Robert Allen Dickey certainly isn’t a normal baseball player. First off, he’s a knuckleballer so that automatically makes him weird. Second, he loves Star Wars. Like, he really likes Star Wars. So when Dickey announced that he wanted to bike up Mount Kilimanjaro I thought, “yeah, that’s about right”.

When the Mets front office heard about this they weren’t too excited. It’s most likely because they are paying him $4.5M for the 2012 and biking up Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t the safest thing you can do. Per year there are about 30,000 people who attempt to climb the mountain. 12,000 of them fail to reach the summit and there are about nine deaths per year. The Mets are scared he’ll be one of those 12,000 and the reason he won’t make it is because tears his hamstring or his anterior capsule or his rotator cuff (they’re the same thing right?). For the Mets current financial state, $4.5M is a lot of money and they don’t want that all going down the drain because of a loose rock.

So the Mets sent Dickey a letter saying that they don’t want him to ride up Mount Kilimanjaro. Sandy Alderson said, “If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn’t have sent the letter,” but I don’t think a simple letter will dissuade a real man like R.A. Dickey. Even Alderson didn’t think it would. The letter to Dickey is kind of like the “No Sleigh Riding At Anytime” sign by the giant hill at my high school. When it snows everyone goes there to go down the hill, but when a make-shift sleigh takes out some little kids knees and sends him flying through the air, the school doesn’t want to be held reasonability for the permanent alterations to the child’s body. That’s what the Mets are doing. If Dickey hurts himself at all or if anything bad happens to him on the highest mountain in Africa, they can void his contract.

Even with the very threatening letter, Dickey set off to bike up the mountain. He said that he has received a ton of support from everyone and that he is very thankful for it.

As a Mets fan it is exciting to see Dickey doing this, however I have to admit I’m a little nervous. He is one of our best pitchers and probably the only pitcher we can really count on for the 2012 season. I’m not really scared about him dying because there is around a .03% chance of that happening, but there are injuries that could occur on the ride. Even smaller thing could happen that would affect other people, but could for a professional athlete like Dickey.

Dickey is riding up to raise awareness and money for the Bombay Teen Challenge, which fights against human trafficking. One of the reasons Dickey is one of my favorite Mets is because he just seems like such a great and honest guy. In sports there are a lot of conceited, self-righteous people. I feel like Dickey is just your everyday guy, who happens to throw an amazing knuckleball. What makes him even more likeable is that he does things like donating clothing and money to under-privileged communities and other endeavors like this one.

So good luck R.A., I hope you raise a lot of money for this great cause and make it home safe! We need you this year.

Bombay Teen Challenge Website: http://bombayteenchallenge.org/

5 comments on “R.A. Dickey starts climbing anyway

  • Chris F

    Just as a point of note, I think the climb will be on foot, not by bike. Nevertheless, an ascent of Kili is a genuine mountaineering accomplishment given the altitude (to me, this is the greatest concern about RA’s effort because of the potential for high altitude pulmonary edema).

    Good luck RA! Maybe the climb will make you knuckler even harder to hit in ’12!

    • Brandon Lee

      Nope, he’s actually biking up the mountain. Which makes it a little more dangerous I believe. I’m not very familiar with the mountain, so I’m not sure.

  • Mike Koehler

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the front office was first discussing Dickey’s plans. They must have been thrilled that one of their guys was working with such a good cause – if for no other reason that it puts the words Bombay Teen Challenge and Mets in the same sentence – even if it possibly meant losing one of their main players.

    Then again, is anybody expecting this year’s team to win more than 75 games? If they lost Dickey for the season due to a biking accident, all it would do is open a spot for a younger player.

    • Bus

      I don’t get what the first part of the comment has to do with the second. A man’s philanthropy and personal well-being aren’t dictated by how many games a baseball team will win. There is 0 upside in Dickey getting hurt, don’t suggest something so crazy. If someone younger comes up, they’ll oust Gee or Pelfrey from the rotation.

  • Chris

    For those interested in following RAs ascent of Kilimanjaro, he is blogging for the NYT in the BATS section. Here is his latest!

    Go RA!

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/moments-of-awe/

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