Baseball Pitcher, R.A. Dickey Talks About His Abuse
Now playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, the knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey brings more to baseball than just his outstanding talent as a pitcher. He brings his personal struggles with sexual abuse which began at age 8 at the hand of a female babysitter and again in his teens when he was victimized by an older male. Dickey’s story has enabled athletes and others with similar stories to come forward and unburden themselves of the anguish, pain, guilt and suffering they have felt over the years. Dickey, in 2011, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in his campaign to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation in India. Clearly, he is a baseball player with an agenda which exceeds the sport.
An English major from the University of Tennessee, Dickey says he could have become a college professor if not for baseball. He still reads widely and selects diverse areas for his continuing education. He even names his bats after characters in literature. Dickey’s career in baseball began in 1996 with the Texas Rangers, moving to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007 and then between 2007 and 2009 he played for the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners, eventually joining the New York Mets from 2010-2012. In 2012 he also received the Cy Young Award before joining the Toronto Blue Jays.
R.A. Dickey’s personal disclosure serves to help victims of sexual abuse and trauma to escape from behind the years of a dark secret and to find personal freedom through recognizing the negative impact of past abuse. Often men who were sexually abused maintain the secret throughout their life which can lead to mental health and substance abuse problems, failed relationships and even the risk of suicide. Mr. Dickey’s stepping forward with his past should be regarded as an opportunity for others who have histories of abuse to find relief from their years of shame and guilt.
I personally think that R.A. Dickey is a baseball hero unlike any others.