Tim Wakefield has been retired from Major League Baseball for a year, and now he’s trying to impart his knowledge of the knuckleball onto five inexperienced pitchers.
But these aren’t just any athletes. The former Red Sox pitcher will be teaching Doug Flutie and four other former NCAA Division I quarterbacks his famous pitch on an MLB Network reality show called "The Next Knuckler," debuting Feb. 13.
The winner of the competition gets an invitation to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which announced the competition on Wednesday.
The 50-year-old Flutie will be joined by Josh Booty, 37, Ryan Perriloux, 26, David Greene, 30, and Booty’s younger brother, John David Booty, 28.
The elder Booty was drafted No. 5 overall by the Florida Marlins in 1994. The third baseman played three years in the majors, but only accumulated 26 at bats and a .269 batting average. He quit baseball after the 1998 season to play football at LSU. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL draft.
Perrilloux, Greene and John David Booty have no professional baseball experience. Greene was a member of the New England Patriots’ practice squad in 2007.
Wakefield will be joined by former teammate Kevin Millar to host the show and judge each athlete’s ability. One contestant will be eliminated from the show each week based on performance. The winner gets a shot to pitch in a spring training game.