There will be no treks up Mount Kilimanjaro for New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey this offseason.
But he still will spend part of his time contributing to the Bombay Teen Challenge, a cause that led him up the mountain last offseason. His group raised nearly $120,000 for the organization that rescues and cares for young women from sex-trafficking in India.
“They’re going to be able to build a clinic,” Dickey told Sporting News recently. “Just about everyone of the girls they rescued have HIV. They have to be cared for, treated and showed a different way of living.”
This offseason, Dickey plans to be even more involved with the cause. He plans to travel to India to work directly with the outreach program.
“I have the heart for that ministry and what they’re doing with the rescues,” he said. “I have two daughters and the thought of anybody being subjected to what those girls are is heart-breaking. I feel convicted to move and the only way I know to move is to go.”
For his work for the Bombay outreach as well as other humanitarian efforts, Dickey was named winner of the Branch Rickey Award on Thursday.
The award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991. A committee of 350 media members, baseball executives, Rotary officials and past winners voted for the winner after all 30 teams submitted a nomination.
Dickey will be honored at a banquet in Denver on Nov. 10, shortly before the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce another award for which he is in the running. That would be the NL Cy Young Award. Dickey leads the NL with a 2.68 ERA, is second with 18 wins and is tied for second with 197 strikeouts.
He is unlikely to follow the footsteps of some other pitchers and promote his candidacy for the Cy Young Award.
“No disrespect to the award but it is the last thing on my mind,” he said. “I’m much more about engaging the process of being the best R.A. Dickey I can be.”