Dickey's latest major effort occurred in January, when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro -- at considerable risk to his body, not to mention his $4.25 million salary -- to help raise more than $100,000 for the Bombay Teen Challenge, which is dedicated to rescuing young women from forced prostitution in India. Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello and Indians pitcher Kevin Slowey helped with the fundraising effort.
Dickey is one of the founders and an active member of Honoring the Father Ministries, a charity that distributes medical supplies and baseball equipment throughout the world. Dickey has traveled to Cuba five times, as well as to Mexico, Venezuela and Costa Rica to meet with young players, give them equipment and instruct them in baseball.
This year, Dickey chronicled suffering through sexual abuse as a child and suicidal thoughts as an adult in his autobiography -- "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball" -- written with New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey. Dickey also has made a deal with Dial Press for three books, including a children's version of his memoir.
The charity work and the personal story have gained more national notice because of the career year Dickey is putting together. He has gone 18-5 with a 2.68 ERA and 197 strikeouts. Before joining the Mets in 2010, most of Dickey's 16 professional seasons were spent in the Minors, although he had Major League time with the Rangers (2001, '03-06), Mariners ('08) and Twins ('09).
After years of attempting to get by with ordinary stuff, Dickey tried his knuckleball at the Major League level in 2006. But after giving up a record-tying six home runs in his first start, he was demoted to Triple-A. Dickey signed with the Brewers in '07 but spent the entire year in Triple-A at Nashville, his hometown.
Now, Dickey is a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award.
Dickey is the third person representing the Mets to earn the award. The others were Al Leiter (1999) and Bobby Valentine (2002).
Award winners who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame are Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn and Tommy Lasorda.
Dickey will receive the trophy, a replica of "The Player," a 13-foot bronze sculpture that stands at the entrance to Coors Field in Denver, created by internationally prominent sculptor George Lundeen and dedicated on June 2, 2005, to celebrate Rotary International's Centennial Year.