to underserved populations in Latin America. Dickey has also been a part of many ministry and mission efforts throughout the world including risking his career to climb Mount Kilimanjaro between the 2011 and 2012 baseball seasons to raise awareness about human trafficking. He raised more than $100,000 during the climb for Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization dedicated to rescuing young women from forced prostitution

Dickey is also a New York Times best-selling author with his autobiography, "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball," co-written with reporter Wayne Coffey. He recently signed a contract with Penguin’s Dial Books to write three children’s books. The first will be released in fall 2013 and will be a children’s adaptation of his autobiography. The second will be a picture book, with the working title “Knuckleball Ned,” scheduled for release in spring 2014 according to a release by Publishers Weekly.

Dickey and his wife, Anne, have four children.