Scaling Mountains: Mets Pitcher R.A. Dickey Finds True Freedom
“I won’t say it was always easy to relive the most difficult times of my life, but I am a better, stronger person for having done so.”
Rather than bore readers with stats, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey refused to write a straightforward sports book. Instead he makes himself vulnerable, giving a raw account of childhood sexual abuse, infidelity and keeping his sanity after spending 14 years in the minor league system [No. 1 draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 1996]. Dickey found power through his anguish and explores his abuse in a new memoir, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball.
“I won’t say it was always easy to relive the most difficult times of my life, but I am a better, stronger person for having done so.” Dickey says he’s learning to live in the moment, whether it’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds to stop human trafficking in Mumbai, or embracing his invigorated career with the Mets—the soft-spoken Tennessean has truly been transformed by Jesus Christ, he writes.
As far as his career, after spending time with the Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins farm teams, Dickey inked a two-year deal with the Mets in 2011 and finished with a 3.28 ERA and was 13th best in the National League last season. R.A. is certainly overcoming the odds.
Why did you select this time to write this book?
Dickey: I really felt that God gave me a very unique story and it took awhile for me to get the equipment to process it and the vocabulary to communicate it. When these things started to happen, I felt a compulsion from God that he wanted me to share my story, even though it was very painful. I tried to be obedient to that, before I didn’t have the capacity to talk about it [abuse]. It took me a good five years to get to that place where I felt I could talk about it in a way that would make sense and also [that] was transparent.
Were you reluctant to be that transparent?
Dickey: When you say reluctantly, I would say fear. That fear sometimes made me question the consequences of putting the story out there, sure. But in the end I think that made it even more powerful to me in the midst, you know—and to be an active player. I felt God could use that in that moment. I tried to make decisions to get the story out while I was an active player.
Was there a pivotal moment when you really sensed God and his direction?