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Five quarterbacks vying for spot on Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- Former NFL and Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterback Doug Flutie may be joining the Arizona Diamondbacks as a pitcher, thanks to a new show on MLB Network.

Flutie is one of five former college quarterbacks that will be competing on a reality show called "The Next Knuckler."

"The youngest is Ryan Perrilloux, who played at LSU and Jacksonville State," said David Gavant, the Executive in Charge of Production for Major League Baseball Productions.

The other quarterbacks involved are John David Booty from the University of Southern California, his older brother Josh from Louisiana State University and David Greene from the University of Georgia.

Gavant said the four-episode series will feature the five QBs getting training from former MLB All-Star pitcher Tim Wakefield.

"We're going to see if Tim can teach these guys how to throw a great knuckleball," he said.

The winner goes to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"They will get an opportunity to show what Tim Wakefield has shown them, and get an opportunity to pitch in a real spring training game," Gavant said.

Wakefield will be getting some help with his instruction. 2012 NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, former All-Star knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough and 15-year-old Chelsea Baker, a knuckleball phenom who threw two perfect games for her little league team in 2010 will also be on the show.

"The Next Knuckler" debuts Feb. 13 night at 7 p.m. on the MLB Network.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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