Mickey Jannis, a 33-year-old knuckleballer, made his MLB
debut for the Baltimore Orioles
Jannis was known in the minors for his nearly rotation-free pitch, which he got to showcase against the Houston
In a viral
slow-motion video, Jannis strikes out Yordan Alvarez with a knuckleball. Alvarez was Jannis' first batter. Observers called the pitch "filthy" and "pure art
SLO-MO KNUCKLEBALL WIN pic.twitter.com/cq3xuLN2kH — Cut4 (@Cut4) June 24, 2021
However, not all of his pitches were difficult to hit; the reliever pitched a scoreless fifth inning before surrendering seven runs in a 13-0 loss.
Jannis began using the novelty pitch in the Mets minor league system in about 2012 and used it from 2015 to 2019. He joined the Orioles organization in 2020 and missed a minor league season due to the pandemic
On Tuesday, the Orioles promoted him from Triple-A Norfolk, and while his debut on Wednesday wasn't exactly perfect, he's now a major leaguer.
“Deep down, I always believed that I could pitch in the major leagues, and that’s why I never gave up,” Jannis told The Baltimore Sun. “I told my wife that as long as I feel like I have a chance to pitch in the major leagues, I want to pursue this dream, and she was all for it, backing me up. My parents backed me up, my entire family
, so it’s just pretty special.”
Welcome to the big leagues, young man, sir.