Phil and Joe Niekro were two of the best knuckleball pitchers of all time, amassing a total of 535 wins between them. Joe was one of the Houston Astros’ greatest pitchers ever. I attended many of his games in my high school and college years, in the old Astrodome.
But it was what Joe did during a game in August, 1987, toward the end of his career, that got him into trouble. Pitching for the Minnesota Twins, he was throwing some wicked pitches. Too wicked, it turned out.
The home plate umpire had never seen such movement on pitches, so he inspected one of the balls shortly after it left Joe’s hands. He found all kinds of strange scratches on the ball, accounting for the movement of the pitches.
The umpire asked to look into Joe’s pockets. When Joe raised his hands in protest, sandpaper and nail files fell out.
Never forget, “Your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
Recovery Step: Whatever you are doing to “doctor the ball” will eventually become known. You might as well save yourself a lot of agony and come clean to the Umpire today.