New Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey is winning over his new team mates and coaches alike.  The glowing reviews of the new Blue Jay appear endless.


“He’s a first-class citizen,” says catcher J.P. Arencibia.

“R.A is one of a kind. He’s a great guy and a great pitcher,” said infielder Mark DeRosa.

“He’s a special guy,”  Toronto manager John Gibbons added.


So how does one come in and capture the imagination of an entire city and country of baseball fans?


“He’s a very nice guy. But he’s ultra-competitive as well,” said catcher Mike Nickeas. “Don’t let him fool you when he’s in here. The guy’s super-competitive and he wants to win.”


That’s great news for Toronto fans as winning has been a part of the equation that has been missing from the Blue Jays equation for twenty years.


Dickey will anchor what is predicted to be one of the top rotations in baseball.   John Thole (Dickey’s personal catcher last season in New York who came to the Jays in the deal with the Mets that made Dickey a Blue Jay) explains there is a different side of Dickey opposing batters can expect to see  “You’ll see. He’s a different cat when he’s out there pitching,”


Dickey is a likable, long worded guy who Toronto fans will fall in love with just as Mets faithful have the past few seasons.  His sincerity and the modest way he speaks make the Nashville native a rather intriguing individual.


“I feel a conviction and a very real responsibility to use whatever celebrity or platform or whatever you want to call it to do things that might transcend the game, I do,” Dickey explains. “And I can’t live outside of that. Or I wouldn’t be me. Because I feel like that’s the responsibility that God’s laid on the heart.”


Dickey is just as interesting when speaking in generalities about his charity work as he is describing his rise from baseballs scrap heap to one of the premier pitchers in the game.


Jays fans havent seen the likes of an R.A. Dickey or his golden personality before.  Toronto, if everything goes as planned will have a new hero by the end of the season, and he will throw a knuckleball.


Dickey makes his spring training debut Monday in Florida against the visiting Boston Red Sox.






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